Content is King
It is often said that on the internet, content is king. This is true, but when you think of building websites as a game of chess, the king is only a small part of the entire game. Without the supporting pieces, the king is defenceless and vulnerable to being defeated by competing websites. In the following video, Matt Cutts explains how Google looks at content versus backlinks.
Backlinks are Queens, Rooks, Bishops, Knights & Pawns
With content being the king of your website, you need strong supporting pieces to play the game and defeat your opponents. The queens are backlinks from high authority high PR websites such as CNN.com. You can play the game without a queen, but chances are that your opponents will use the power of the queen to outrank you in the search engines.
The rooks, bishops and knights are links to your website from medium authority websites such as ezinearticles.com and other article directories. These links are much easier to obtain than the high authority backlinks, and enough of them can give your site a great fighting chance against your competitors.
The pawns of your website are less important, but still needed. They include, but are not limited to, reviews of your products on blogs, comments on forums and blogs with backlinks to your website, and links to high authority websites on your web pages. These pawns are often useless and sacrificed in the game, but sometimes they can sneak into your competitors’ territory and turn into a queen for your website.
A small comment on a blog or a product review can potentially get your website noticed by some by some big name websites like CNN. This turns your little pawn into a queen. Chances are that if you only have one or two pawns out on the internet, they will not turn into queens. If, however, you build new pawns (small links) daily, there is a good chance that eventually one or more of the pawns will turn into a queen and give your website a lot more authority. Unlike the game of chess, backlinks on articles you give away (rooks, bishops and knights) can also turn into queens. High authority websites often pick up the free articles for content, giving you a backlink from a powerful website (a queen).
The difference between building websites and a game of chess is obvious: In a game of chess, you only have one opponent, whereas when you are building websites, you are competing against many other players. The principles, though, remain consistent. You need a strong king (content) with as many supporting players (backlinks) as possible. When you make a move, it is a move against all your competitors. When one of your competitors makes a move, it is a move against you and all of your other competitors. The key to winning is in building the strongest king (content) and supporting it with as many powerful players (backlinks) as possible.