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Backlinks, will they still be as relevant for ranking in the years to come?

Backlinks have always been a major part of the search algorithm when it comes to a websites rankings. But moving forward into the future of search will backlinks still play a vital role in helping a website rank? Matt Cutts from Google’s web spam team has today spoke about how they will be moving away from placing as much value on backlinks as they have in the past. From what he was saying it looks like authorship will start to play a bigger and bigger role in the years to come.

Google has one main goal when it comes to search, and that is to return the best possible search results for people using its service. And today and moving into the future speech based searches are on the rise. Just about everybody in the western world now has a smart phone in their pocket, and Google is getting better and better in understanding voice commands. So they are always looking for better way to return the exact match for a particular search result that someone is looking for. Google intelligence is getting smarter and now understanding language better than ever and being able to return results like “how fast does a dingo run? And what country does it come from? “

I am amazed at some of the results I get returned now with google voice when I ask a question to Google from my Android phone (Sony Xperia Z) this will have to change the way Google looks at returning results. So yes for now backlinks will still hold some relevance but it is inevitable that at some stage of the game things will change and they will find a new way to rank results with other factor that bring the right results for the searcher. Because let’s face it, links are how we game the system. I’m sure you know if you search for something in Google it is not always the first few results that are exact matches of what you are looking for, it is usually further down the page. This is because SEO’s like myself know that part of the formulae to have your clients return first position results are backlinks, even if it is not the exact match to a search. So I guess it is going to be all about getting very specific in the future, lots of content that takes into account every aspect of your topic , product or idea.