Google Search Advocate John Mueller says the importance of backlinks as ranking factors will diminish in time.

In a live discussion during a live session Brighton SEO, Google Search Advocate John Mueller predicts how backlinks will evolve shortly.

Mueller is joined by co-hosts Googler Lizzi Sassman and the guest Myriam Jessie, who answers several questions in a live broadcast from The Search Off The Record podcast.

Because it’s a podcast, the questions are handled in a group discussion in which hosts address their chosen questions rather than engaging live with viewers.

Together, the hosts respond to the question of how Google penalizes backlinks. The question is:

“As as SEOs, we are very interested in backlinks. But, working actively on backlinks is often an undefined area of link methods. What are Google’s primary criteria to penalize backlinks?”

After a few tiffs among the hostesses, Mueller takes a direction by giving an answer that’s slightly different from the initial question.

Google representatives are usually cautious in answering questions on the penalty and ranking requirements.

In general, Google discourages any form of link-building that is not natural. Giving away too much information about penalties may be a way to encourage “grey hat” behavior or being careful about what’s acceptable and what’s not.

Instead of talking about penalty penalties, Mueller examines backlinks as a ranking factor and why it might diminish in importance for SEO experts shortly.

Google’s John Mueller On The Backlinks Ranking Signal

As Google gets better at understanding how content fits into the broader internet context, Mueller suggests that Google’s algorithm will not rely as heavily on links from inbound sources.

Mueller says:

“Well, it’s something where I imagine, over time, the weight on the links will drop off a little bit as we can figure out a little bit better how the content fits within the context of the whole web.”

This may be Mueller’s method of saying penalties shouldn’t be a concern since backlinks aren’t as valuable in the future.

However, suggesting that backlinks can only help understand the content and ignore all other information they transmit.

A backlink profile can reveal a lot about a site, including the degree to which it’s respected by other people, who it is regarded as a trusted source. How reputable the site is within the particular field it’s in.

Is Google competent enough to determine all this just from the on-page content?

Mueller isn’t able to comment on the credibility of inbound links. However, he says they’ll be helpful to Google in the search engine’s ability to discover content.

Mueller continues:

“And linking to other websites will always be something we are concerned about because we need to locate pages somehow. The question is, how do you locate an online page without a mention of it?”

In time it won’t be as an issue as it is now. It’s something that’s been shifting entirely in recent times.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *