On Page SEO VS. Off Page SEO: Which Trumps?

Jun 29, 2010 • 8:09 am | comments (22) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

"Content is King" or Links are supreme - that is the classic SEO debate. Which SEO component is more important? Links or on page SEO? This debate is as old as Google and while it was much more of a debate years ago, it still triggers some debate nowadays.

These days, even the biggest link builder would admit you need strong content and some basic SEO to rank well for competitive keywords. Or maybe not?

A WebmasterWorld thread has discussion around this topic. One person said he ranks top for a competitive keyword with zero content on his page related to that keyword. He thinks that you don't need the content on the page to rank well. Maybe, I think it depends.

Tedster, WebmasterWorld administrator cited a client case. He said:

I can guarantee you from the past week's experience that there is. I have a client whose highest traffic page fell from #1 on two big query terms to pages 3 and 4. What they did was change (not tweak, demolish) ALL the body content and the page template. I was not informed ahead of time and I only learned about it after the traffic drop appeared.

What do you think? Take my poll below:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Gavin Smith

06/29/2010 12:23 pm

Its like saying what you need to win a mototr race.....a good car or petrol


06/29/2010 12:33 pm

I think they both definitely have their place but if I was in a position where I could only use 1 method, it would be off page link building.


06/29/2010 12:33 pm

Its like a marriage, you need both the man and the girl!!!

Pablo Almeida

06/29/2010 12:46 pm

All depends...hehehe...BUT, particularly, I believe more in on-page. Good content, good links! ;)


06/29/2010 12:51 pm

Both are definitely important but as far as I know, a website with no content but backlinks is more effcicient than than a website with great content (+title+h1...) but with no backlink.

Josh Garner

06/29/2010 02:15 pm

The poll is so unfair. I'm having a hard time thinking of a situation where I can give an answer without a "well, it depends on..." For the spirit of the question though, I choose both are equally important.


06/29/2010 03:58 pm

On page SEO can work with a complete lack of off page SEO (albeit not for highly competitive terms) Off-page SEO can't work without on-page SEO (thanks to the googlebomb changes that say the page has to want to rank for the term, blah blah blah) Based on that.. I'd say on page is way more important.


06/29/2010 05:14 pm

If I had to compare on-page to off-page out of 100% ranking power, I think off-page SEO is a decent amount above half of the full potential. Likely around 75%. However, on-page SEO is still needed for proper SEO to be done - like most of the comments on here, you shouldn't do one without the other if you want to get real results.

Steve Hall

06/29/2010 10:17 pm

As with all things competitive in life, the strength of the competition will have some bearing on what si required in order to 'win'. I can't understand why you would want to rank for a term if none of the content on the page relates to that search term. Users are going to bounce from that page very quickly when they figure out that it doesn't relate to what they searched for. A mix of both is important. The amount of off-page SEO work required will depend on how cometitive the search terms are that you are trying to rank for.

Joydeep Deb

06/30/2010 05:14 am

If you search for "click here" in Google. you will see Adobe Reader is the #1 result, but that page is not optimized for the keyword "click here". It is because thousands of websites on the web are having a link to Adobe Reader webpage saying "click here".


06/30/2010 08:39 am

On-page & off-page both are like air & food of body. Without air, you cann't live and vice-versa the food.

Miles Carter

06/30/2010 10:15 am

I think a lot of people would like to think that off-page factors are more important because there's more money and hype surrounding them. Another point is that good on page SEO will naturally help off page SEO.


07/14/2010 01:41 pm

Well... it's a bit of an open question. Assuming you can only do one (but that it's not a sealed case) then ON PAGE is the winner by far. Lets face it, on page SEO - Good structured quality content will naturally generate links from the outside world. You can generate as many spammy links as you like, but if your site is good, you'd only really need to start the process and let the rest of the internet do the job for you. Wouldn't you? But you'd really want to be working on both.

No Name

11/05/2010 02:35 pm

I think both are important but if I had to choose one, it would be off-page seo. I feel back links may be more important but without on-page seo your pages may be buried deep.

Koirala Pratik

02/22/2011 11:50 am

Both are equally important.


08/01/2011 03:50 pm

In short, the optimization of the Onpage should be more important than off the page. A site that receives good Onpage optimization will make our work very easy to do off the page.  porn addiction

SEO Professionals

08/30/2011 12:38 pm

An Off Page search engine optimization involves the methodologies that you employ to secure your site of a better search engine ranking and a faster indexing outside or external to your web site pages - thus called off page SEO. Generally, the Off Page SEO works on ways like building link popularity with other sites. This is made thru the creation of back links from other site sources when a net user clicks that back link from a website; he or she is going to be directed right thru your own landing page. It may seem to look easy but this is a lot harder to be done.

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09/08/2011 04:51 am

Content and keyword both are knowing as "king" in SEO fields. On-page optimization is a procedure of optimize our sites content. But i don't believe that On-page optimize is important than Off-page SEO. Both are peripheral for effective SEO methods.

Idris shaikh

11/17/2011 06:57 am

The off page optimazation is popular b'coz it is ivery simple. On page SEO can work with a complete lack of off page SEO (albeit not for highly competitive terms) Off-page SEO can't work without on-page SEO (thanks to the googlebomb changes that say the page has to want to rank for the term, blah blah blah) Based on that.. I'd say on page is way more important.


12/22/2011 07:40 am

On page SEO or off page SEO the main thing it was natural

seo agency

03/29/2012 12:04 pm

Off web page search engine optimization is the central source of any SEO promotion and is time intensive. Off web page search engine optimization is a boring job which needs to be done regularly and one should have the actual perseverance to see the outcomes. OnPage Optimization represents search engine optimization procedure performed on website for position it amongst the top in the search engines  

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05/15/2012 03:46 pm

On page SEO can't work without off page SEO because the purpose is not only to index your site and increase its ranking in search engine, it also needs traffic and visibility. On page SEO is the process which (if done properly) makes off page optimization more easier.

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