Who Wins Quality or Quantity

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I know what you are thinking not another quality vs. quantity posts. I hear you there, but at least it’s not another Pinterest or Facebook Timeline article! I swear I have seen more of them in the past couple of weeks than I can count. “How to set up your timeline,” or “You should do this with your timeline,” and “Are you using the timeline,” etc., etc., etc. I am just not so tuned into Facebook as much as I used to be.

Anyway, getting back on track…

We often hear things like quality trumps quantity, but this isn’t always the case and it may depend on what you are comparing. I mean I probably wouldn’t spend my last dollar on an expensive meal, even though the quality might be great. I would rather spend my last dollar sparingly and get as much as I could for it.

Content, ads, and word count:
When it comes to website content we hear things like a quality well written and researched articles will outperform poorly written articles. This might be true in some cases, but the circumstances vary widely and it would be difficult to come to that conclusion in every situation. We all have a different opinion of what quality is. If it’s not something we are familiar with it is nearly impossible to judge.

Is it copied? Does the site have too many ads or links? Do they promote unrelated content? If so, should it be considered poor quality? How about the number of words in an article? Is 500 words or less an indicator of quality? I read a lot of articles and there are plenty of 500 word articles out there that are better than 700-1000+ articles.

I don’t know how many times I have read an article on a popular website that had tons of tweets and likes. I wouldn’t say it was a terrible article, but I wouldn’t call it the best article in the world either. Certainly not worthy of hundreds of tweets and likes it managed to rack up, but that’s my opinion. Maybe some people thought it was a great article.

What about pictures / images – eye candy?
Is it absolutely necessary that quality content should include images? If so how many? This one seems like it could go either way. There are great articles that have just enough pictures to grab readers attention and interest, but there are also really informative posts with little or none.

Don’t forget about Backlinks either:
Now we have the whole quantity vs. quality backlinks talked about all the time. You usually hear people talking about quality backlinks, but if you do some digging there are a number of articles that seem to imply it doesn’t always matter so much.

I was reading an article the other day about how a specific site focused on quality backlinks, while the competitors that ranked right alongside them in the Google top 10 results seemed to be doing so based on the quantity of backlinks from mostly not so great sites. Many of them irrelevant and not even remotely related to the type of content the sites were about.

We are told by Google we should focus on quality, useful and helpful content, which will result in other sites linking to ours naturally. Wow! Really Google! Great idea, but it’s not going to happen in the real world. A lot of linking to other sites come from friends, acquaintances, plugs, and things like that. A sort of you mention my site or post, and I’ll mention yours type of thing. But, ultimately most of it comes from going out and getting your own backlinks, or hiring an SEO company to help you claim the top spot in Google, which of course varies considerably from one to the next.

Sure if you have a popular site and blast your name out to everywhere you can think of some people will link to your website regardless of whether it is good or not, but a lot of it is revolves around popularity rather than the actual content. Not always of course, but often.

If your site is new or not so popular it will be difficult to see much, if any natural linking. This is why you see contests and things being given away. People suddenly become much more interested, and likely to share or link to something when they have an incentive to do so.

I am not so convinced that quality always wins. It may help, but it seems to be more of a popularity contest along with playing the backlink game. You don’t necessarily need to have both. I am not saying write crappy content, and blast your website out to everywhere possible, but there are a lot of cases where quantity wins. You might even say spammers are gaining ground or winning a few battles.

Is it fair? I don’t know life isn’t fair is it? Lots of things aren’t fair, but that’s the way it is.

Image Credit:
Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net &  Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About: Jeremy LeSarge - AKA: Ray (209 Posts)

I am the site owner and administrator of DialMe.com. I provide help and tips for Boonex Dolphin on the main part of this website where you will also find an assortment of other resources. Here, on the blog I write about a variety of topics surrounding WordPress, technology, social media/networking, SEO, and webmaster resources.




18 Comments

  1. Reply

    Dialme, you are absolutely right about the competitors who has high ranking in Google when their backlinks are not of high quality. They won their positions thanks to the quantity not quality. Nevertheless, I guess that quality is important for backlinks and we shouldn’t miss it out. And my opinion is that we should do our best following the Google rules.

    • Reply

      Rules are meant to be broken I think they say. It would be ideal to follow the rules and guidelines, but I would be willing to bet anytime there is a way to cheat a system people will figure out how to do that.

  2. Hamish

    Reply

    It’s an interesting debate – and I’m not sure if I know the answer. In fact I’m not even sure if there is an answer.

    As far as SERPs goes, I think that it’s been proven that you can rank an empty page if you direct enough backlinks towards it.

    However, just because you can do it doesn’t mean that you should. What would be the point of getting high SERPs for a poor quality page? You would get a lot of first time visitors and no returns.

    I suppose that might just work for certain types of websites, but the majority of sites will need to provide on page content which will at least make visitors hang around and preferably come back again at some point in future.

    • Reply

      I hear you there. I don’t know that you should just because you can either. I know some sites want the top 10 so they can get visitors to their site which is covered with ads. I guess their hope is that if they can get people there, maybe they will visit an ad and they will make a little money.

  3. Reply

    Well, they do say that those who blast links in one go will win for only a short period of time. But once they’ve stood their ground and established their ranks, they can switch their tactics midway and do it legitimately. That could be a good “team up” between quantity and quality. Keywords: could be.

    • Reply

      I have noticed on occasion that a site will rank decent for a few days then fall off the radar. It seems like a page or site will rank decent, but then they forget or neglect to continue building links and it’s gone.

  4. Reply

    I know some people have a different definition or expectation of what quality is. I usually tend to see and hear bout it when it becomes noticeable to another site ranking near them. I think you can have both quality and quantity, and it would probably be difficult to have quality everything all the time.

  5. Jean

    Reply

    Yea, I also come across many articles that I can’t believe how popular they are. It does seem like quality, originality, etc. aren’t quite helping people as much as many thought it would. Like you, I’m all for quality but up to a point, using your expensive restaurant example.

    -Jean

  6. Angelo

    Reply

    I agree with you, there are times that we should also consider increasing the quantity of our posts in our blog. The more quality articles we have increases the authority factor in our website.

  7. Reply

    Wow, you have made me to leave my opinion in your blog. For me, it depends on the function you will going to focus if you will going to choose quality versus quantity. As of me, I used to focus in website development using Drupal CMS, thus, I should probably choose quantity content for my website in order to gain more traffic. Also, if you are doing link-building strategy, then you should choose for quantity but it should be in quality content. There’s really a great debate on this topic and i think only those persons cold relate if they have already proven the effects of these two.

    • Reply

      I don’t have a lot of free time for quantity. Both good quality and large quantity at the same time would be a tough one for me.

  8. Reply

    For most businesses, a qualitative content is best compare with quantitative one. However when it comes to link building, it is important to have these two things, quantity and quality content in order to have better results though sometimes it will take time.

  9. Reply

    I always follow quality in my seo work.However quality work takes much time but it gives larger benefit than quantity.So don’t run behind quantity and do only quality work in SEO.
    Many thanks for insight on very important factor for success in SEO.

  10. john

    Reply

    nice article. I think that content is very imporatnt for every blogger. Because if you write good content than you will get more response by viewer

  11. Reply

    I think “catchy” images are a must in a blog post, but I don’t know if “catchy” means “good quality”. I think one or two images should do the trick. Their positioning is also important.

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