There’s no way around it… You’ll need links for SERPs. Content boosts are great – its awesome to write a new page on a relatively unranked website and see it temporarily shoot to the top of the search results, but that’s good for what, 2-3 days max? My last article didn’t completely vanish this time, but it is sitting around 163 for a search term it first appeared in the index at #6. For those 12 hours I got good traffic for a key phrase, and definitely made a fair bit of cash for the little effort I had put in.
But if you want your pages to stay ranked, you have to promote them. How much traffic do you figure a page at #163 in the Google results gets? Zero!
This is probably why SEO, particularly back link building, is so important. When you add backlinks to your pages, Google or Yahoo or whatever search spider “finds” them again – and its like Christmas morning all over again (or Easter if you got good chocolate, Happy Easter!) Accomplish this enough times and they start to think your site must be just great if people keep talking about it and pointing to it.
Even if you’re just building links through self-promotion, its a good sign to them that its a page you value and are willing to put time into so other people can see it. There has to be some indication that its more than just an abandoned internet dead-end. If age of a domain were the important factor, wouldn’t the search engines be full of “ancient” results from the 1990s?
Sure, some backlinks will grow in value, but only if they’re on actively written and promoted websites! Just with more and more content pushing on to the internet daily, the number and positioning of links required to rank well is constantly going up. Those older sites may have once been the best, but if they just sit there they aren’t going to keep up and the value of their back links will be in constant decline as the market becomes saturated.
So? I’m working on back links again. I’ve added this website to a few forum profiles that hadn’t been used for links yet (particularly in related forums!) and I’ve submitted a few articles that have been good for direct traffic as well as the back links they provide. A few of the articles get syndicated, so I’m averaging about 12 back links per submission. Sure, 9 of these are on sites designated as “duplicate content” but at the very least the PR & SERPs influence will be taken from the site with the best rankings itself. If the other sites are indexed, even its supplemental/duplicate, I assume the value of the reference is still greater than zero.