What is the Skyscraper Technique in SEO


Hi guys, and welcome to another edition of Zupo SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation is what is the skyscraper technique? I think I wanted to create a video about this because the skyscraper technique has been well known for a couple of years now, so a handful of years, but I think it's still talked about today and I get asked about it every so often. So I thought, you know what, let's go over the video about it.

And before we begin, I do want to introduce the tea. If you're new to our video series, this is called Zupo SEO Talk & Tea, so we always have a tee that we've paired with each video. So today we have a special guest, we have a new tea that my housemate actually just bought from a brand called Black and Bold, that I think that's mostly black. I don't know. But if someone's [inaudible 00:00:42] tell me or comment. But it's a Black and Bold, and it's a black tea. It's called I think Darjeeling. Darjeeling is actually a pretty well known black tea. It's a really common brand. So wanted to introduce it today and brew for the first time on this YouTube series. So we're going to go ahead and brew this and enjoy it. I had it for the first time yesterday, and I quite pretty much enjoyed it. So I wanted to have it again today.

Well, let's go ahead and jump on it. So as I get brewing, let's talk about what the skyscraper technique is. So, first thing first, I always like to give credit to those who've coined the terms or start the understanding of a concept, and this one goes to Brian Dean. Brian Dean is a well known SEO in the field. He's along the similar level to Neil Patel. Brian Dean has come out with strong case studies and strong content that has really moved industries and really brought new innovation when it comes to SEO, and the industry. So the skyscraper technique is probably his first really strong SEO strategy. It really came to the forefront when he was rising to his, I don't want to say power, but just fame and his thought leadership when it comes to SEO.

So skyscraper technique, what is it? So skyscraper technique is essentially a technique of SEO where you are competing with your competitors on a particular content post or a particular page where they have written, let's say an article or an informational piece, and you want to outrank that same piece. The skyscraper technique is essentially you writing that same piece of content, but just bigger and better. Or in even more dumbed down terms, you just write a longer piece. And it was called the skyscraper technique because back in the day, when they used to build skyscrapers apparently ... I like history but I don't know this part of history, but apparently when they used to build skyscrapers, it used to be a competition of, okay, this is the tallest one, and now we want to build a taller one. And they constantly kept being like, "Who's going to build the tallest skyscraper?

So the skyscraper technique is the very same, where if you are trying to rank for a certain keyword that you see a lot of these pages have a lot of content on their page, you would use the skyscraper technique to make the page longer, or your own content longer, more thorough, address more topics, and essentially post that. And then ideally try to drive links it so that your piece will not only be seen as the most thorough, but also ... It's a two pronged thing. One, because yours is the most thorough, you will acquire more links because people like to link to the most thorough guides. And then second, Google, when they see that you have so much content on that page, there's a theory that they'll reward that content because it's so thorough. And Brian Dean, in that piece where he introduced the skyscraper technique, has a chart that shows that the longer a post is the more higher chance it has to rank. Now, again, these are all correlations. I think Brian Dean does a great job of not saying this is causal, this is correlated. So you don't want to confuse that more words equals higher rank, but it does have some part to play.

So skyscraper technique, if someone says to you the skyscraper technique, it is a specific SEO strategy when you are just essentially investing more resources into one piece. If someone has a thousand word piece, you want to write a 1500 word piece. If someone has a 2000 word piece, someone has a 2500 piece. Skyscraper technique in my experience works on a certain level, but at a certain point, it does not because it does not overshadow other ranking factors like referring domains, back linking, page speed, and other aspects. So what I would say is, skyscraper technique is great when you use it alongside other factors. So I have seen pages where they have a 10th of the content, but they have so many referring domains of back links that they are ranking much higher.

So skyscraper technique is a great asset to use in the tool belt, but what I want to do want to remind readers is that your first bet shouldn't always just be making a skyscraper piece and that's it. It should be used amongst a bigger strategy. Okay, this is our skyscraper technique, where are we going to drive links from? How are we going to optimize the page? Is it fast? How we're going to optimize each section? How's it going to internal link? There's a lot of other aspects to be marrying what the skyscraper thing, and just by itself, I would say it would be effective to a certain extent, but I would highly encourage you, use it alongside other tactics. Don't use it by itself.

But again, Brian Dean did coin an amazing strategy. And I think a lot of people have used it to success, but because it has been well known for a while now, a lot of people use it, and now you require a little bit more innovation to get ahead of the skyscraper technique to make it a little bit more beefed up. But I want to go ahead and end it there. Hopefully that was valuable in the sense that you now understand what skyscraper technique is. If you guys found it valuable, please like and subscribe, I would really appreciate it.

I'm going to go ahead and pour this black tea, which I already have right here, and I'm going to go and enjoy it for the day, and I hope to see you guys again soon.

Thanks everybody.

Jason Khoo

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.