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There is a debate among SEO professionals as to how quickly acquiring links can affect the ranking of a particular site. You can find several differing opinions about the subject, and other key factors in SEO, by reading http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors.
In my opinion, the major factor is whether or not the links are acquired naturally. Link farms can literally give you thousands of links almost instantaneously, but so can an article which gets a lot of attention in the social media circles. So what’s the difference?
The major difference is that a social media article generates links that are related to the content on your site and thereby relevant, whereas a link farm may provide links to pages that are completely unrelated to your content. This is a significant difference, as I have mentioned in some of my earlier posts. Links that are not relevant to the content on your page are not going to be counted.
I stated in my post Linking Can Be Scary, that a good strategy is to secure 1 link a week until you have more than 20 quality links, and 2 a week thereafter. I stand by that recommendation, however there can be exceptions. When you post an article on the social media sites like http://www.digg.com it can inspire people who are interested in your content to link to you. Because this can be somewhat viral, those links may come in rather quickly but the difference is that they are natural links (relevant to your copy).
As an example, we recently had a client who signed up for a link exchange that he saw in the newspaper (without asking us first). Almost immediately after receiving the links from this program, the client dropped out of the engines. We recommended that he stop purchasing links from this program, he did and two weeks later his rankings returned to what they had been before receiving a bunch of irrelevant links.
So while it is possible to generate many links quickly, it is imperative to avoid the traps that can harm you. Ask yourself, will associating myself with this site generate links that are closely related to my content? If the answer is yes, then go ahead with it. If not then it is best to steer clear.
Recently I read an article entitled Site content and use of web catalogues at Google Webmaster Central. It is disturbing that people are still trying to get results on the SERP pages by scraping content from other sources. Let’s face it, this is just poor strategy. I cannot stress this enough; when it comes to content, the only strategy that works in the long term is creating pages with original creative content that is relevant to the subject on the page.
Look at it like this, the job of the search engines is to provide its users with the information that is closely related to the products and services that they are searching for. When that content is copied (scraped) from somewhere else, it detracts from the user experience. This might work in the short term, but as the engines filter out duplicate content you are sure to lose whatever rankings you achieve with this method.
If you want your site to have a longstanding presence, write original copy for each page. Make sure that what you are writing about is related to the information, service or product that your website provides. If you have trouble coming up with content, do some research or hire a professional copywriter.
There are several steps you can take to ensure that your site is optimized from the backend, but all else being equal, content is king!
Many people are under the impression that developing multiple pages with irrelevant content is a good long-term strategy for ranking many pages within the site well. This of course is a misconception that needs clarification. The Google webmaster guidelines specifically states not to develop pages for the sole purpose of search engine rankings.
Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.
– Google Webmaster Guidelines
It is true that websites with more relevant content have a higher chance to rank well, so it would be in your best interest to develop these additional pages if and only if the content is unique and relevant. The primary purpose of developing these pages should be for the users that visit the site and ultimately read your content.