Take a look at the pie chart below, generously provided by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz:
A quick review of the chart reveals that when it comes to SEO, what people do in response to
your site on other sites is way more than half the battle:
- 23.87% – The general trust and authority that your domain has due to quality incoming links is the largest indicator of SEO success. Google treats links that flow into your site steadily over time as an indication that other people trust your site, find value in it, and reference your content as an authoritative citation. Therefore, Google trusts your site too.
- 22.33% – The number of links to a specific page on your site matters a lot too. That’s why the engagement and quality of the content of the page is directly related to the probability of attracting natural incoming links.
- 20.26% – The anchor text of links from other sites (anchor text is the words used in the clickable portion of a link) matters because this is Google’s way of finding out what your
page is about according to other people, not just the keywords you choose to use.
In other words, it’s like my favorite saying goes:
What people say about you is more important than what you say about yourself.
In this case, Google wants to know that people are linking to you, and which words they’re using to link
to you (anchor text), because that’s a more trusted relevance indicator.
So yes . . . compelling content is always rule number one. But just like great content goes unnoticed without promotion, great content doesn’t rank well if you don’t make it clear what it’s supposed to rank for.
But how do we get people to notice our content so they can link to it? That’s where social media comes in. Blogs, social news sites like Digg and Reddit, social networking hubs like Twitter and Facebook – these are organic content distribution systems powered by your friends and fans (and their friends and fans, and so on).
It may come as a surprise that some of the brightest minds in social media are SEOs, and they’re completely on the up-and-up and non-shady. That’s because social media allows content to be shared, and sharing results in the links that are vital to getting content to rank well in search engines.