In case you were wondering, backlinks are still really important to how Google views the quality of your site. Head of webspam Matt Cutts said as much in the latest "Webmaster Help" video, in which he discusses Google testing a version of its search engine that excludes backlinks as a ranking signal.
The discussion was prompted when a user asked if Google has a version of the search engine that totally excludes backlink relevance.
"We don't have a version like that that is exposed to the public, but we have run experiments like that internally, and the quality looks much, much worse," he says. "It turns out backlinks, even though there's some noise, and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really, really big win in terms of quality for search results."
"We've played around with the idea of turning off backlink relevance, and at least for now, backlink relevance still really helps in terms of making sure we return the best, most relevant, most topical set of search results," Cutts adds.
I wonder how big a role backlinks are playing in these results.
Image via YouTube