Why links are still important to Google

Paul Baguley

Google changes its highly guarded ranking algorithms so frequently that it can be hard to keep up. From having stellar original content to the age of your website, there are a myriad of features which all come into play when it comes to your ranking on a Google search. Yet over the years, there has been a bit of a misconception in the marketing community that ‘links are losing their importance when it comes to Google algorithms. In fact, this couldn't be further from the truth. We look and explain exactly why links continue to be one of the most important ranking signals around.

First things first, Google mostly changes its algorithms to give searchers the very best results that they can regarding their question. But they also do it to weed out the search engine manipulators who have snuck their way into the first pages by using many devious ‘black -hat’ techniques.

To catch people who were using linking systems the wrong way I.E paying high authority sites for links and spam linking, they have now prioritised both link attraction and manual link building. Link attraction refers to the process of people viewing your content and naturally wanting to share it. Thus, you can increase your link attraction by choosing to make more entertaining, educating and inspiring videos. Of course, you may hit the jackpot and create a video that goes viral, which is sure to up your ranking factor.

Manual link building also play a vital role. This refers to the process of having links on high-authority sites like big content providers and blogs. These sites have an incredibly high ranking, so when they link to you it shows that they trust you and that your content is valuable to. To get their links, you’ll first need to create very high content and then pitch to these sites in the hopes of getting it published. The site will often include a bio, link to your website as well as links to social media channels under the article.

These link significance factors are ranked by Google - yet the exact percentage of how they affect a ranking is still unknown. Links have been and will always play a major part in the ranking process. When it comes to the future, many top-level marketers are suggesting that social signals could be a major factor when it comes to rankings in the future So it’s worth looking into your engagement rates to swiftly make changes should something like this occur in the future.

However, links aren't going anywhere soon. So, develop a strong and steady link-building strategy for your business, and you will be ahead of the game when it comes to ranking on Google. Good luck.