I love experimenting with things when it comes to SEO and this zero link building case study is no different. Honestly, the best SEO advice I can give to anyone is that you should never believe anything you read until you have tested it for yourself.
You might not have realised it, but this blog is an experiment to see what happens if you do SEO without link building…
UPDATE: Track the performance of this experiment here. You’ll be shocked.
You can also read the follow up post – How I Built A Top 100 Blog.
The Zero Link Building Case Study
I have never really payed much attention to the Google Webmaster Guidelines in my SEO efforts.
That Matt Cutt’s bloke keeps banging on about them so I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about and decided to setup an experiment.
Is it possible to rank a website in Google with nothing but high quality content and zero link building?
In essence, I wanted to know if it was possible to do SEO without link building or using any kind of link building tools.
To test that theory I created this SEO blog that does not use SEO to drive traffic.
Yes you read that correctly, my SEO blog about SEO will not use SEO to secure rankings and traffic. Irony ^^
Kind of like how John Chow makes money online by telling people how he make’s money online.
Instead I’m going to focus on sticking to the official Google Webmaster Guidelines as closely as possible. After reading through the guidelines and brushing up my skills via the Webmaster Academy I setup this blog and zero link building case study.
The end game is to create a loyal base of fans and subscribers through E-mail, Social Media & RSS with a steady flow of traffic from Google without any link building or PPC.
The methods I’m going to use can be broken down into 2 parts, content creation and promotion.
Matt Cutts always says that the best way to get links and rankings is by creating great content as that will naturally attract links rather than relying on link building tools.
That makes sense to me, but what is great content exactly?
I watched this video for some ideas-
- Create a blog and establish yourself as an authority
- Do something that is unique/different/original
- Create content that is useful/helpful to the community
- Answers common questions in your niche
- Publish original research
- Create videos
- Publish how to guides and tutorials
- Create lists of helpful resources
Can you name an SEO blog that does all of that? No one seems to offer anything original; it’s just the same generic around the block advice written in different ways over and over again.
What makes things worse is that a lot of the stuff that gets published as fact is actually just baseless thought and opinion.
Very rarely do I find an SEO blog that has something new, unique or different to offer which creates the perfect opportunity for my zero link building case study.
My Content Strategy
With that in mind I’m going to create the ultimate resource for SEO’s that is jam packed with helpful content based on my own research, knowledge and experience.
I’m going to tackle a lot of the common problems SEO’s face through a series of tutorials in the form of videos and blog posts.
I’ve already published a few examples-
- The Ultimate Guide To Tiered Link Building
- How To Analyse Your Backlink Profile To Fix Current & Future Penalties
I have always relied on SEO to drive traffic to my sites. Although I have experience with other methods, SEO is my bread and butter.
If Matt Cutt’s is right, then publishing high quality content should do the trick when it comes to promotion. As more people discover my content, they will share it/link to it which will allow more people to discover it and so forth.
Ideally I will want to create content that is so good, it will promote itself.
When people read what I have created they should be falling over themselves to subscribe for updates via email, follow me on Twitter, sharing the page on social media and so on.
So how can I get the ball rolling?
My Promotion Strategy
My entire promotional strategy to drive traffic is as simple as-
- Posting on forums like TrafficPlanet, WarriorForum & DigitalPoint
- Getting involved on Twitter / Facebook (SEO types seem to prefer Twitter)
- Commenting on blog posts (with links to my tutorials if related)
- Setting up some ninja Google Alerts to find new places to get involved
- Asking people to share the page to get access to my exclusive personal resources
- Just straight up asking people to share
Seem’s pretty basic and straightforward right? I’m also going to make sure that it is easy for people to share my content, connect with me on social media and subscribe to e-mail updates.
I’m hoping that the combination of those mechanisms with great content will be enough to snowball the blog to success.
Every month I will write a detailed report about the sites progress and tell you exactly what I have done to get it there.
This will be a great resource for myself and readers of the blog. It will help me keep track of progress efficiently while teaching readers what to do and what not to do.
The reports will be classed as ‘great content’ in their own right.
These monthly reports will include key metrics such as-
- Traffic statistics
- The number of e-mail sign ups
- Social media growth
- Number of affiliate links clicked
- Income reports
- All the juicy details of what I have done and how I did it!
- And a bunch of other stuff
SEO Without Link Building Is Crazy
Part of me feels like this zero link building case study is doomed to fail and it really does push me out of my comfort zone completely. I have never created video tutorials before or used my knowledge and experience to teach/help others.
I have always relied on creating links to get rankings and traffic, but now I’m only relying on creating great content to get links to get rankings and traffic. Scary!
On the other hand I believe this could be one of the most rewarding SEO experiments I have ever done. I have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share and I’m hoping that will help out real people like you.
Will You Help Me?
If you want to help me out with this experiment and say thanks for my tutorials then please take 60 seconds to share them.
You can do that by-
- Posting on SEO & webmaster forums
- Sharing them with friends on social media
- Writing about them on your blog
- Sharing them with your e-mail list
- Leaving comments & ratings
Be sure to drop me a mail if you share them and I’ll shout you out in the monthly reports!
Over To You
What do you think? Is SEO without link building even possible?
Do you have any tips or advice on what I should be doing to make this a success?
Is a zero link building case study setup for success or failure?