FutureProof Shorts

Link Building vs. Content – The Endless Battle in SEO

There are two camps in the SEO world. One believes that link building is pretty much the only ranking factor, and those who believe in high quality content. In a week where Google went to war with AI generated content, I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring and give this a small business point of view. There’s no doubt that links and content both play a role in rankings, but how much of a role? We have an SEO process for our SME clients, it includes both links and content, and we’ll share that in this post too.

This week I’ve been listening to a podcast about link building, and it’s really good !! But the problem, although everything he says is true and he gives high end advice, it doesn’t consider anything else, only rankings. You can improve rankings with link building alone, but that won’t necessarily increase traffic or conversions, and it’s this that grows your business.

What is Link Building?

Link Building can be seen like good old fashioned PR but in a digital context. In essence, earning and acquiring links from other websites back to yours. These links act as votes, signalling to Google that your content is valuable. Think of it as a popularity contest; the more high-quality websites linking to you, the higher your site’s credibility. We measure this using a score called Domain Authority, click here to learn more… 

What is High Quality Content?

High quality content, or content marketing, in this context, means writing and publishing valuable, relevant, and consistent content on your site to attract your targeted audience and demonstrate a level of expertise to Google on a given topic. This can be service pages, blog posts, videos, even infographics. Search engines love freshness and engagement metrics and reward websites that regularly cover topics in depth, especially niche topics.

Why we Focus on Content Quality

Our clients are mostly small businesses, which means they have their own clients and customers. It’s not that link building doesn’t work, it’s that our clients need content that gets them customers, not just high rankings. Having a DA of 90+ will rank you for everything (just ask Forbes Magazine) but it won’t increase sales on its own without the content, products, services etc. that people are looking for.

Is it difficult to build links?

Ok, so here’s the honest truth. Link Building is either really difficult, really time consuming or really expensive, and if you’re new to the game or inexperienced, it will probably be all three. We can deliver more results for clients, in a shorter time, with other SEO strategies. 

Local SEO & Link Building

Most small local businesses, tradespeople for example, don’t actively build links to their website, so their domain authority is low, under 10. DA is a relative metric; it only matters if your competition is doing it way better than you are. We’ve never encountered a scenario where better content doesn’t get the job done.

Local Citations

Business listings and directories do play a role in local SEO, think Golden Pages or TripAdvisor. While not backlinks in a traditional sense, these citations provide valuable information about your business and Google uses these listings as verification, so they can improve your rankings in search and local/maps.

Do you need content or Link Building?

We start our SEO process with an SEO audit. This gives us, and the client a full picture of what’s going on; technical SEO, on-page SEO, keyword research and more. We also analyse the competition, local SEO and the backlink profiles. This process tells us what we need to do, what the client needs to do, and gives us a checklist of jobs to do. It’s not just about rankings, it’s about traffic and conversions too.

If we do everything right, and the SEO best practices, all the content marketing, everything else, and it’s still not working… then it’s link building time. If you’d like to have a chat about what we do here at FutureProof Digital, get in touch and we’ll arrange a meeting.

Link Building vs. Content - The Endless Battle in SEO


About Adam Bermingham

This blog is dedicated to helping you stay ahead of the curve, with insights into the latest trends, tools, and best practices. Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or web designer, we have something for everyone. We bring you expert advice, tutorials, and case studies to help you optimise your online presence.

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