Alright, I completely skewed what Matt was actually saying but the conclusion is right. In a video put out by Google Webmaster Help today he answered a very interesting question. The question was, “Is there a version of Google that excludes backlinks as a ranking factor?” Great question and it would be interesting to see what the results looked like. Unfortunately there isn’t one, at least publicly.
Google does test this out internally and as it turns out the rankings are, as Matt puts it, “much much worse.” He goes on to note that links add value to the results and while they have to combat spam in the area (Really? I had no idea !) that the use of links as a ranking signal adds significant improvement to the way results are calculated.
Let’s all keep in mind then that links are important and will continue to be into the foreseeable future. As long as it adds value to the results and Google continues to become better and better at determining which links should and shouldn’t carry weight link building will continue to be a necessary and important part of SEO.
This is (as you can tell) a brief post but important for people to remember with all the talk about link building being dead, the rise of content marketing as sometimes the only focus of SEO and which strategies are under attack. A good, ethical link development strategy is critical to rankings. And that’s from the horses mouth. 🙂
Don’t believe me? Here’s the video: