Hello there! (General Kenobi...)

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Hello everyone!

I have been reading quite a bit on this forum and really liked the whole vibe. Finally decided to join and participate.

I'm a 33 y/o digital marketer. I mostly do SEO for clients as a freelancer I have started a website last year while I was still working in an SEO agency. This site is in a broad niche and my goal is to turn it into an authority.

On top of that, I am building 4 affiliate sites with an associate.

My approach to building sites is focused on content and user experience. I don't build links as I believe that they don't offer as good a return on my money and time invested with the strategy I use. I also don't want to play a mouse and cat game with one of the biggest companies in the world. I like the fact that I can go to sleep without thinking about getting penalized.

Looking forward to exchange ideas with you all!
 

Potatoe

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Hey buddy, welcome to BuSo.

I was going to say that working at an SEO agency could give you a leg up when it comes to getting links for your site, maybe access to some helpful assets, but it sounds like you are no longer working there and not interested in building links so that's moot.

What is your plan to acquire links without actively building them, do you do anything different in your content creation to encourage people to link to you naturally? How do you get your foot in the door to even be discovered by people who might cite your website in the first place, are you doing a social/viral play here as well?
 
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Hey Potatoe,

Thanks for the kind words and the interest.

To be completely honest, I don't even worry about links at all. I believe the SEO world is a bit too concerned with links. The trend we've been observing from Google's algorythm is that their impact on rankings is growing thiner with every update. As the algo gets more clever, the less it's going to have to rely on backlinks to evaluate the value of a content. That's my personal opinion and I could be very wrong. Only time will tell :smile:
 

Potatoe

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In a hypothetical linkless world of the future...

What will you do to tell Google that your content deserves to rank above everyone else who is putting out great content?

How long are you prepared to grind away at this site without ranking, until the algorithms maybe shift enough to accommodate sites without links? Are you going after very, very low competition stuff where you can sneak in without links, in the meantime, and then hoping that will open the door to hit the more competitive topics later on?

What will set you apart from the other 99.something% of websites that don't have any backlinks?

I'm genuinely curious, I hope this doesn't come across as antagonistic. Links are a big bottleneck in my strategy.

It sounds like the plan is to swim against the tides until the tides shift, but I wonder if there isn't some middleground between 'a bunch of high-risk links' and 'no links'?

Is this something you've already had success with for freelance clients, or are you doing linkbulding for their sites still?
 
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Who said I wasn't ranking?

You however raise very good concerns, and give me some perspective indeed. I guess I would be more concerned if everyone was focusing on content quality (which isn't the case).

I also don't believe links will never be a factor, I simply chose to shift my strategy towards content.

Let's put it this way, if I had 10k to spend on links vs 10k to spend on content, what would yield the best return? In my case, my money's on content because I can efficiently produce it (that would be 700k words for me, so essentially 350 articles at 2000 words on average.

One of the first articles that made it into the top 5 on my site was focusing a buying intent keyword with 900MS. This was 3 months after I had bought the domain. No links, no fancy tricks, just wrote the main content myself and posted 3 supporting content to create a mini cluster and voila!

The key (I believe) resides not only in your ability to produce good content and find low-comp keywords, but also in your site's architecture and macro-strategy. Building clusters, internal linking, your attention to detail and UX, and many more on-page signals (not going to share all my secrets just yet but you get the idea).
 

Potatoe

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Who said I wasn't ranking?
haha I didn't mean to be presumptuous, I misread and thought the site was newer + no links, just figured it might take a bit longer to get things rolling.

Anywoo, thanks for sharing your insights and I hope you'll pop up a thread in the Lab at some point to document the journey!
 
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Hehe that doesn't make your concerns and questions invalid though. I still haven't accomplished anything worth writing home about on my own sites. What I'm saying above is purely my opinion on what I was able to observe with my clients.

I could be 100% wrong about everything and have to eventually adjust, bite the bullet and buy links like everybody else I guess!

I'm genuinely curious, I hope this doesn't come across as antagonistic. Links are a big bottleneck in my strategy.

It sounds like the plan is to swim against the tides until the tides shift, but I wonder if there isn't some middleground between 'a bunch of high-risk links' and 'no links'?

Is this something you've already had success with for freelance clients, or are you doing linkbulding for their sites still?
My apologies, had not seen this part of your message.

I know what I'm saying may sound a bit crazy indeed. I'm not saying you can make it without links in any niche, with any type of website by just throwing content at your site. It all depends on a bunch of factors.

One of my current client operates in a super competitive ecomm niche where a lot of negative seo is going on. Not only you have to constantly build links to keep up with the competition, but you also have to monitor if they are building toxic links to your site at the same time.

There's no one size fits all strategy as you already know. You have to see what the market demands and if there's a gap you can fill.

May I ask what type of site(s) are you operating?