Can Your Site Get Ranked Without Links?

There has been an ever increasing debate between content marketers and search engine optimization professionals on whether or not you could manage to get your websites ranked without links in the search engines.  Obviously the primary place they want to get this accomplished is on Google.  Unfortunately these two groups of proponents can’t seem to come up with an answer they can both agree on.  Thus leaving the small business marketing professional new to the online space scratching their head in frustration.



So let me give you my opinion and hopefully it helps at least give you some perspective on my thought process when it comes to implementing an SEO strategy for your websites.

First, I want to ensure you that I am a proponent for high quality content.

That’s why you have seen that my content that I have been publishing lately (Sunday night, Monday morning) has actually been a lot longer and more detailed that my long time readers are used to.

That is because readers are expecting more and more in the way of high quality content that is thorough and complete.  Thus, I tackle topics and provide what I think is the most in-depth answer.

I also provide on my site shorter posts that are also high quality usually in conjunction with video’s that I have found for you.  These posts are typically posted on Wednesday’s or Thursdays, and are there to keep you focused on your personal development or to simple pass on some news.

Clearly I have the high quality content piece down.

Sadly thought, not one person will see my site unless I promote it.

You Can Get a Site Ranked Without Links Through Promotion

The cornerstone of my SEO strategy is, and always has been, the promotion of my website in order to drive traffic.

Sure getting a site ranked on the first page of Google is awesome and other people will bow down to you in respect if you can do it.

we're not worthy

All of that ability doesn’t mean anything though if your ranking for words that don’t drive highly targeted traffic to your website.

And he search engines, combined with proper SEO, can bring you that traffic over the long term.   Only if, however, you take search engine optimization into account when your writing your content and optimizing your web pages.

Link building today is no longer about how many links you can get to your website with the same keyword.  That method doesn’t work anymore.  And quite frankly I am glad.   After all how is a small business owner supposed to compete with a big corporation who can feasibly generation millions of links a day if they wanted to.

Today link building is about promoting yourself or your business on high quality sites in a manner that is both respectful and engaging to the consumer.

More simple, link building today is about promotion of your website.

Think about this.

You just created this awesome high quality piece of content to your site and posted a link on your Facebook page.  You just made a link.

You sent an email through your autoresponder, Aweber actually turns your email into a web page.  You just made a link.

You submit your link to StumbleUpon, that site always provides traffic.  You just made a link.

Now you want to hear something funny.

If your creating links to promote your content in order to increase traffic to your website, you’re not in violation of Google’s Webmaster guidelines.

If you promote your link to hundreds of high traffic sites in order to get as much traffic as possible from them, you’re not in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines.

If you promote your link to the same hundreds of high traffic sites in order to get as much linking power to rank higher in the search engines, you are in violation of Google’s Webmaster guidelines.

Don’t you think that’s just a bit…….


The content marketers who are saying don’t build links, just create good stuff wouldn’t.

In Conclusion

To sum it all up in today’s market you simply can not ignore search engine optimization UNLESS you have a really good advertising budget in order to promote your content.

Even then, when your paying for content to be seen either through AdWords, Facebook, or Press Releases your essentially paying to get links on the same high authority sites that you would have gotten doing SEO.

Think about it, what would you rather do?

Pay to have an ad up on a site in your niche, or write a high quality piece of content for that site with a link to your website?

The ad your paying for will stop sending you traffic when you stop paying money.

The content piece you created will potentially send you traffic the WHOLE TIME THAT LINK IS UP!!  PLUS you get the SEO benefits of having that link there as well, potentially improving your rankings, thus providing highly targeted traffic to your website.

So, can a site be ranked without links, yes it can.  However, it won’t rank on the first page, much less in the first position without continued link building through the natural promotion of your content.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Ranked Without Links – Matt Cutts Spills The Beans On How

  1. Yea Clint I get a kick whenever people say they don’t build links yet post their content on FB, SU, Twitter etc. No, they’re not out building links for the sake of getting juice but they’re building links nonetheless. I enjoyed the post. Will be back.

  2. Hi Clint,

    This sure makes so much sense. When I write, I do sprinkle a little SEO in my content. I remember the old days when it was all about SEO, and those blog posts just weren’t readable! So, I never wanted to write that way.

    Yes, once I write something I do share it on 2 social media sites where most of my readers are. After that, people come on in and comment.

    I find that not writing for Google goes a long way. I believe that if we give good content and grow organically, with patience and persistence, we are OK

    Good to see you again,


    • Hi Donna!!! Great to hear from you again!

      I do remember when we were a part of a group or two. In those groups like minded people (you know geniuses like us lol) agreed to go each others blogs and comment on our work. It was a great networking method and formed some solid relationships. What it also did was server to build links to our sites. In every comment we made actually. See you were link building and establishing the authority of your blog so you can grow your millions of social media fans. Now they are link building for you when they share your content.

      No matter how much people deny they are doing SEO. If you have a website, your doing SEO everyday.

      Sure, write for people, that’s what I do. Just be smart and give the search engines a little thought as you go about you content creation day.