There are a few problems that plague the seo community, one of which is the snake-oil salesmen and the other is the same old regurgitated posts about how “content is king”, “paid links are bad” or even good old “SEO is dead”.
Coupled with Google’s QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) and the seemingly endless Panda updates, many SEO companies have wrongly assumed that in order to rank they must bring out new and unique content frequently. However, they forget that content is only king when they are writing for a niche market or the keywords aren’t as competitive, otherwise you’ll have bring links/traffic to that article in order for it to rank well within the Panda entrenched SERP field.
As an example I once wrote an article on how to get the Windows 98 operating system to run on Qemu, which, at the time, had very little information to help people to get this running. Although the how-to article is a little outdated, it still gets me some traffic to this day.
Think of it in terms of Chess – the King, although the most important piece on the board can only move 1 space in an 8-way directional path (up, down, left, right and diagonals). This king represents your content, whereas your Queen – the most powerful piece on the board with the ability to move any number of spaces in an 8-way directional path – represents your link building efforts. When the board is full of opposition pieces, the king is potentially under threat but if the opposition has less pieces, it weakens the threat imposed on your king.
This also brings forth another point surrounding the issue.
If this content is to be written, who requires it?
A few months ago, this was addressed by Yousaf Sekander when he said that many SME’s (specifically referring to tradesmen like locksmiths and plumbers) were not required to produce good content in order to rank well in the SERPs, however, with Google’s enforcement of these practices, this prospect seems increasingly so.