How can content be ranked if there aren’t many links to it?
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How can content be ranked if there aren’t many links to it?


Today’s question
comes from India. Ashish asks, “How does Google
determine quality content if there aren’t a lot
of links to a post?” That’s a good question. So in general, that sort
of reverts back to the way search engines
were before links. You’re pretty much judging
based on the text on the page, at that point. So Google has a lot of
stuff to sort of say, OK. The first time we
see a word on a page, count it a little bit more. The next time, OK, a little
more, but not a ton more. And then after a
while, we say, you know what, we’ve seen this word. Maybe this page is
about this topic, but it doesn’t really
help you to keep repeating that keyword over
and over and over again. And in fact, at
some point, we might view that is keyword
stuffing, and then the page would actually do
less well, not as well as just a moderate
number of mentions of a particular piece of text. So we do have, you
know, other ways. In theory, we could
say, well, does it sit on a domain that seems
to be somewhat reputable? There are different
ways you can try to assess the
quality of content. But typically, if
you go back to, a user is typing possibly
some really rare phrase. If there’s no other
pages on the web that have that particular
phrase, even if there’s not that many links,
then that page can be returned, because we
think it might be relevant. It might be topical to what
the user is looking for. So it can be kind of
tough, but at that point, we sort of have to
fall back and assess, based on the quality of
the content that’s actually on the text, that’s
actually on the page.

22 Comments

  • WSI Connect

    According to @Matt Cutts a page can still rank if there aren't many links to it, as long as the keyword is relevant and the content is high quality. 

  • Steve Martin

    Video: @Matt Cutts explains how a page can still rank if there aren't links pointing at it

    They use the keywords in the content
    Is a trusted domain
    Has matching keyword phrases

    If there is low competition, obscure or long-tail keywords can also rank well without links pointing to it.

  • L.j. Garner

    Matt thinks the user is asking how Google will view and index content that doesn't have backlinks (which is presumably most content). That is not the same as getting the content ranked. Question somewhat answered, but not really.

  • Hiren Joshi

    We have thought that Content Plays the Major..Content is King and blah blah stuff !! But your so call ed quality Content is hard to rank without links ??

  • Subhash Jain

    It is amply clear that quality content rules in #seo . But this video of #mattcutts  is contradictory to his other video that backlinks still have many years in them. It is difficult to understand and get the clue of Google algorithm. Keep on guessing how Google returns the results on a search query.

  • Nova Solutions

    Matt Cutts explains how quality of the content  is important but not the spammy stuffing of keyword on the page. Links are important but Google will determine quality of content and rank your page even without links. 

  • deboti chowdhury

    So what you mean is, if I write a quality content in a popular topic, without the help of good links, the content will not rank. So just writing a quality content is not enough?

  • Paul Watchorn

    I have to disagree with that clip to some extent. I agree that in the most part, what was said tends to be what is happening. However, I find myself using other search engines now because of the amount of  ‘directory pages’ returned.

    For example, If I am looking for a pair of red shoes I might search for ‘red shoes’ and then the name of the town.

    This will most often bring up the usual Google ads, then the maps, then the organically ranked sites.

    All good so far. Except when I am searching on a mobile device. Then the searches that I see returned are limited the size of my device. This is when it becomes important to me to have returned to me sites that are useful.

    In the one or two slots left for organic sites I want to see nice informative sites with some photos directly relating to my search. In one click.

    I don’t want directory sites such as yell etc taking up the precious space on my mobile device.

    Now I can see a directory full of shoe makers. Some have a site, some don’t. Some are dead ends, some are not. It’s not a good experience for me.

    To be fair, given Google’s ethos in terms of delivering relevant content rich web sites, I can’t understand why this has not been addressed as yet.

  • Dave Billings

    Stocking Stuffers result in agronomic penalties. It's like painting the windows of your store with bright red paint to attract customers from the road. Are they going out of business or what? Must say high rank credibility is in the hands of large conglomerates on high broad searched key-phrases like "patio furniture"…
    Feel the trend will end up more like Working Capitol instead of personal credit in the future to gain rank. Google has done a great job removing the junk but the only thing left is Walmart, Target and Overstock taking up all the real estate on first two pages. Mission impossible is possible…  Love the videos!

  • JDZarlino

    Dear   @I'm the head of the webspam team at Google I watched your video for ALS. How do I get on your planner for a phone call? @Governor John "Kiwanis Rocks" processes.

  • Catalin Voegel

    Kudos for the Video clip! Apologies for the intrusion, I would love your opinion. Have you heard the talk about – Trentvorty Generate Links Theorem (Sure I saw it on Google)? It is a great exclusive product for boosting your ranking with powerful backlinking without the headache. Ive heard some super things about it and my cousin after a lifetime of fighting got cool results with it.

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