Ask any SEO expert out there about the best way to increase traffic to your blog, and they will undoubtedly say: get more quality backlinks! Which is generally true, especially in extremely crowded niches like most of them are out there nowadays. But if you know me, you know that I believe and encourage websites that grow naturally and get backlinks from people who really want to link back to your webiste. Which is, obviously, the most difficult thing to do and which, in turn, might result in a ton of time spent with zero backlinks. Can such a website rank and rank well in Google?

Of course it can!

I found out after a total fluke: I was writing one article for one of my blogs on relatively new, low profile product, but decided to do a Google search on that keyword anyways. Guess what? There was already an entire website dedicated to that given keyword, with a partial match domain name and ranking out there at #1 in Google. Tons of backlinks, I said and decided to check it out at Sem Rush to see where did they get those links.

ZERO backlinks 01

Surprise! The website had ZERO backlinks. SEM Rush estimated just ~200 US visitors per day which is not much (because we’re talking about an entertainment type of website), but I can guarantee that it was receiving well above that, since my article which was ranking at #2 was getting close to 250 visitors per day… and that was an entire website ranking on even more long tail keywords!

Just for the sake of comparison, here are the stats for my website, an authority-type of website that was directly competing against the Zero backlinks one:

ZERO backlinks 02

A week after the publication of my article, it was still ranking at #2 in Google, but then, after around 10 days, my article finally went to number 1 for the targeted keyword, ahead of the zero links website which is currently sitting safely at #2 at the moment of writing. A great performance from a partial match domain name and zero backlinks, right?

What can we learn from this?

I have always said and claimed that Google loves great content now and I believe that this is a clear proof of that. Undoubtedly, the zero links website had really good content and I am sure that was the main reason for them to rank so well. The website also was the first one to talk in depth about that particular product, enjoying zero competition until my article popped up – and then many more appeared, but they’re still at number two! In other words, if you can find a good niche, you can really rank with just good content! And a partial or exact match domain!

However, this doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore backlink building, like I usually do, ha! But one or two high quality links would most certainly help.

Here is my strategy, described in the insta-success website formula (which is basically what the zero links website was): I post one or two comments on a few blogs or just a couple, I push the content to some big social websites (Reddit, Facebook, Stumbleupon) and then I wait. If things look good and I believe I have a good product, I also purchase a package from The Hoth (I still use them with great results after all this time and I am glad with their services!) but usually I skip The Hoth or paid-for links altogether because I am building entertainment websites that only live 6-9 months anyway and generate little in revenue as Affiliate marketing is not working there. But if you do it with an affiliate website, you can reap on the rewards like a thirsty person finding a well full of cold water after wandering a couple of days in the desert.

Did you manage to rank a website with zero links, one or just a couple? Is this something you’d like to try or you want to stick to the classic, already tested and proven to work methods of link building?

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for sharing, Calin!

    The Hoth sounds interesting, although I’m naturally scared to use any SEO service, and they don’t even describe what ‘white hat’ tactics they use on their home page (all I see is a signup form, nothing else). Oh wait, just found their packages in their list of links at the bottom. Weird.

    • They basically do what anybody could do by themselves if they had some time on their hands – I don’t 🙂 I was skeptical at first, but every time I used them, the results were there, even though I didn’t have huge spikes in traffic.

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