During the November 2022 edition of Google SEO office-hours, Duy Nguyen from Google’s Search Quality team answered a question about backlinks and rankings by mentioning the intriguing fact that backlinks have a lot less significant impact than it used to in the past.
“Backlinks as a signal has a lot less significant impact compared to when Google Search first started out many years ago,” said Duy Nguyen.
He also added:
We have robust ranking signals, hundreds of them, to make sure that we are able to rank the most relevant and useful results for all queries.”
This should come as no surprise given the fact that John Mueller indicated recently that backlinks strength as a ranking factor will drop over time, saying:
“Well, it’s something where I imagine, over time, the weight on the links at some point will drop off a little bit as we can figure out a little bit better how the content fits in within the context of the whole web.”
It is undeniably true that backlinks today have much less of an impact than they did when Google first launched.
Duy Nguyen continued:
“Second, full link building campaigns, which are essentially link spam according to our spam policy.
We have many algorithms capable of detecting unnatural links at scale and nullify them.
This means that spammers or SEOs spending money on links truly have no way of knowing if the money they spent on link building is actually worth it or not, since it’s really likely that they’re just wasting money building all these spammy links and they were already nullified by our systems as soon as we see them.”
Here is Google’s answer in the video below: