SEO - All The Back Links in The World Will Not Make Your Website Rank

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company License: 471.000044

Anyone that has any interest in SEO will likely have heard about backlinks. Just yesterday I had a conversation with a digital marketing ageny who have hired me to do their clients SEO work.

We talked about the best components of a website in an age where it is becoming harder by the day to get top page rankings. The subject of backlinks popped up and we explored a few websites to view the estimated traffic received every month based on their content marketing. We then compared the quantity of backlinks.

While backlinks maybe important, they are at the tail end of your SEO efforts, not the beginning. 


Because all the backlinks in the world will not make your website climb to dizzy heights if you have not got the basics done first. Content marketing is something you MUST have. Show your expertise, show yourself, provide information so your web vistors don't go anywhere else. Make it clear as daylight that your website has the information they need.

Make your content easily readable, lay it out with headings, paragraphs, pictures, titles and descriptions.

Long Form Content is Here

We also talked about their designers concept of pages, easy and quick content. They have this wrong. Throwing up pages of minimal content and expect more dizzy search heights is not going to work. You need to add some long form content and if brave enough get a pillar post or page in every now and then.(3,000+ words).

Not every content piece has to be huge, a good mix is much easier to achieve.

Now Look For Links

Once your content marketing is on a roll you should analyse your traffic. Use Ubersuggest to see if you can find phrases to help your rankings. After that, assuming the rest is done, now you can worry about your backlinks. In real estate finding places to link to you is not hard. Some of the clients the agency has are a lot more difficult.

Site Review

Here is a result of one of the sites we researched yesterday. That's a lot of backlinks and I did show the agency how to see where they are coming from. Suffice to say it proves the point. You need content first.

  • Expected monthly traffic - 5
  • Backlinks - almost 50,000
  • 2 years of traffic history - maxed out at 10

My Apologies - The formatting on AR sucks, I am not going to spend forever trying to fix how this looks!

seo results


Posted by

Corinne Guest

Realtor & Managing Broker
Barrington Realty Company

Call me today 847-363-3686. 

Barrington IL Real Estate


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Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Corinne Guest ,

Excellent post and congratulations on the feature...well deserved. You are a wealth of information and we are grateful for your sharing with us.

Dec 15, 2018 05:02 AM #13
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, I agree.  You actually need both.  But, create great content first, then build the backlinks.

Dec 15, 2018 06:56 AM #14
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

This proves that there is so much out there I still need to learn. It amazes me how people learn about this. I might need a "snow day" with You Tube to learn stuff I don't know I need to learn.

Dec 15, 2018 07:19 AM #15
Philip Mann
iDesignYours - Manhattan, NY
Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing

Nice article Corinne, thank you for your efforts. What's on the page is more important than what links to it, in my opinion, although if content is the cake, backlinks may be the icing. Let's not forget title tags, descriptions and headers as well. I recently worked on local SEO for a translation company in Virginia. With on page SEO and the right content, the page ended up ranking no. 1 organically, no backlinks. 

Dec 15, 2018 09:44 AM #16
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Thank you for sharing this great information Corinne Guest. 3000 words you say?  

Dec 15, 2018 10:05 AM #17
Valeria Mola
SIB REALTY - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty

Something new to me too. 

Thank you, Corinne Guest 

Dec 15, 2018 10:47 AM #18
Parminder Singh
Douglas Elliman - Plainview, NY
LI REALTOR (Licensed Real Estate Agent)

I definitely agree with the claims in this article, you must have good content on your website in order for backlinks to be effective over time. Content is the "glue" to keep the users coming back and growing the count. I think 1000-1500 words would be appropriate enough for beginners. 3K is a bit too much for mobile user experience. (maybe break it into segment of pages)?

Dec 15, 2018 11:13 AM #19
Janice Zaltman Realtor, LEED AP
United Realty Group - Boca Raton, FL

Interesting information and thank you. I thought people today want everything quick and fast. Can you also see how long they are staying on your page with analytics?

Dec 15, 2018 08:01 PM #20
Eva B. Liland with Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service

Content to me is the way to go, the rest will come later. The main problem is finding the time to do it all. I'm always out there in the trenches and getting listings, no time for anything else. I get my leads from buyers calling me because they found me on Trulia, Zillow or Realtor, works for me.

Dec 16, 2018 04:25 AM #21
Jim Peck
Manatee Real Estate, TC - Port Salerno, FL
Local Agents providing Local Expertise

So Corrine, if you do not mind, what is the basic step to evaluate a real estate website via others in the market?

Dec 16, 2018 05:53 AM #22
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

A well crafted plan involves starting with long-form quality content. It is one of the cornerstones our sites need to attract prospective clients. Natural backlinks should follow suit after the content is available.

Dec 16, 2018 08:04 AM #23
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Hi Corinne, I think you are spot on with long-form content but a lot of 'boutique' webs have a sparse look with large full-screen images and small columns with basically links to higher internal content.  And these seem to rank higher than the 'traditional' paragraph descriptive content, etc.  What do you think?  One school of thought deems basic keywords and brevity better than keyword stuffing.  Thank you.

Dec 16, 2018 02:16 PM #24
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Hi Corinne, great information about SEO and the value of quality content versus relying on just backlinks. I'd like to add consistency is critical.  Once you get to the top, to stay at the top you have to constantly add new content to your website or you will drop right back down in the rankings.

Dec 17, 2018 04:56 AM #25
Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Top Producing / Full Service REALTOR in Marylan

Thanks for sharing this info to inspire all of us bloggers to focus on quality of our posts to get the best SEO.

Dec 17, 2018 05:31 AM #26
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Just shows to go you...getting "on a roll" with writing has benefit!

Dec 17, 2018 09:44 AM #27
Rhonda Burgess
Southern Living Realty Partners - Smyrna, TN
Moving to Nashville TN Real Estate Specialist

One thing that has helped me with my long form content is PLR (private label rights) articles that I picked up for about a penny a piece. They serve as the best template and I just rewrite it in my own voice and add my links. Saves me a bunch of time and angst. 

Dec 17, 2018 09:29 PM #28
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Going to check out Ubersuggest.  Always need to stay with the current trends.  

Dec 18, 2018 12:00 PM #29
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Corinne, I thought backlinks was important a few years ago, but lost traction.   SO much better to have pages and pages of content.

Dec 20, 2018 07:23 AM #30
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I struggle with the words, Corinne! While I'm typically a 'verbose' writer, I would say my average is 500 words. It's SO hard for me to write over 2,000! I need to work on this, for sure. And, I totally agree with your link comments - it is the icing on the already content-filled articles. The proof is in the pudding, as in your graphic, that's for sure!

Happy, happy, merry, merry to you and yours!

Dec 24, 2018 07:08 AM #31
Krista Jenkins, REALTOR®
Egenbacher Real Estate - Lubbock, TX
Residential sales and retail & office leasing

Corinne Guest , I notice my formatting did the same thing, and it has been bothering me all day. Glad I am not the only one. I appreciate the information. I am learning WordPress and will be tackling SEO in the process. It is a labor of love.

Mar 22, 2019 03:00 PM #32
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