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Are Backlinks Becoming Less Important on Google?

Google has been making it clear for some time that their focus when ranking sites is shifting to being based on content more than other factors. Google's Matt Cutts reiterated this in his latest video put out on the Google Webmasters YouTube page, by telling us that backlinks will not disappear but will, over time, become less important.

It seems like it's time to focus on content optimization when redoing your webpages. 

Cutts discusses that backlinks are still an important ranking factor, but content is becoming more important, and it is a possibility that in a few years, once Google has updated their abilities in understanding content, backlinks will no longer be important. 

Cutts focused on two main ideas:
1. Google wants to know who wrote an article to determine its authority. This seems like a subtle push towards including authorship in your articles, which requires the author to have a Google+ profile.
2. A need to understand natural language in order to better provide for users. In this, Google wants to be developing its technology so that it can gain the real meaning of the content rather than relying on keywords and tags. The goal is always to provide the most relevant results for a query. A good example of improvements has been their use of local, news, authorship and video result icons and snippets.

Watch the video for yourself

Backlinks are still valuable and so it's still worth fostering and monitoring backlinks, but make sure that your content is constantly up to date and relevant to your audience, because you can no longer rely on back-links for your SEO.

Google is always introducing updates which can change the SEO game, keep up to date with our Google Algorithm Updates History.

About The Author
Shiri brings her knowledge in online marketing and social media, among other things to the Rank Ranger team. She's excited to be a Ranger and looks forward to wearing the ranger hat and getting her sheriff's badge in the SEO force.

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