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Whilst the technique does sound great in theory, some SEO experts believe that it has since become outdated following updates to Google’s Search Evaluator Guidelines, where E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) has become a major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

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Jasmine Savery

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