Proof that Creating Good Content Should be your #1 Priority

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I am writing this post because this morning I stumbled across a little statistic about Do It With WordPress that caught my eye and truly surprised me; this site now has a Pagerank of 4.

I created this site less than a year ago and have been creating content on a near-weekly basis ever since. I try to do some social media promotion and networking, but I find it hard to find the time to do so. My site has done alright, but it is by no means reaming with traffic; I get about 5,000 monthly visits and my Alexa Rank is somewhere in the 200,000s.

I have curiously and casually been keeping an eye on my site’s stats since I launched it and didn’t know when to expect my Pagerank to increase. Just a few weeks ago, my WordPress consulting site, The UK Edge, with an Alexa Rank of nearly two million and very few backlinks suddenly got bumped up to PR1, which was a shock to me. I figured that Do It With WordPress, which I invest much more time into had to have gone up also. I was wrong.

I didn’t think much of it though and carried on as usual. In my opinion, there’s no sense in trying to understand why my PR didn’t increase; I just kept doing what I knew to be good and right in the hope that it would pay off eventually.

Surely enough, when I looked this morning, my PR had soared to PR4, far further than I ever would have imagined it would have. I’m not sure whether Google have revised their algorithm to be more generous, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. It’s PR4 (for now) and I want to share a quick thought about how I got here.

As I already mentioned, I don’t spend nearly as much time as I would like to networking, or promoting my tutorials or getting to know people at any great depth. I don’t pay anyone for links or partake in traffic exchanges. I comment on maybe 4-5 other blogs a week. I’ve written maybe 4 guest posts and have never had any guest posts here on Do It With WordPress.

What I’m getting at is, I don’t do all the things that everyone claims you have to do to succeed at blogging (what is blogging success anyway?). I’ve been keeping my head down and focusing my attention on creating good content. When I have some spare time, I make sure that the first thing I do is check that I have enough content written and if I don’t, I get to writing. Then it goes towards commenting on a few blogs and networking on Twitter.

I am writing all of this in the hope that people will begin to realise that the stats don’t matter; your monthly hits, your Alexa rank, even your PR! The single most important thing is creating worthwhile content and all of the rest will follow suit.

Have you seen a PR increase lately? How much time do you spend on all the extra activities like social media and networking?

25 thoughts on “Proof that Creating Good Content Should be your #1 Priority”

  1. Paul Salmon says:

    My blog had a PR increase in the previous update, although it has yet to reach PR4. I agree with the fact that good content is what matters.

    To add a story of my own. When I first started blogging I had no idea about SEO, PR, or backlinks. I wrote my content and left it at that – no link building, no networking, no anything.

    Over time, two of my how-to posts start to generate traffic. People began to find the content useful to help solve their problem that those posts began being linked by others on various forums. As time went on, the posts continued to generate traffic for me.

    For the past three years the posts have consistently sent me over 1,000 daily visitors, and I have had to do nothing with those posts. The fact that the content was good enough to help others caused those articles to do well in search engines and send traffic my way.

    In the long run, good content will always succeed.

    1. Absolutely. I should note that there are a few best practices that will help success come quicker, like writing meta descriptions and titles for each post and building some backlinks, like you mentioned.

      I have a similar story though – there are a few articles on my site that for some reason have been long-standing traffic magnets. They’re not really any more special than any of my other posts, but they do very well. They in turn bring a good, constant stream of traffic my way. I’m not sure whether those visitors have become regular readers or one-time visitors, but either way, the good content has been rewarded with traffic.

      You can’t deny the power of creating good content. I sincerely hope that as blogs are being rewarded with more PR of late, that content scrapers and aggregators are equally penalized.

      Thanks for your insightful comment. Appreciate your viewpoint.

  2. Daniel Black says:

    You are absolutely right, good content is what should be given priority. I mean it’s logical as well, it’s a no brainer. If you post quality articles, people will definitely come to your website and refer your website to other people as well. If you post interesting and quality articles, this will automatically attract traffic.

    1. Indeed. It’s quite surprising that so many people miss this simple truth if you ask me!

  3. Ileane says:

    Bravo Dave! I’m sitting at PR4 on my blog now too and I agree that content has been the driving factor. Thanks for the encouragement and keep up the great work you do here.

    1. Congratulations yourself! Yes, I think that Google have also made some pretty serious changes to their PR algorithm recently, favoring original, useful content, which is benefitting bloggers (and rightly so!)

  4. bodynsoil says:

    Congratulations on your page rank number, like you, I was surprised when I first checked my number and found my blog was at a 3. Good luck and keep those numbers rolling in the right direction..

  5. Nishadha says:

    If you get a high PR more often than not it is because authority sites with high PR has linked to you. My blog has hundreds of back links is PR2 but I have internal pages with very few back links that has PR4. Google is trying to award quality content and it could also be a factor in PR.

  6. Dan says:

    Sometimes Google is just too ambiguous – in June the PR was 4, in July (just a few weeks later) is PR 3. Hm…i really don’t get it. They wait for 1 year to update the page rank and then in just 1 month they make 2 updates. Anyway, quality content and interesting subjects are important as well as keeping a constant, fresh content.

    1. Yes, Google are very up and down with their PageRank updates, but I think that’s a good thing, because it doesn’t allow to us to wait on tenter hooks for the next update to come out and see what our score is. Instead, our focus must be to continue producing good content and the benefits of that will be reflected in the PR score over time.

  7. AstroGremlin says:

    Another great article, Dave. My experience has been similar: certain articles get several views a day, every day. Guess if I keep writing posts, that pitter patter will become enough to fill a rain barrel. Here’s my theory about you site: You are a constant source of useful information.

  8. Farhan says:

    If you are providing quality fresh content that people like to read, the search engines will love you. Readers who find you via search engines will spend longer on your page.

    1. Indeed. In Google’s Panda algorithm update earlier this year, they put a lot more emphasis on unique and useful content, while trying to weed out the content farms. I’d say that they’ve been doing a good job of it so far.

  9. Content is indeed important but what I’m seeing now is the social experience is also impacting how well we rank sites.

    Google’s Panda update is more about user experience from what we have been seeing. It was great to get a boost when low quality spamming sites got dropped in ranking in several of our competitive niches.

    1. Indeed. The Panda update has been a much more user-centric update and Google has been very open about the fact that social integration is playing into results, particularly +1s.

      Thanks for your input.

  10. matty says:

    hi dave
    well done on your PR! i am pleased you have shared this story because i am in a similar situation… few blog comments per week, near weekly post on my site and that’s it, not much time for anything else due to work and other commitments. i try and research certain seo services to use every so often because social networking, social bookmarking, creating various web 2.0 properties and then updating and maintaining all of this is like a full time job.

    my site is only 2 months old, barely any visitors and PR0. however this post has given me the encouragement to stay committed and concentrate on the content with whatever seo i can do and hopefully things will pick up

    1. Yeah, your short history is likely the sole reason you’re still at PR0, but it really doesn’t matter. You’ll get your update eventually, but just remember that the numbers don’t matter too much; try not to focus on them and instead focus on your content and on your readers.

  11. For those of us that are just starting out with a blog with the hopes of even getting to a Pagerank of 1 much less 4, your post was very enlightening. It is amazing that in a little less than a year, you managed to get a Pagerank of 4 pretty much with quality content alone. Now, I’m going to re-review the post I am currently working on to see if I can make it even better. Thanks for the post and the encouragement.

    1. I think it is more as a result of the recent Panda update and PageRank algorithm tweaks, but regardless, good content is being rewarded and if you keep at it, I’m sure you’ll get there.

  12. AstroGremlin says:

    Dave, just to let you know, your site is listed at the site referenced in my article below! Just came out today.

  13. Tom says:

    They don’t say that content is king for nothing. In terms of blogging success, for me that would be loads of traffic that results in sales of anything that I am trying to sell via my blog.

  14. Erich says:

    Your sudden jump to PR4 is enviable, Dave. A site that I started this March did get ranked to PR1 after I’ve neglected it for several months, and I was so surprised. I didn’t expect it to rank that quickly at all. But, I did focus on publishing worthwhile on that other site of mine. I’ve got this new site about Android, and I’m also hoping to see a similar thing happen to it. But, for the meantime, I don’t think I should worry much about it and instead use my time more on producing quality content. Yeah, I intend to keep doing what I knew to be good and right. :-D

    1. Absolutely. That’s one of my biggest urges to people who are getting into blogging. Ignore the numbers and focus on content and relationship-building. Focusing on numbers is completely unproductive for the most part. After all, people come to your site for the content, not the numbers associated with it.

      1. Erich says:

        I think it’s also important to balance between production of quality content and promotion, Dave. After all, of what us will my golden content be if no one even knows it exists? I don’t know what the healthy balance would be, though I suspect it should be around 40% content production and 60% promotion. Is this the same in the case of your blog? I won’t believe you if you say you just wrote content and the visitors just magically arrived. :D

        1. Well, originally I was probably spending about 50/50. I think that has erred on the side of more time spent on content production now. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more time promoting than creating content. I’ve been wise about how to spend my promotion time though, in building relationships and seeking out people on Twitter who need help, who I can assist. Obviously, it wasn’t an overnight thing, but I genuinely believe in spending more time in creating content than promoting.

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