Backlinks are becoming ‘The Weakest Link’


What are backlinks?


Backlinks are links that refer to a webpage. So, if a website/blog links to another page, this is what’s called: ‘a backlink’. Backlinks were the major metric for the ranking of a webpage previously, but they’ve been dropping in importance in recent years (since 2007 to be exact).


For example, prior to the early 2000’s – you’d have noticed that a page with a lot of backlinks would rank higher up on pages of major search engines such as Google. What used to be one of the strongest ways to increase a business’ SEO is now becoming lacklustre.


With news of 2017 being the year of AMP and studies suggesting that backlinks have dropped by 10% since last year, reports have been published stating that these figures are expected to continue to drop throughout the year – by a total of 20%, making way for Artificial Intelligence.


What is AMP?


Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a specific website optimized for mobile browsing. An AMP typically loads these websites on smart devices in record, light-speed time. Google, in particular, relishes this technology and so should you and your business…


What is Artificial Intelligence?


Artificial Intelligence is a theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.


Why are backlinks no longer ‘a thing’?


Searchmetrics’ study of Ranking Factors & Rank Correlations has discovered that backlinks “no longer primarily determine search engine rankings”.


Apparently, this is because it is now possible for a website to achieve a high Google ranking, even with fewer links than its rivals.


The reason for this is that traction is being somewhat driven by the increase of mobile search queries, because URLs on smartphones are often linked and/or shared, but rarely actively linked. The increasing prominence of apps and app rankings in organic search is also contributing to the decline of backlinks’ importance.