Can You Rank Content Without Building Backlinks?

Can you rank on Google without backlands? The answer is yes, but it comes with quite a few caveats. So today we’re going to study some pages with outback links that are getting a ton of search traffic and extract some actionable insights. You can apply to your. So stay tuned. What’s up? I suppose there’s no denying that backlog’s help you rank higher in Google.

Google says it on their house search works page. Our research study confirms a clear positive correlation. And if you ask any experienced CEO, they’ll agree. But do you actually need them to get a meaningful amount of search traffic from queries that have some sort of commercial value? Now, rather than continuing with my mysterious comments, we’re going to let the data do the talking. So to source my data, I use HFS Content Explorer, which is a searchable database of over a billion pages that are filled by multiple SEO metrics. So to start, I ran a blank search to filter through all pages in the Content Explorer database. Then I set a few filters. First I set the maximum number of referring domains to zero and referring domains are unique websites that link to the page. Next I said a filter to only show live pages. Finally I said a traffic filter to only show pages that get at least a thousand monthly search visits since I think most people will agree that it’s a decent amount for a single page. And I’ll actually set the trends filter to show the past three years of data in the spark line graphs so we can get a better visualization of the pages traffic trends. All right. So at this point, content explorer saying there are around two hundred and forty three thousand live pages that get at least a thousand monthly search visits with zero back links pointing at them. They’re way too many results here. So let’s group these into three tiers based on domain rating. And domain rating is an atrocious metric that represents the overall strength of a website’s background profile. The closer the number is to one hundred, the more so-called authority that domain has. Now, the three tiers that I’ve set are zero to thirty three or thirty one to sixty and D-R sixty one plus. All right, so tier one R are zero to thirty websites, which will classify as low authority. If you look at the results, you’ll notice that the majority of pages are not in English. Given that the majority of websites have English content. This might seem odd. Now, the reason this happens is because non English queries are generally less competitive so they’re easier to run for without links. For example, Arabic only makes up around point eight percent of content on the Internet, meaning less competitors and an easier ranking environment. So takeaway number one is that in general, content in languages other than English are going to be easier to rank and get organic traffic, even if you don’t have any or many links. Now, since I’m not fluent in Arabic, let’s get the language filter to English for the rest of this tutorial. OK, so if you look at the majority of topics that are getting search traffic, there are four things you’ll notice. No. One, if you’re targeting a country with English as its official language, like the US, Canada, UK or Australia, you’ll find that a lot of pages in this tier are getting the majority of traffic from other countries. For example, this page gets most of its traffic from Pakistan and India. Number two, you’ll see a wide array of content that’s not safe for work. Number three, a lot of these pages are ranking for topics that aren’t exactly legal. For example, this is supposed to be a card game. And number four, you’ll be hard pressed to find pages with good commercial value. For example, this page is on the celebrity’s husbands net worth, which probably won’t impact your bottom line. But there are also some rare pages that may have commercial value depending on your business. For example, this page rings for queries related to a legal topic. It gets over twenty three hundred monthly search visits and the website looks like it’s run by a law firm, which makes a lot of sense. All in all, finding actionable insights from this tier will be slim pickings.

Now, keep in mind that I’m doing a search through our entire database. So even if you were to search for a broad keyword like gardening, you’d only see four results, one which might be worth pursuing. So let’s move on to mid tier websites that have a D-R value of thirty one to sixty. Now, within this group of pages, you’ll see more or less the same downsides as the previous tier. But to a lesser extent, the main differentiating factor is that you’ll start seeing pages that are ranking for low competition, topics that have some commercial value. For example, this page is ranking for the quarry best Bluetooth headphones for under fifty dollars, which has a key one difficulty score of just eight. This page ranked for something in the higher education space, which has a lot of commercial value. This page is capitalizing on queries that are valuable to lawyers on the topic of divorce. And you’ll also find the occasional high traffic opportunities like this one, which gets over twelve thousand monthly search visits with zero links. So here are a few key takeaways for the D-R. Thirty one to 60 range pages with zero links on MIDA sites seem to rank more easily for low competition topics with commercial value. They’re also capitalizing on longtail queries that have decently high search demand. And we went through the example of best Bluetooth headphones for under fifty dollars. Now, the most interesting example to me is the page ranking for divorce related queries. If you caught it, the majority of the traffic to that page comes from the U.K. and it’s likely because of relevance location of the company and perhaps the settled U.K. It’s important to remember there are tons of other countries outside of the US where it’s easier to compete. So while the traffic share might be lower in non US countries, most topics will still have more than enough search demand and commercial value to back. So in my opinion, if you don’t have the resources of Fortune five hundreds or the expertize of top agencies, it might be worth researching. Other countries we’re entering a competitive market will be easier. All right, let’s go through the last here. And those are sites with a domain rating of sixty one or higher. And the types of pages in this tier are pretty much the same as the D.R. Thirty one to 60 sites. But the higher D.R sites are ranking for more competitive queries without links. For example, this page ranked high for Cheuk Cigar’s, which has a keyword difficulty score of forty five. And then you’ll see sites like Credit Karma ranking for even more competitive keywords related to credit card debt without a single back link. Bottom line, when you have a topically authoritative site, you have the potential to rank for some pretty competitive keywords, even if you don’t have a ton of links. But even a super focused and authoritative site like Credit Karma is only ranking at the bottom of page one for their top court. And if you look at the top 10 results for this keyword, all the pages ranking higher are also authoritative, topically relevant. But the key difference here is that they all have links. So while targeting low competition topics is a great way to start a site and gain traction, the reality is you’ll run out of worthwhile topics to target fast. And if other sites start targeting those same topics, eventually they won’t be so low competition and you’ll need things to keep up. Most importantly, if you want to build a sustainable and growing business, you’ll definitely want to go after more competitive topics because competition usually equates to commercial value.

So what’s it going to be? Are you only going to go after low competition topics to earn a tiny piece of the pie, or are you building links to go for the whole darn thing?

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