March 18, 2024

Does the SEO Skyscraper Technique Still Work?

The ‘Skyscraper technique’ has been a hot topic amongst SEOs for quite a few years now, yet with the recent algorithm updates and ever-changing guidelines for SEO, one question remains – does the technique still work?

Yes and no. Whilst many SEO techniques evolve over time, the Skyscraper Technique’s core principles – high-quality content and building backlinks – remain fundamental to SEO success. However, to get the most out of your content creation, you must be able to add your own E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) factors into the content. This might include sourcing data from your own original research or adding golden nuggets of information.

Read on to learn more about the origin of the Skyscraper Technique and if it still works.

What is the Skyscraper Technique in SEO?

Created by Brian Dean, the ‘Skyscraper Technique’ is a method used to generate new backlinks for a website. The technique involves creating content that is much better than all current existing content on the web, by combining information found and creating what is essentially a “super article”. Here’s how it works, step by step:

Whilst the technique does sound great in theory, some SEO experts believe that it has since become outdated following updates to Google’s Search Evaluator Guidelines, where E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) has become a major factor.

If you’d like to know more about writing content that ranks in 2024, read one of our helpful articles: How Do You Write E-E-A-T Content?

Does the Skyscraper Technique Work?

Yes and no. Whilst it can be a successful content marketing strategy, gone are the days when the longest blog post on a topic ranks in the top spot Nowadays, you must consider search intent and adding value to the reader, and quite frankly, some pages won’t need to be any more than 500 words long to answer the user’s query. 

Plus, webmasters have become more and more reluctant to hand out backlinks – which make up 50% of the Skyscraper Technique! We deep dive into the key factors that impact the success of the technique below:

Information Gain Score

Sourcing facts, figures, tips, and tricks from lots of different sources is great, but to comply with E-E-A-T guidelines, you can’t just regurgitate what everyone else has written about – even if it is better optimised for SEO. 

To help combat mass-produced AI content that all says the same thing, Google encourages you to add your own ‘golden nuggets’ of information to articles. This will improve your Information Gain Score. According to Google, Information Gain Score is:

“a measure of new, additional information included in a piece of content, above and beyond the information contained in other articles a searcher has already seen on a topic.”

The score suggests a positive impact on rankings by rewarding people who bring something new to the table – i.e. not just combining pieces of information found on the web. So, if you’re planning to use the Skyscraper Technique, you need to take it one step further in order to see success on the SERPs: 

Outreaching Your Content

Creating a great piece of content is only half the battle when using the Skyscraper Technique – you also need to get backlinks! This involves reaching out to a webmaster in order to get them to replace an existing link in their content with yours. 

Now, rewind five years ago, this might have been quite easy to do. However, nowadays, journalists, webmasters, and other bloggers are inundated (to say the least!) with emails from content creators, just like you, trying to get links.

If you don’t want your content to get overlooked, you must craft a compelling and engaging email. We’d also recommend investing time into building a relationship with journalists and webmasters. Follow them on social media, engage with their content, and don’t be afraid to reach out more than once (within reason!). 

After multiple touchpoints with you and your brand, the journalist might just be willing to link to your content. 

Learn more about building backlinks in this helpful blog: What is Link Building? 

Recent Algorithm Updates

As of March 2024, Google started rolling out one of their largest Broad Core Algorithm updates yet. One of the key elements of this update is Google’s crackdown on ‘scaled content abuse’. 

This essentially means that any content that is ‘generated for the primary purpose of manipulating Search rankings and not helping users’. In the announcement, Google specifically calls out content that is unoriginal, and regurgitated with little to no use to users. 

As we mentioned above, if you are creating content using the Skyscraper Technique with the intention of ranking well on Google, or gaining backlinks, you must offer more value to users than what already exists on the web.

Add details of your own experiences, plus information about the topic that other writers may not have discussed in detail. The same applies if you are using AI to generate content, you must add a personal touch to it in order to rank well. Most importantly, you should avoid duplicating content at all costs – otherwise, you risk a penalty from Google.

Is Link Building Still Effective in SEO?

Yes. Whilst it has certainly been harder to gain high-quality links from relevant sources over the years, it is still a key Google Ranking Factor, particularly for websites that fall within the Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) niche.

But, having a strong, reputable backlink profile doesn’t come overnight. You will need to dedicate some of your marketing efforts to link-building in order to gain visibility online. However, when done correctly, can have a huge impact on your SEO success. 

To learn more about how many backlinks you need to generate in order to rank on search engines, read this helpful blog: How Many Backlinks Do I Need To Rank? 

Revamp Your Content Strategy With Wildcat Digital

If you’re not quite sure where to start when it comes to creating link-worthy content, speak to our experts. With experience in B2B and B2C campaigns and a proven track record across a variety of industries, you can trust us to create a winning content strategy tailored to your business goals. Get in touch today to arrange a free consultation and see how we can help you punch above your weight online. Alternatively, explore our Knowledge Base pages for more answers to your SEO questions.

Post by

Jasmine Savery

SEO Team Leader

Will Hitchmough

Founder

Our founder, Will Hitchmough, worked at a number of high profile Sheffield Digital Agencies before founding Wildcat Digital in 2018. He brings an extensive knowledge of all things related to SEO, PPC and Paid Social, as well as an expert knowledge of digital strategy.

Digital Marketing can be a minefield for many businesses, with many agencies ready to take your money without knowing how to deliver results. I founded Wildcat Digital to deliver digital success to businesses with smaller budgets in a transparent way.

Chloe Robinson

Content Strategist Team Lead

With a degree in Marketing and a background in more traditional, offline marketing, Chloe joined Wildcat in 2021 after deciding to move into the digital marketing industry. She joined us as a Content Specialist and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a Content Strategist and later an SEO Team Leader.

Outside of work, Chloe is an avid creative. If she’s not knitting, you’ll likely find her behind a sewing machine or in the kitchen trying (and often failing!) to make sourdough.

Paul Pennington

SEO Account Director

Paul has a strong background in SEO, having previously founded and ran a successful eCommerce business, as well as running a personal blog that achieves an average of 17K users per month. Paul’s knowledge of SEO is extensive, with a strong emphasis on client handling and technical SEO.

Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family and staying active with weight lifting and combat sports.

Nadea van der Merwe

Head of Operations

Nadea joined Wildcat in 2021 and has since overhauled the way we work. She has a background in various administrative, operations and HR roles, which gave her the experience and skills needed to lead and organise a growing business. 

Outside of work, Nadea loves anything that keeps her active, but she especially enjoys hiking, camping and mountain biking.

Molly Sturgeon

SEO Account Manager

With a background in sales, Molly is a natural Account Manager, brilliantly handling any issues that come her way. Having joined us as a Digital Marketing Executive, and working part-time through her final year of University, Molly is a shining example of how hard work pays off. She is now an SEO Account Manager with a particular interest in Content and Client Management. 

In her spare time, Molly loves to get out in nature, hiking and exploring the Peak District. She also loves cooking and likes to unwind with a bit of yoga.

Libby Oldale

Senior PPC Account Manager

Libby joined Wildcat in 2021 as our first PPC hire. With a degree in Digital Media Production, a Master’s in Digital Media Management and previous experience in Social Media Management, Libby hit the ground running and has since climbed the ranks to Senior PPC Account Manager and has a particular interest in the eCommerce sector.

Outside of work, Libby likes gaming, and cooking and likes to keep active by lifting weights.

Jasmine Savery

SEO Team Leader

Jasmine joined Wildcat in 2022 with a strong background in SEO and Account Management. At the time, she was finishing up a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and has since worked her way up to SEO Team Leader. Jasmine excels at content writing and promotion, and particularly enjoys finding creative ways to join the dots on multi-channel campaigns.

In her spare time, Jasmine volunteers at a charity, helping combat loneliness & social isolation experienced by older neighbours. Outside of Wildcat, she owns a catering company, Savery Grazing, creating delicious grazing tables & platters for a range of events. She also loves skiing and exploring the Peak District.

Braden Godley

Senior PPC Executive

Prior to joining Wildcat, Braden founded and ran his own Social Media Management agency where he gained valuable skills in growing brands’ online presence, which has since proven invaluable in his role at Wildcat. 

Outside of work, Braden is a big football fan, regularly travelling to Pride Park to support Derby County. He also enjoys watching and playing snooker, hiking in the Peak District, and attending air and car shows.

Jon Herdman

Senior SEO Executive

After spending ten years managing businesses, restaurants, cafes and event spaces across Sheffield, Jon decided to change careers and joined Wildcat as an SEO Executive in 2022. He especially enjoys the client management side of the job, helping them to understand digital marketing and ways in which they can build their business’s presence online. 

Outside of work, Jon likes to keep fit with running, badminton and football, and also loves music. 

Rachel Davies

SEO Executive

Rachel joined us as a graduate, having recently graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in English Literature. Since joining, Rachel has proven herself to be a Content Queen, and particularly enjoys getting stuck into projects that allow her to explore her creative side. 

Outside of work, Rachel enjoys a wide range of hobbies, including rugby, singing, reading, and spending time with her family and three labradors.

Carl Atterbury

PPC Team Leader

Carl joined Wildcat in 2023 with a wealth of experience in PPC. He has experience working with a wide range of clients, industries and budgets, from small local businesses all the way to international e-commerce businesses. Carl has a particular interest in strategic planning and forecasting. He is passionate about data analysis and creating sustainable long-term cross-channel strategies.

In his spare time, Carl enjoys keeping fit by lifting weights, bouldering and running. He’s also a keen musician, having played the double bass and bass guitar for 20 years.

Dariusz Baczyk

Team Lead & Technical SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Computer Science and SEO experience dating back to 2017, Dariusz has a wide range of SEO skills and knowledge. His specialist knowledge of Technical SEO has firmly landed him the title of Wildcat’s Technical Wizard, and he has recently taken on the responsibility of Team Leader for the Panthers Team.

In his spare time, Dariusz loves hiking, experimenting and trying new coffees and loves learning new things. He is currently learning more about CRO and AI and how this could benefit our clients.

Jamie Stowe

SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Film and TV production, and a varied career history, Jamie made the move to marketing with a Masters degree in Digital Media Management. He has since worked in SEO at Agencies across Sheffield, before joining Wildcat and working his way up to SEO Account Manager. Jamie has a particular interest in backlinks and Digital PR and has recently gained a client a valuable backlink from Forbes!

In his spare time, Jamie is an avid foodie and loves trying new restaurants and cuisines. He also loves to travel and spent a year travelling to Australia after university.

Andy Blanchard

SEO Executive

Andy joined Wildcat in 2023 after starting his digital marketing career in-house for a local Sheffield company. Since joining, he has developed a strong interest in Technical SEO and has strong skills in Account Management. 

Outside of work, Andy loves music and plays in a couple of bands. He also enjoys rock climbing, cycling, photography and good food.

Siena Russell

Client Success Coordinator

Siena joined us in 2023 with a background in sales and digital marketing. She leads on client relationships across the company, ensuring that our customers are happy throughout their journey with us, from their initial consultation through to onboarding and beyond. 

Outside of work, Siena enjoys travelling and getting stuck into the local culture. She likes to make the most of her experiences and particularly enjoys watching sunrises and sunsets from beautiful locations around the world.

Thea Chapman

Senior SEO Executive

Thea has a wealth of experience in SEO, having previously worked for other Digital Marketing Agencies in Sheffield. She has a particular interest and skills in Technical SEO, but is more than willing to get stuck in and give anything a go. 

Outside of work, Thea spends most of her time with her children, but also loves reading, photography and gardening. 

Tom Brookes

PPC Executive

Before joining Wildcat, Tom worked across different industries, building skills in sales and customer service. He later developed a passion for digital marketing whilst working on personal marketing projects and freelance ventures, and gained numerous certifications in PPC and Social Media. 

Outside of work, Tom enjoys staying active by going to the gym and hiking. He also loves travelling and motorbiking.

Rich Ayre

Head of Growth

Rich joined us in May 2024 to head up our growth team. With years of experience helping other agencies to grow, Rich joins us at an exciting time as Wildcat is working on a five-year plan to become one of the biggest agencies in the UK.

Outside of work, Rich is a father to three children, which keeps him very busy! He’s also recently started running again to keep fit and loves a bit of DIY.

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