As an Australian business owner who realises the importance of building your business through search engine traffic, the topic of backlinks must have caused some confusion recently.
Just a few years back, you were urged to build as many backlinks as you could. That strategy mostly worked until the Penguin updates that began in 2012. Overnight, backlinks went from saviours to pariahs as Google soon made it clear that the wrong kind of backlinks were not just useless but positively harmful.
If you follow the news, you may have read that backlinks were on the way out. Other pundits asserted that links were at the heart of the Google algorithm and their role was beyond question. With so many experts confused, who’s a layman to pay attention to?
Let’s see what Matt Cutts, Google head of web spam, has to say.
In a recent video, he revealed that backlinks are set to diminish in importance. But he added that the process would take time. Cutts mentioned they’ll continue to play a key role for the next few years at least. Plus, he also he used the phrase “little less important”.
So what’s going to take their place?
Enter Quality Content
Cutts related that when determining whether any page met the expectations of an expert user and thus deserved high rankings, Google looked several factors. Other than links, these include the reputation of the page and of the site itself, and the quality of the content.
He noted that the role of content is rising in importance as Google extends its efforts to process conversational search. “Google is getting better and better at understanding actual language”, Cutts said.
Understanding user intent and determining which pages can satisfy that intent is to play a more significant role in the Google algorithm. In other words, on-page factors are set to expand their role in measuring authority.
The key takeaway from the video is that relevant natural links are and will always be important as a measure of authority. Just be sure to gain them properly with the help of professionals.
The fact is that Google never meant for you to build links. Links were given in recognition of the value of what you offered on your site. Those links were earned.
So continue developing web sites that provide value and the backlinks will take care of themselves. Be ever vigilant for unnatural backlinks that spring up without you knowing and be careful with anchor text.
Meanwhile continue to build your expert status via helpful content. Cutts hinted that an expert author boost to rankings was in the pipeline.
For all your search engine optimisation needs including natural links, contact Smart SEO, your premier firm in Sydney.