Google's John Mueller said on Twitter "links are definitely not the most important SEO factor." This comes shortly after he said to forget everything you have read in the past about link juice.
Here are the tweets:
John said prior to this statement "if all you've read uses the term "link juice", it's almost certainly wrong, and you should instead focus on the basics instead of worrying about "link juice"." He said you should "make a website, watch your server logs, learn how search works, understand your users. Make a better site."
And again, he said "links are definitely not the most important SEO factor."
I think most SEOs would agree that content does beat out links as what is a more important ranking factor - at a higher level. But again, most SEOs would consider links to be one of the most important SEO ranking factors.
I asked John to clarify that links are still super important but maybe not the single most important factor Google uses.
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Update from John:
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