A large proportion of people out there seem to believe that backlinks form the backbone of a website's SEO strategy. Building
backlinks, of course is a high-risk, high-reward strategy. Having high-quality and relevant backlinks has its advantages, but there's a lot that can go wrong as well, especially since backlinking techniques today may be considered spammy tomorrow. So is there any truth to the myth that says backlinks are a must for ranking well?
Ideally, web pages should be ranked based on how well the content is written, and how relevant is it to the user. Ideally, small or new sites should have as much chance of getting to the top of the search
results as larger websites. But Search engines are nothing more than algorithms that accept a range of inputs, and give a result. The input here being the various ranking 'signals', and the output being the entries on the search result pages.
The system isn't perfect. Hence search engines consider various factors, including backlinks, content quality, keywords, formatting, site load times, domain name and much more. Google is coming closer than ever to its ideal - many techniques that used to work to artificially inflate ranking no longer work. However, the fact remains that the best path to being the best is to actually be the best resource. Other factors don’t quite matter.
Backlinks are just one factorThe most important factor you ever need to focus on is the content. Backlinks aren't necessary, any more than any other major SEO factors. The only parts of SEO you need to consider are those that lead to your site being discovered; beyond that, let your content do the talking.
Backlinks are just one factor out of hundreds that go into creating the ranking of a given piece of content. The thing is, they are one of the most important factors. When we talk about ranking content without backlinks, what we really mean is ranking content without putting the time and energy into creating backlink opportunities.
It’s nearly impossible to write a piece of good quality content without making any backlinks at all. That’s because users will, on their own, link to content they like. These are natural, organic backlinks that you automatically get as a result of your great content, and they promote your content with no risk to you. It’s only when you start going out and looking for ways to add backlinks that you run into the possibility of Google penalties.
Ideally, backlinks should only be organic. But our world is not ideal, and there are sites that earn backlinks by paying for them, or reciprocating via link exchanges, or through another form of bypass.
Backlinks should not necessarily be avoided. Google likes to trust sites, and only sites with a high degree of trust will rank easily and highly. One factor in trust is backlinks from other trusted sites. If your content fails to earn any of those, regardless of your effort spend in obtaining them, you’re going to have a hard time finding the success you want.