Two of the most important factors of Google's algorithm are content relevancy and backlinks. These two factors are the most basic and every other factor revolves around these two. Now, the question arises as to which factor is most important- Content or Backlinks?
Content Vs Backlinks
The intelligent search engine optimizers and web marketers would say- both are important and we cannot rely on just one but where do these factors stand today?
I have analyzed several websites and undoubtedly backlinks seems to be winning the race. Now, if someone puts up a question before me as which is more important- content or backlinks? I will say backlinks are the most important factor working for Google until now.
I have seen many websites having lots of quality content but lack of backlinks pushed them out of the Google search results. This is sad for the webmasters but not to worry as this is how Google's algorithm works.
Google puts a lot of emphasis on backlinks and sites that are having millions of backlinks pointing to them can
easily rank for any competitive keyword even if they do not have complete information in them. On the other hand, sites that are having complete information but are lacking backlinks have fewer chance of ranking as Google thinks them to be "not so popular and trustworthy" to be presented before the user.
The Bigger Picture
It is important for Google to work this way because having lots of content rich pages on the site that aren't shared or linked back are just junk and nothing else (Most of the sites are like this, although there are exceptions). There are tons of websites on the web that are having thousands of pages in them but out of those thousand pages rarely any web page ever ranks on Google. On the contrary, sites having just 50-100 pages but having strong inbound links manages to get all of those 50-100 pages get ranked on Google. Such is the power of backlinks.
Hence, this battle of ranking is still continuing with thousands of websites being launched everyday and entering
the race of competing online on Google SERPs. Needless to say, search engine optimization, site promotion, link building, social promotion all are extremely important.