Things have a tendency to go full circle and the state of play for websites and blogs is no different. For years, the mantra has been “Content is King” if you wanted to get your website or blog to rank well in the search engine results and in particular, Google. So wht did that change and why is it back in fashion again now?
That content is important for the furtherance of your website or blog is not in question, because the more original content a site has, the more authority it will be seen to have by the search engines (assuming that content is not just original, but on topic and useful). Sites with more authority are treated with more respect by Google in particular for the simple reason that they would like to see the most relevant sites at the top of their index to give their visitors the best surfing experience they can.
That filters down the line from search engine to website and the better the website the better the reflection on the ability of the search engine to show the most relevance in its index. That is the general idea, anyway.
Unfortunately, people began to realize there were other ways of tricking the search engines into thinking their websites were more relevant and authoritative than they really were by collecting more inbound links from other sites. This has worked for a few years and still works now, but the noose is tightening and real sites with hundreds of pages of original, relevant content are starting to once again beat out thinner sites with more backlinks.
Sure, you still need links to rank well, especially if your chosen niche is competitive. But now you also need that content to go with them or a visual inspection will reveal a thin site despite all its links and a trip to the sandbox is a probability.
So the message is pretty clear. If you want to rank well and keep ranking well, get lots of backlinks but also publish lots of good, useful and relevant content on your site and you will be fine.