So…what is it?
Keyword density? The number of blog posts you have or words in your posts? What about choosing lower-competition keywords you know you can rank for? Perhaps your bounce rate? Or how fast your website loads? How about the number of your social media followers and the comments they make?
Truth be told, each of these makes up a slice of the pie that determines your website rank; but getting to the crux of the issue, the number and quality of your site links ultimately has the greatest impact overall.
Backlinko, a leading SEO blog, confirms this by saying, “It’s no secret that link building is the most important skill in SEO.”
If you’ve followed our blog for any amount of time, you’ve heard us beat this same drum for years now—and we will continue to do so as long as this remains true.
Why Are Links Still So Important in 2022?
First, it’s important to understand the whole idea behind Google. One key company goal is to serve the market with the most useful search results for every keyword search in existence. In turn, Google serves users relevant ads based on their searches—with a huge proportion of total revenue coming from advertising, which has a giant impact on company profits.
As such, the rules of their business operations dictate that they serve the market with relevant search results. If they fail to do so? They will watch their revenue, and the entire company, fall by the wayside.
How Does Google Consistently Serve the Most Relevant Search Results?
Google currently owns 91.88% of the entire search market share across the globe. Bing comes in at 3.19%, while Yahoo has a paltry 1.33%. The share data percents varies regularly, not a lot. To see the latest share, go to Statcounter.
Google owns the most sophisticated search algorithm in the world and has tweaked it with dozens of updates over the years designed to eliminate human manipulation—achieving the most useful, relevant search results at the top of Google rankings. They continually do this better than others because the market relies on Google far more than other search engines.
What Role Do Links Play?
Each link counts as a “vote,” but each vote doesn’t carry the same weight. For example, a link from The New York Times carries hundreds or thousands of times more power than one from your best friend’s website, as the NYT has a massively well-established reputation with Google and is loaded with popular content people read. Moreover, millions or billions of links already point to its site.
If the NYT links to you, you must have done something that’s quite a big deal. Hence, Google rewards that link much more than others, and you must offer amazing content to have earned that link. Plus, you more than likely either know someone at The New York Times or are an incredibly skilled marketer.
Yet, that’s truly what the Web is: an interrelated place with billions of websites, each with its own distinct reputation. The best way to determine your reputation? Examine how other websites assess yours by looking at links (votes), or a lack thereof, to your website.
As links and content will continue to represent the strongest ranking factors for your website, you will never waste time and money when you invest in these areas, accordingly.