Google: Links No Longer A Top Three Ranking Signal

Sep 24, 2023 - 8:51 am 58 by

Google Robot Links Sad

Google has been downplaying the importance of links in its ranking algorithm for the past couple of years now. But last Thursday, at PubCon, Gary Illyes from the Google Search team said he wouldn't even put links into the top three ranking signals Google Search uses.

Gary was quoted saying this in several posts on X during his Q&A session at PubCon.

Here are those tweets:

Danny Goodwin also covered him saying this at Search Engine Land, "Links are not a “top 3” ranking signal and hasn’t been “for some time,” Illyes said, adding that there really isn’t a universal top 3. It’s absolutely possible to rank without links, Illyes said, citing an example of a page with zero internal or external links that he knew of that was ranking Position 1 on Porsche cars – and Google had only found the page via a sitemap."

Some history for you, a year or so ago, Duy Nguyen from Google's search quality team said, "backlinks as a signal has a lot less significant impact compared to when Google Search first started out many years ago." We also covered that Google said links would likely become even less important in the future. And even Matt Cutts, the former Googler, said something similar about eight years ago and the truth is, links are weighted a lot less than it was eight years ago and that trend continues. A couple of years ago, Google said links are not the most important Google search ranking factor.

Note: I am posting stories today, Sunday, because tomorrow is Yom Kippur and I am not posting anything on Yom Kippur.

Forum discussion at X.

 

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