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Do you believe content marketing is overshadowing the efforts of link building? Are they co-existent? Or are they separate?

Should content marketing and link building be conflated? For instance, they share common end goals, including, but not exclusive to brand building, creating/building relationships, improving online visibility/SEM, and help drive traffic/SEO. Although content marketing and link building go great together they often are implemented independently from each other. Content marketing undertakes the form of content on your own domain, which eliminates one of the most trying “chores” of link building: link prospecting. Content marketing is about disseminating a key message. So to me, I’ll sum it up like this: You can have a car that can have some really shiny rims. Those rims can add value to your car and bring you a lot of attention, or it may not and can actually throw people off. The thing is, you can get rid of the shiny fancy rims and still have a great running car with great value and can still get a lot of attention simply because of the car. But without the car, the rims have no purpose. The car is content marketing and rims are the actions of link building. So you can use link building with content marketing and it may or may not work, but content marketing will still work even if you don’t use link building.

Do you believe quality content is determined by the text, the theme, the # of links the article possesses or the uniqueness of the content?

I honestly think quality content is in conveying the message in such a way where the theme of the story and text of it, from the voice it carries to how long it is, to the number of links added to it, and throughout all must make sense and be valid. If all of these points come together and one doesn’t seem to be trying to outweigh the other to persuade the reader otherwise, then you have high-quality content. In my opinion, it’s all about the balance of everything.

Is PPC a real form of marketing?

It could be a real form of “spamming” (but that depends on who you ask). I think it’s like steroids. It’ll give you that one quick high of impressions, probably website views, and activity, but long term it will ultimately do you no good. If you’re trying to get to a certain % by the end of the fourth quarter, then I could see the use of PPC marketing per say. But you can never go wrong with gaining things organically, they generally last longer and lead to more sales. It’s like you can do PPC marketing and get 100 hits at the return of a penny (but you ultimately paid for that) vs you do organic marketing and get 1 hit at the return of $100 (at which you more than likely didn’t pay for anything extra than your time).

Is link building an essential part of SEO? Is it more valuable for SMB or a B2B business?

I think if we “reinvented” what we initially associate when we read or hear the words “link building” then I would say yes it is. Most, and even with me, I hear/read “link-building” and think “card stuffing”… If it is done properly without overly doing it and it all makes sense to the overall story and portrayal you want your brand to have, it is great. I think it’s more valuable for SMB. Small and Medium Size Businesses can use all the help they can get, plus they have more emphasis (and more to lose) when it comes to the location that they can come up higher in the search result rankings. It does more for them in that regard than maybe B2B which is more prone to emphasize key services, capabilities, and most have more than one location and are less focused on that, not that location isn’t as important to them. Sure, they want people to search their services wherever they are to be on the first page, but what I am saying is that SMBs have more to lose than B2B.

Does it matter if your website is optimized for search when engaging in link building?

It ALWAYS matters that your website is optimized for search regardless of if you’re engaging in link building in my opinion. Again referencing back to my answer to question one, you can stay alive “digitally” (as far as digital presence) with an optimized for search website whether you engage in link building or not. That’s your car. Link building is your shiny fancy rims that ultimately you can have, but could live without.