What’s The Future Of Backlinks?

In the process of ranking websites, Google has always relied on the analysis of backlinks. In the beginning, the key factor in determining rank and authority was backlinks. However, the internet is a fluid thing that always changes. To keep up with these changes Google also made some modifications to its ranking algorithms. So, did Link Department and other professionals in SEO. Today there are multiple factors or metrics that influence a page’s rank authority. Backlinks are still at the core of this but are no longer that dominant. So, with these changes comes the question of what is in store or backlinks and for how long they will be used. Experts have different opinions on just what is the future of backlinks.

Backlinks and ranking

Well, backlinks were always a key factor in determining website value and authority besides the quality of content that attracts them. The prevailing opinion is that the more your site is linked to the credible it is. That was the way Google determined page rank and webpage authority.

However, today many changes caused a change in the algorithm. These changes affected the way Google algorithms work. Therefore, Google introduced assigning value to links. So if you had fewer backlinks but from credible and authoritative sources you were likely to rank better. In addition, many other metrics were included in the algorithm. This Google tool remains a secret but many SEO experts work hard on determining the way it works. However, in its constant change, one thing is certain. Backlinks and their number are losing their value. Other factors are becoming more important for webpage ranking and authority.

Drawing showing the backlinks relation
Backlinks were always the backbone of Google ranking and site authority

With this fact, it seems that backlinks are losing ground and that they have less value for SEO strategies today. The future of backlinks is uncertain and there is no telling what the future will hold for them.

The future – different views and theories

As the world, the internet, and SEO is changing the future seems less certain. With respect to backlinks, it leads to the creation of different theories. SEO experts have opposing views about this matter and the way it will influence SEO efforts and strategies in the future. From theories that backlinks are already dead to the belief that they will continue to hold value, there is no clear consensus.

Prevailing theories

With such diversity of opinion, it is hard to deal with this issue with certainty. So let’s try to categorize schools of thought on this topic:

  • Backlinks will not change much in their importance
  • They will significantly change and evolve
  • Backlinks will become obsolete

Backlinks will not change much in their importance

The backlink future is solid by some SEO professionals dealing with the issue. The shift of the backlinks and Google algorithms will change to value quality more than quantity. This means that Google is learning and tightening the criteria on which it assigns value. So backlinks will still be key although its focus will be more on their quality. The algorithm will also evolve more in terms of being able to circumvent manipulation and black hat backlink practices and diminish their impact on ranking. It is also possible that the algorithms will be able to weigh backlinks even by indexing individuals’ preferences while searching. In this way, backlinks might even become more important for SEO in the future.

an online marketing writing, a s a symbol of the future of backlinks
Digital marketing will experience change as a result of changes in backlinks and their value

They will significantly change

Backlinks will remain to be one of the foremost factors to determine rank and authority although they will considerably change and evolve. The algorithms will evolve more and become more  AI that will be equipped to process large sets of data. As such they will be able to sport the patterns in behavior and find web-based trends. This will lead SEO to create more compelling content and marketing that will answer researches questions and needs. This means that besides backlinks that will always exist algorithms will aim at different signals:

  • With larger social media interactions over multiple domains and channels, Google will have to make measurements that are beyond hyperlinks
  • A more engaged audience will hold more value and weight than a brand with great reach and more backlinks
  • Search will evolve more to take into account searchers intents and feelings rather than simply search parameters. that will evolve more into

Backlinks will become obsolete

Many believe that since the value of backlinks within the Google algorithms has diminished that trend will continue. Experts either believe that backlinks are already over or that they will be obsolete within 10 to 15 years. This is based on the nature of future brand interactions and the use of social media. Some stress that the algorithms will be able to find and evaluate the content on its uniqueness, quality, and educational merits rather than backlinks. Also, as they can be easily manipulated and generated the aim will be to use other aspects to assign rank and authority and avoid backlinks altogether.

The most important website metrics like brand metrics, citations, time spent on site, user engagement, bounce rates, click-through rates are already gaining importance so it is easy to assume that they will take over from backlinks. Most likely their combination will become key to assigning authority and ranking.

A web site drawing scematics
More factors in the future will be involved in determining the website rank besides backlinks

Although a clear conclusion can’t be reached there are some recommendations that you should adopt in your SEO strategy and effort. The future of backlinks is not really clear put it is safe to assume that they will remain to be strong in the foreseeable future. This means that there’s is no reason to make changes to SEO tactics. However, the change may occur very fast and you will need to adapt quickly. So, to be on the safe side make sure you build and create a solid content strategy. If backlinks fail at certain point quality content will become a backbone for any strategy in the future marketing effort.

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