From an SEO point of view, the website- or blog content you used to create backlinks and second-tier backlinks doesn’t need to be any good. Yes, it needed to be “readable”, but it didn’t need to be of any significant quality.
You see, doing that might be a lot cheaper than hiring a ghostblogger to create decent quality content (you can just use someone from the Philippines or India at $1 per hour), but you might end up paying a much higher price for it…
The real cost of using low quality content for backlinks:
Firstly, consider whether your name, or your company name is on that content. If it is, and the content is of inferior quality, anyone who reaches that content will immediately have a very poor impression of your brand, and probably not follow the link back to your site.
Note – if your name isn’t on the given website content, you are in fact missing out on an opportunity to brand yourself and/or your company. But then again, if you are publishing mediocre content, it’s probably better if you don’t add your name to it.
Secondly, according to Matt Cutts, Google doesn’t place a very high value on backlinks that don’t send any traffic. As such, if you put out mediocre content, you are going to get what you paid for – in more than one respect. If the content is useless or mediocre, chances are that nobody will click through to your website or blog after reading it – and as such you won’t be given much credit for it.
So – in short:
If you publish low quality content on your backlink properties, do the math…
How much is each visitor to your website or blog worth to you? Calculate it backwards from the number of people it requires to make an acquisition (new customer or client), then calculate the typical lifetime value of that client, and then divide the amount of money by the number of visitors required.
Then go figure how much money you’ll have to spend (on “cheap content”) to get the same backlink value as one decent piece of content out there would have given you.
At the end of the day, any decent SEO specialist will tell you – quality trumps quantity every time.
So – can you really afford to put out ANY low quality content on the web?