It may be Queen, but it is definitely not King and I’ll tell you why. I’m really tired of hearing the virtues of content when all of the search engines put more value on off-site influences. If content really were king and you had ten sites that were all on the same subject, well written and optimized, how would the search engines determine which site was most relevant? One of those sites is going to have to be first and one of those sites is going to have to be tenth. Well, Google found an answer for this and that is off-site influences, specifically link popularity – sites linking to your site. Each site linking to you is a “vote” for your site saying, “this site is about so and so.”
This off-site influence is so strong that sites can rank extremely well for terms that don’t even exist in the site’s copy. If you search “miserable failure” on Google the #1 site is Biography of President George Bush. If you search the copy on the homepage you’ll find that the term “miserable failure” does not even exist on the page. If content is king how can a site rank #1 for a term that doesn’t even exist on the page? Isn’t this telling us that content really isn’t king and that link popularity is really the reigning power?
I have a site that I put up for my mom’s book all about chastity, sex and relationships. The whole book is available to read online either on html pages or pdfs. The content is relevant and beautifully written. Is is #1 for chastity in any of the search engines? No. Why? Because it lacks link popularity.
Content is not King and probably never will be. It definitely helps, but it will never give you the weight in search engines that link popularity does now.