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Backlinks Will Lose Their Importance In a Few Years From Now

Matt Cutts clearly stated in a recent Webmasters video that for the next few years, Google will continue to judge links quality in order to determine the importance of a web page but what after that? Links are set to lose its importance which it holds today. Backlink checkers and tools used for link analysis will hold less importance. This won't happen instantly but will surely happen in a few years from now. The main focus of Google is the content and the author behind the content. If Google is able to determine the underlying meaning of the content then it can quickly answer the user's query (Remember Amit Singhal and Star Trek?). Google is still relying on backlinks only to determine which sites are authoritative and do not spam the web. Currently, it does not have effective algorithms to know the real value of content, but once it is able to crack that, backlinks will hold less importance.

Backlinks as a Ranking Signal will Keep on Fading

Here is the transcription of the video:

"Backlinks still have many many years left in them but currently what we are trying to evaluate is that how an expert user would say, how this particular page maps their information needs and sometimes backlinks matter for that and its helpful to find out what the reputation of the site or a page is but for the most part, people care about the quality of the content on that particular page that the one they landed on. So, I think over time, backlinks will become a little less important, you know if we could really be able to tell Danny Sullivan wrote this article or Vanessa Fox wrote this article or something like that, that would help us understand, OK, this is something where there is an expert, an expert in this particular field, even if we don't know who actually wrote something, Google is getting better and better in understanding actual language. So, one of the big areas we are investing in the coming few months trying to figure out how to do more like a Start Trek computer. CONVERSATIONAL SEARCH- the sort of search where you can talk to a machine and it will be able to understand you so you will not just be using keywords. In order to understand what someone is saying like "how tall is Justin Bieber" and then "when was he born"; to be able to know what that's referring to, he is referring to "Justin Bieber", that's the sort of thing where in order to do it well, we need to understand that NATURAL LANGUAGE more. I think we get better at something like who wrote something and what the real meaning of that content is, INEVITABLY OVER TIME THERE WILL BE LESS EMPHASIS ON LINKS..."

Also See:

How to Make Full Use of Google Authorship?
Rel=author an Important Ranking Signal
Top Ways To Get Natural Backlinks To Your Site
Author Rank is the New Page Rank
What Exactly is a High Quality Backlink
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5 Most Important Link Building Factors in 2013
How to Plan Your Link Building Strategy?
Adding Ratings and Review Stars on Search Results