Google's Matt Cutts: Links Still Have Many Years Left In Them But...

May 6, 2014 • 8:51 am | comments (29) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Matt CuttsMatt Cutts, Google's face of search for webmasters, posted a future telling video yesterday on when and how Google may rely less on links in the future for ranking pages.

Matt Cutts said that while links have "many years left in them," Google is looking for ways to rely less on them in the future. How?

Google says that natural languages and author expert ranking plays a role in that. He said that if they can understand an expert wrote a specific article then they can use that as a way to rank better content. Matt told us they are working on that for a while now.

In short, they said they want to provide a page that matches the expectation needs of an expert searcher. Now, links play a role in that, but more importantly, content is a major role in that. So understanding if the content is written by an expert is important.

The hard part, Matt said, is not knowing who the experts are. Can they look at a document and figure out if an expert wrote it or not? That is where understanding actual language, natural language, conversational search, comes into play. If Google can understand better what someone is saying, then it gets easier.

Matt said, "as we get better at understanding who wrote something and what the real meaning of that content is, inevitably over time, there will be little less emphasis on links."

But for the next few years, links are where it is at. So, SEOs, get working!

Here is the video:

Forum discussion at Twitter, Google Webmaster Help & Black Hat World.

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Josh Zehtabchi

05/06/2014 01:00 pm

This is all assuming Google is still a leading search player in "many years time".

F1 Steve

05/06/2014 01:05 pm

Hear that gust of wind? That would be the many Ad word link sellers breathing a unified sigh of relief! Keep selling them backlinks boys!

05/06/2014 02:42 pm

If you read between the lines, what he is really saying is that the long term plan is to replace backlinks with Google circles. There is only one tool Google has available to give an indication of whether or not someone is an expert, and that is how many circles they appear in. That's why they list the information in search results for those who are using Google authorship. So the real story here is that Google is trying to find new ways to force people to use G+. So yes, SEOs get to work by all means, but not on building backlinks; instead focus on gaming circles (which isn't hard to do)

Durant Imboden

05/06/2014 05:20 pm

In the video, that Matt talked about relying a LITTLE BIT less (his vocal emphasis) on backlinks as Google gets better at identifying quality authors and content. (The "little bit" qualifier needs to be included in any summary of the video.) The more interesting part of the video for me was Matt's statement that conversatiional search is something they'll be focusing on in "the next few months."


05/06/2014 07:30 pm

Is that what Panda is all about, the site's on page content? So they already started factoring content into the sites ranking.


05/06/2014 08:30 pm

Holy Crap! I agree with Durant's comments! My take is that contextual references to keywords may up the hit counts for search term relevancy... a.k.a if the pronoun maps to the search term then the content gets added relevancy... would totally change the content tuning rules. The technology already exists it is how most of the article spinning software solutions work these days... Most of those are built on WordNet and/or Stanford NLP Parsers. It is a little funny that the tech has been used for black hat for years and google is just now getting around to it.

Yo Mamma

05/06/2014 09:51 pm

Just a thought, but I think Yahoo will be bidding to buy Google very soon. Maybe 2 failing search engines can produce one good one - Alibaba dude!


05/06/2014 10:46 pm

Pfff, yea right


05/06/2014 11:24 pm

Google's Matt Cutts: Links Still Have Many Years Left In Them But... We Need more ways to MAKE MONEY USING WHITE LISTS!!!!


05/06/2014 11:27 pm

G+ is dead social engine. May be only mc & his friends using it.


05/06/2014 11:28 pm

exactly. I think will go out search engine business soon. All they do is to destroy their (previously) famous search engine to pleasure their gold taurus.


05/06/2014 11:29 pm

I think they will go out search engine business soon

Isha Chopra

05/07/2014 03:20 am


SEO Guru Jaipur

05/07/2014 04:46 am

Most of the link building techniques are stopped by Google, how we can ranked our clients projects or website. Social Media and blogging can not generate much traffic and lots of time require in that case. how we can target market without link building because without link building we cannot get ranking on target keywords. Any technique which can generate leads and traffic from target location within 6 months ? Client want ranking or conversations early. How we can do this ????


05/07/2014 05:43 am

use adwords - instant leads.


05/07/2014 07:11 am

Learn to be an SEO Guru.

Kim Ngoc

05/07/2014 07:18 am

As everything changes, I think it is better to be a SEO consultant, rather than to be a SEOer :)

Kim Ngoc

05/07/2014 07:31 am

G+ story has ended as they said it is failure project

Jitendra Vaswani

05/07/2014 08:17 am

Ri8 kim, I dont think link building is dead, it is still there , but webmasters need to follow proper guidelines while building links, link building is now link earning, spamming doesnt help now. I can see many webmasters do spamming and try to rank but i am sure it will not help them for long term. Blog is now playing imp role many businesses. Having engaging content surely rise conversion rates.

Kim Ngoc

05/07/2014 09:39 am

@Jitendra Yes, link building is still here, but it has changed a lot. It is always good to get recommendation (backlink) from a big brother. But you can't spam to get this kind of links

Aki Balogh

05/07/2014 04:13 pm

Google is already focusing on keyword relevance, since they're working on the knowledge graph. There are a set of new tools that focus on keyword relevance -- SimilarWeb,, the revised Wordtracker, to list a few.


05/07/2014 05:08 pm

now if they could only get rid of the fake review web sites like and because sites like those feign impartiality, use public info to "rate" companies but then always recommend one specific company (the company who owns that web site) it's unethical, immoral and Google needs to put a stop to it. Any thoughts Matt Cutts?


05/08/2014 11:12 am

Making accusations to google is at all helping any of us. maybe we should all be thinking about something else, why is it that we all seem to like Link building so much, the answer here is easy to figure out, because it is relatively easy to do than the alternatives. The other question is who got us into the link building business? Second ask yourself do you want the technolodgy that you depend on for your lively hood to stay the same and never change with time, if that where to happen what do you think its going to happen linkbuilding will eventually die, for this one reason we will all get so good at it it wil no longer be relevant to get a website ranked on links, think about it just now we have automated tools that can build very good links. when this happens it only mean one thing get out before you sink with the ship. that is exactly what google is trying to do now, they are struggling to stay relevant to search, if they depend on links for 5 more years they won't be relevant. So guys stop harrasing google, they got you into business to start with.


05/09/2014 11:57 am

Links as a buffer of popularity still works the best. G+ social layer would be another ranking factor.

Kim Ngoc

05/14/2014 02:14 am

@rob yes, but I think these ways will not so easy to find out. If it were easy, every people would crush on SEO and Adsense like the Rush gold period

Kim Ngoc

05/14/2014 02:42 am

my seoer friends and I use it too (actively) :)

SEO Guru Jaipur

05/17/2014 04:27 am

Client have no large budget for adwords. I submitted google places and did local directories listing, Now client is happy.

SEO Guru Jaipur

05/17/2014 04:28 am

I think you have good seo knowledge, please make my seo guru if don't mind...

SEO Guru Jaipur

05/17/2014 04:37 am

Link Building is still work, I agree with you but quality and high PR links are limited so problem starts after 3 months, we have to struggle for relevant or quality links searching. And in future the role of link building will be less. See Mutt Cutt Update..

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