Connecting With Users: Applying Principles Of Communication To UX Research

Google’s Gary Illyes recently confirmed that the importance of links in search rankings has diminished. This article explores the evolving role of links in SEO and sheds light on Google’s changing perspective.


The Significance of Links


Links were once crucial indicators of website authority. However, Google’s understanding of anchor text and the subjective opinions of relevance shifted the focus away from link quantity.


Gary Illyes’ Perspective in 2024


Illyes stated that Google no longer heavily relies on the number of links, signaling a change in the search engine’s approach.


The Declining Importance of Links


Google implemented measures to combat link manipulation, reducing the value of various link types over time. The introduction of the Penguin algorithm penalized manipulative practices.


Google’s Explicit Confirmation


Illyes confirmed that links are not among the top three ranking factors. Google’s updated spam policies documentation further downplays the importance of links.


The Role of AI and Natural Language Understanding


Advancements in AI and natural language understanding have made links less crucial for determining relevance.


While links still hold some value, their importance in Google’s ranking algorithm has diminished. Publishers and SEO professionals should focus on content quality, user experience, and other ranking factors. Adapting to the changing SEO landscape is essential.