Can you Rank on Google WITHOUT Links? [OSEO-03]
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Can you Rank on Google WITHOUT Links? [OSEO-03]


Hey guys, this is Tim Soulo from Ahrefs, and right now you’re watching episode #3 of the over simplified SEO show. [Intro Music] In my previous episode I explained to you how to rank for any keyword in Google. And what I suggested is that you should build a lot of links to this page. So in this episode I want to show you how to rank…without links. So this is the post on the Ahrefs blog with the previous episode of the show. And as you can tell from the title of this post, my intent was to target the keyword “how to
rank number one in Google.” Let’s see how well this post ranks for this keyword. Let’s scroll down to the bottom of this page, and you’ll see that the post on Ahrefs blog ranks number 10 because the rest are Google Ads. But the funny thing is the previous search result. It’s a SlideShare presentation that ranks right above us. Let’s compare these two pages in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, and see if we can find something interesting. I’ll start with the Ahrefs article. So I put it into Site Explorer and what I see
is that it has 13 backlinks from two referring domains, not much actually.
But let’s see what we have for this SlideShare presentation. I will open another instance of Site Explorer. And here’s the funny thing: it doesn’t have any backlinks at all! In the previous episode of the show, I told you that you
should build more links than your competitors if you won’t outrank them. So how come this SlideShare presentation doesn’t
have any links at all, but it still ranks better than our post at Ahrefs’ blog
that has 13 backlinks? And the answer is pretty much in front of you. It’s the domain rating. As you can see, the domain rating of
Ahrefs’ blog is 66, while the domain rating of Slideshare’s
website is 81, which is quite a bit bigger. And that’s what helps it rank better, even without any backlinks pointing to the page. Domain rating is a very powerful ranking factor
and in fact, when SEOs can’t rank for some keyword with their own website, they
might utilize powerful domains like SlideShare or YouTube, in order to hack
their way to the top of Google. And actually, if we go back to the search
results, you’ll see that there’s a youtube video ranking at spot number five. Let’s see if this video has any links at all. Well actually, it does have
a single backlink, but as you can see the domain rating is totally insane and
that’s what makes it easily rank at number five for a pretty competitive
keyword, “how to rank number one in google.” So that’s it guys. This is how you rank
in Google without any backlinks at all. You just need a solid domain rating to make it happen. But what’s domain rating after all? It’s the combined power of all backlinks pointing to all pages of your website. So when you build links to any individual pages on your website, this helps
improve your domain rating. And then when your domain rating is solid enough it,
may help you rank for some keyword without having any links pointing to the page. So that’s it I really hope you enjoyed this episode, and I’m waiting for
your comments and questions below. Bye! [Music]

14 Comments

  • Ariful Islam Palash

    Is it possible to outrank TOP AUTHORITY websites which are not targeting the main keyword in their title and in their website but still on the top?

  • Clwyd Probert

    Great article. In the organic search results that you talked about, can you explain why that particular YouTube video ranks well and not another one. Like you say, it has no inbound links, but it also does not rank well in YouTube, so why that one and not another?

  • Ro Ba

    HI Tim,
    first of all keep up the work making these vids, I've studies almost all of them now supporting me to use the Ahrefs tool. At the end of the day, it's not up to the screwdriver but the mind behind it knowing how to use the screwdriver.

    I have rechecked the rankings for your mentioned kw now and found entrepreneurs-journey.com ranking above your mentioned Ahrefs article.
    – I have both checked them with site Explorer, I found these differences:
    Ahrefs article:
    -higher DR more and better anchors, more backlinks but still ranking 1 spot lower.

    The only thing entrepreneurs-journey.com has in their advantage and ranks higher is:
    they have 1 link with a higher DR linking to them

    Could you maybe confirm and check if this is the reason?
    Cheers, RB

  • Ayush C

    I argue, the video is not ranking because of Youtube's Domain Authority. It is ranking because Google tries to show diverse results in terms of information and its format.

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