Ranking On Google Without Links

Ranking on Google without links

Is it possible to rank on page 1 of Google without an expensive link-building campaign?

This article is being written because of a surprising and delightful discover I made today on a website I built a long time ago for my wife (Hettie Rowley), who is a very talented artist. Due to pressure of work, I never promoted this site with any SEO beyond normal site structure, good use of keywords and a Google My Business site. 

Today, in the course of work, we were discussing how she might progress in winning art commissions, so I checked her site for ranking on keywords "Portrait Artist Sydney" and "Portrait Artist New South Wales". 

My findings were rather interesting:

Ranking without Links - HettieRowley.com.au

Test Conditions: 

1) Not logged into Google - anonymous search

2) Using a VPN that has server in Sydney so my search is totally anonymous 

3) Use a browser rarely used by me at all - Firefox (I usually use Chrome)

The Link Free Ranking

RAnking without links

Ranking Number 1 for "Portrait Artist New South Wales"

Ranking without link building for "Portrait Artist Sydney"

Ranking without link building for "Portrait Artist Sydney"

Search Volumes and Competition

We used a free tool for this (click on the link to visit). Here are the results:

keyword Competition Assessment

Keyword Competition Assessment

As you can see, keyword competition is high even though the cost per click is fairly low as is the search volume.

We discussed this with ChatGPT

We wanted conclusions formulated without bias, so we posed the following question to ChatGPT: "Why does this page: https://hettierowley.com.au/portrait-artist-sydney/ rank so well on Google?" 

Here is what our friendly AI had to say:

There are several factors that could contribute to the high ranking of https://hettierowley.com.au/portrait-artist-sydney/ on Google, including:

  1. Relevant Content: The page appears to be highly relevant to the search query "portrait artist Sydney" as it contains the keyword phrase in the URL, page title, and throughout the content of the page. Additionally, the page provides detailed information about portrait art services in Sydney, including the artist's background and experience, which may be helpful to users searching for this type of service. [THIS IS TRUE]
  2. High-Quality Backlinks: Backlinks from other websites can help to boost a page's authority and ranking on Google. It's possible that the page has received links from other high-quality websites, which can signal to Google that the page is a reputable source of information.   [THIS IS FALSE - SEE PROOF BELOW]
  3. Mobile-Friendly Design: Google places a high priority on mobile-friendly websites, so it's possible that the page's design and layout are optimized for mobile devices. [ THIS IS TRUE]
  4. User Experience: If users are spending a significant amount of time on the page, clicking through to other pages on the website, or returning to the website frequently, this could signal to Google that the page is providing a positive user experience.  [THIS IS TRUE]
  5. Low Competition: It's possible that there are relatively few other websites competing for the specific keyword phrase "portrait artist Sydney," which could make it easier for this page to rank well for that particular search term. [THIS IS TRUE]

Proof of Zero links to the ranking page

No backlinks but ranking - proof

No backlinks but ranking - proof


1. The page we have focused on ranks because of the QUALITY OF THE CONTENT . The content was written by the artist - not by me or any other SEO agency - see the difference when the content reflects REAL KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE. 

2. It is not the site that ranks - it is a relevant, properly focused page.

3. This works for low volume keywords, but it is far less likely to work for high volume keywords.

4. This method is ideal for microenterprises in defined geographical zones. 

What do you think?


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About the author 

Keith Rowley MBA BSc (Hons)

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