Google’s Bold Statement: Links Don’t Matter Anymore! Or do they?!

Uncover the future of SEO in 2024 - Google's statement on links! Is your website ready for the digital marketing shift?

Do you still need backlinks in the world of SEO?

Is there still an Importance for backlinks in SEO?

In the ever-evolving landscape of SEO, backlinks have long been hailed as a crucial factor in determining a website’s authority and ranking on Google. However, recent statements from Google’s very own Gary Illyes and Google’s March update (2024) have thrown a curveball into the world of search engine optimisation. At a search marketing conference, Gary boldly proclaimed that Google requires very few links to understand and rank a website effectively. This revelation has sparked heated debates among digital marketers and SEO specialists alike, raising the question: What do backlinks actually still provide in today’s digital age?

What did backlinks provide?

Discover the latest on backlinks in 2024! Is it still relevant? Find out in this insightful blog post.

Backlinks used to stand as pillars of digital influence, shaping the way websites were perceived and ranked by search engines. They were virtual endorsements, validating the credibility and relevance of a website. Backlinks served as pathways connecting different corners of cyberspace, guiding users and bots from one webpage to another while also signalling to search engines the interconnected web of knowledge and information that exists online. Search engine crawlers were used to assess a site’s authority and significance within its niche by crawling through backlinks.

So why the change?

Some businesses engage in blackhat backlinking practices, such as commenting on blogs to artificially create more links. These tactics are an attempt to manipulate search engine algorithms and improve rankings. This is why Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. According to a statement made by Gary Illyes, backlinks will no longer hold as much significance in determining domain authority and page authority. This suggests that Google’s algorithms are shifting away from heavily relying on backlinks as a ranking factor.

So now what?

Wondering about the importance of backlinking in 2024? Uncover the answers in our must-read blog article!

While it may seem groundbreaking to suggest that backlinks will lose relevance in determining domain authority and page authority, Gary Illyes’ statement hints at a shift in Google’s algorithmic approach. If bots are now relying less on these links to navigate the web, then content quality and user experience are likely becoming more vital factors. This could signal an era where organic traffic and engagement metrics weigh heavier than mere link-building strategies.

“The age-old advice of “Write for the User, not for The Algorithm” holds even greater importance in today’s SEO landscape.”

Furthermore, this evolution underscores the need for website owners to prioritise creating valuable and relevant content that resonates with their target audience. By focusing on crafting compelling material that naturally attracts traffic and generates genuine interest, websites can potentially sidestep the traditional reliance on backlink schemes. In essence, this paradigm shift emphasises the importance of authentic user engagement over artificial link acquisitions in bolstering online credibility.

So is backlinking dead?

No! 

Even though Google may no longer prioritise backlinks as a significant ranking factor, users will still see value in linking between websites. Establishing connections with reputable businesses, directories, or influencers continues to enhance the SEO value of backlinks. User experience remains crucial, so driving traffic to your site with backlinks will help gain recognition from Google. The quality and relevance of links play a key role in providing users with a meaningful browsing experience and can impact your search rankings. So, even no-follow links and those from social media platforms will still offer SEO benefits as long as they are relevant to the user. This emphasises the need to encourage more work on other aspects of your digital marketing techniques and optimising your website for search engine rankings is just one component of your digital marketing strategies. 

Explore the evolving landscape of backlinking in 2024. Is it a crucial strategy or a thing of the past? Dive into our blog.

In light of Google’s increased focus on high-quality and pertinent content, it is crucial to understand the significance of Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust (E-E-A-T) when creating your content. While E-E-A-T also does not directly impact Google’s search algorithm, it serves as a benchmark for human quality raters to assess the overall quality of your content, ultimately influencing your Google rankings indirectly, now the same with backlinks. This will mean improving your website for User experience, showing your knowledge and expertise via blogs and FAQs, showing your authority by displaying your awards and qualifications and improving your trust through great customer service and gaining high-quality reviews and testimonials.

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