Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.
Michael Martinez: Write some really compelling content. You don`t have to go after the most popular queries. You can literally create your own queries and when people become interested in what you have to say they search for it.
Nakul Gurjar: That`s really great strategy that`s why I used answerthepublic.com. this tool help me get more than thousand of queries.
Michael Martinez: That`s opposite of what I meant. Be original with your topics. Write about what makes you passionate. Even if your business decision is to sell tea, why did you choose that field? If you`re just blogging for a passive income, what is it that you want to say. Keyword research tools cannot help you make those choices.
Josh Michael: Michael Martinez what`s wrong with selling tea 😎
Michael Martinez: Josh Michael I suppose there are some people who are so confident in their ability to promote a Website that they could choose any topic at random and take it to the top (or at least believe they can). For those who are frustrated and trying to learn, I suggest it would be more productive to focus on what they know and what they care about most. Hopefully, that aligns with however they have chosen for their careers and avocations.
Josh Michael: Michael Martinez oh I definitely agree, you should have knowledge and interest in your chosen niche. It certainly makes it a lot easier when producing content. I only said that as I sell tea haha!
Jeff Ferguson: Prayer? Kidding. No, it can be done if it`s a low competition keyword. I mean, you say "no content marketing, " but if you have any content at all, you`re content marketing, you might just suck at it.
Rob Woods: Amazing content “might” work in some edge cases for low comp kw but links are still a huge part of the equation.
Dave Rohrer: buy a domain that ranked in the past or what Rob and Jeff said
Rob Woods: Which probably means that domain has links
Dave Rohrer: Rob technically he just bought the domain.. the links just happen to tag along :)
Rob Woods: Dave Rohrer right. But the question was about ranking without links, not link building 😉
Nakul Gurjar: What if those backlinks are spammed at that time.
Rebecca Lehmann: Do something newsworthy enough that the media chases YOU down instead of the other way around.
Rob Woods: But again, that’s probably backlinks from media sites leading to rankings.
Rebecca Lehmann: Yeah, but indirectly since you`re not really doing that heavy lifting of pitching media yourself.
Rob Woods: Rebecca Lehmann yeah. You aren’t link building but the question was about ranking without links at all.
Rebecca Lehmann: I think that you’re overthinking the semantics. If the question is “how do I rank a site with no backlinks” then the answer is to build backlinks. I read it as “I don’t have money for/don’t want to build backlinks or do content marketing” in which case my answer is “lazy” link building, which is one step up from the famous Field of Dreams strategy. Like, find a C-list reality star to date. That`s been working out pretty well for a competitor in my space. (Not actually joking.) Can’t really say he`s out there link building, but damn if he doesn’t get plenty from the gossip mags anyway.
Rob Woods: Rebecca Lehmann I’m literal minded. I took the question as how do you rank without links rather than without spending time and money link building.
Michael Martinez: I`ve got a blog about J.R.R. Tolkien and Middle-earth that receives a half-million page views per year. I`m passionate about the topic. I don`t do keyword research for it. That`s what I`m talking about. If you care about what you`re doing, the keywords will follow you. You don`t have to follow the keywords.
Rob Woods: But does it attract links because of the quality and popularity of the content?
Michael Martinez: Rob Woods Of course the site attracts links. 10s of thousands of them over the years. But science fiction and fantasy sites probably have an easier time of attracting links than many other niches, if only because fans tend to support fans (and they don`t worry about search engine optimization - they just link to what they like).
Michael Martinez: That`s not the only successful site I work on, though. My partner and I have other sites in other niches that earn traffic and links.
Rob Woods: Michael Martinez right. So he asked if you can rank without links 🙂 your site is ranking with 10s of thousands of them.
Michael Martinez: Rob Woods "ranking without links" usually means (in my experience) "not building links". Everyone is allowed to EARN links.
Rob Woods: Michael Martinez I took it literally. How do you rank without backlinks... and of course the answer to the literal query is that in the vast majority of cases, you don’t.
Michael Martinez: Rob Woods It`s impossible to determine which links help any page (let alone "site") achieve any success in search engine results. So I look beyond the literal sense and go straight at the problem. Too many Web marketers have wrongly taught each other for the last 20 years that you MUST build links to succeed in search results. That`s simply not true. If you want to succeed "without backlinks" then create content people want to link to. You cannot top the search results for long without earning links, so there is no point in arguing "there must be no links".
Rob Woods: Michael Martinez agreed. You can rank with link attracting rather than link building, but not without actual links.
Michael Martinez: Rob Woods I wouldn`t put it that way, since (as I said) you have no way of knowing which links help. It`s better to assume that no links are helping than that you need links.
Jobin John: Niche competition is definitely a factor. If the competition is on the lower end then yes definitely it would be quick and easy. I would start with these...Step 1. Many would disagree and few would agree but have a domain name closely connected to the niche would be a great help. Example: if you are a dentist in Cleveland then go for a domain clevelanddentist (dot) com2. Add relevant pages and create a proper silo structure3. Add schema markups4. Inter link related pages.5. Make sure your basics are right like tags. Meta description and stuff...6. Add 2500+ keywords per page.7. Spread the word on social media and crate engagement.8. Register on niche relevant review sites and collect genuine reviews.9. Write everything as an experience and not from a sales point even if you are selling something.10. Add sitemap and submit it to google11. Add content on a regular basis.. don`t just write a long post and go to sleep for a week.. post every day if possible or post atleast twice a week.All the best.
Michael Martinez: 2500+ "keywords" will get you penalized. There is no ideal, perfect number of words that work, either. Formulaic SEO practices are not a productive way to manage sites. Each site needs to grow into its success step by step.