How to create shareable, link-worthy content in the AI era


In 2023, Google’s Gary Illyes stated that links are no longer the third most important Google ranking factor.

Was he lying?

A recent study by Internet Marketing Ninjas showed that over 96% of websites in the Top 10 search results have more than 1,000 backlinks from unique domains.

And only 0.3% have less than 100.

Clearly, websites that rank well in Google Search tend to have more high-quality backlinks.

What is the key to earning those precious nods from other websites?

Content-based link building.

Content-based link building is a strategy used in SEO to acquire backlinks by creating and promoting high-quality content.

Instead of actively soliciting links from other websites, which can be seen as spammy or manipulative, content-based link building focuses on creating valuable, informative or entertaining content that naturally attracts links from other sites.

What types of content tend to earn the most links?

There are two critical elements: relevance and value.

Your content should resonate with other websites, filling a gap in their content or sparking a new idea.

Think long-form content – comprehensive guides, groundbreaking research, visually stunning infographics and forward-thinking opinion pieces – content with a certain “stickiness” that encourages other sites to link back to it as a trusted authority.

Content that attracts high-quality links often falls into certain categories, including:

  • Case studies
  • Industry reports
  • Controversial or opinionated pieces
  • Interviews with industry experts

Creating content that attracts links isn’t rocket science. You simply need to focus on providing helpful information that answers the burning questions of your target audience.

When you do, you’ll become the default authority in your industry.

Readers respond to engaging headlines, subheadings and eye-catching visuals that segment the text.

To add credibility, illustrate your points with specific data and relatable examples that resonate with your audience.

Dig deeper: How to create linkable assets with ChatGPT

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Want to turbocharge your website’s visibility? Focus on building quality backlinks with these seven strategies.

1. Create linkable assets

Develop valuable resources like infographics, whitepapers or interactive tools that naturally attract links. These linkable assets provide unique value that other sites will want to reference and share with their audience, helping you earn valuable backlinks.

2. Guest posting

Reach out to relevant websites in your niche and offer to write a high-quality guest post. This lets you tap into their audience while earning a backlink to your site. But make sure to choose only reputable sites that are aligned with your target audience.

Find broken links on relevant websites, then reach out to the site owner and offer your content as a replacement. This technique helps site owners fix their broken links while allowing you to earn a valuable backlink and demonstrate your expertise.

4. Skyscraper technique

Find popular content in your niche, then create an even better version. Reach out to sites linking to the original piece and let them know about your improved resource. If your content is truly valuable, many of these sites will update their links.

5. Expert roundups

Create a roundup post featuring insights from industry experts. Reach out to these experts and let them know they’ve been featured. Many will share the post with their audience, driving traffic and earning natural links.

6. Resource pages

Many websites have resource pages that link to helpful content on a specific topic. Find relevant resource pages in your niche and reach out to suggest your content as a valuable addition. If your resource truly adds value, you can earn a high-quality link.

7. Digital PR

Create newsworthy content like original research, surveys or industry reports. Pitch this content to journalists and publications in your niche, and if they cover your story, you’ll earn authoritative links from trusted media sites.

The key to any link building strategy is to focus on providing genuine value. Your content needs to be link-worthy – something that other sites would want to reference and share with their audience to enhance the user experience.

Dig deeper: How to use digital PR to drive backlinks and business growth

Today’s social media landscape offers a unique chance to build relationships and earn links.

Get your audience buzzing by asking thought-provoking questions, sparking lively discussions and responding to comments.

As your social engagement rises, you’ll naturally attract links from people who stumble upon your content.

Another tactic is to mention influencers and thought leaders when sharing your content. If you’ve referenced their work or included their insights, tag them in your social posts, and many will reshare the post with their followers, expanding your reach and increasing your chances of earning links.

Connect with journalists and publications in your industry. Engage with their posts, and when the timing is right, pitch your content for a chance to land valuable backlinks and boost your brand’s visibility.

Remember, link building is about more than just creating great content – it’s about getting that content in front of the right people. Harness the power of social media to promote your content, build relationships and get those high-quality links pointing to your site.

The future of content is being rewritten by AI and the landscape is shifting rapidly.

These days, artificial intelligence is cranking out incredibly realistic content at lightning speed, making it easy for marketers to whip up social media posts, blog articles and ad copy.

But while this tech is undeniably cool, it’s also making link building a bit of a puzzle.

The web is awash with AI-generated content, making it tough to cut through the noise and earn those prized high-quality backlinks.

What will give you a unique advantage is your human touch. It’s all about tapping into people’s emotions, sharing real-life experiences and offering genuine perspectives – things that AI systems are still struggling to master.

With AI-generated content on the rise, creating truly exceptional content is more crucial than ever. Here are three things to keep in mind when generating link-worthy AI content.

  • Prioritize E-E-A-T: Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines are more important than ever. Create content that showcases your unique expertise and experiences to build trust with your target audience.
  • Focus on user intent: Instead of just targeting keywords, create content that addresses the underlying needs and questions of your target audience. Use tools like Answer the Public to uncover the topics and queries that users are searching for.
  • Experiment with new formats: While long-form content can be great for link building, don’t be afraid to experiment with shorter, more visual formats like infographics, videos and interactive tools. These can be highly shareable and help you stand out in a sea of text-heavy content.

AI may be wreaking havoc on the link building landscape, but it also presents new opportunities for those willing to adapt and innovate.

By focusing on creating unique, valuable content that meets the needs of your target audience, you can continue to earn high-quality backlinks and establish your website as a go-to resource in your industry.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for Search Engine Land and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the search community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.



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