I was drawn to two interesting stories on inbound.org today: -
The first was from Barry Schwartz at searchengineland and was titled ‘Google’s Matt Cutts: Over Time Backlinks Will Become Less Important‘
The second was from Jennifer Slegg at searchenginewatch and was titled ‘Matt Cutts: Google Won’t Devalue Links Anytime Soon‘
Woah… that’s some conflicting info coming from Matt there isn’t it? This needs some investigation!
So, which is it? Is it time we stopped building links or are backlinks still going to be powering up our rankings for the foreseeable future?
Well, it turns out both articles are actually about the same video… this one:-
What Matt actually says is that: -
“I think backlinks still have many, many years left in them, But inevitably what we’re trying to do is figure out how an expert user would say this particular page matched their information needs. And sometimes backlinks matter for that.”
“So I think, over time, back links will become a little less important”
But News Is News Right?
Well, not exactly…
When you read a newspaper, you are not always reading ‘news’ as fact, more the paper’s editorial slant on the events.
If you read a news report in The Times, you might come away with a very different take than you would if you read a report on the same story in The Guardian.
So What’s Going On Here?
Both Barry’s and Jennifer’s articles are reporting on the same video (and the content of the reports themselves are similar), but in choosing their titles they have focused on two different editorial messages.
As not everyone will read the full post (which puts the titles in context), not everyone will see there are two sides to the story.
So, someone scanning the headlines on searchengineland is likely to come away with different thoughts on the future of SEO (and backlinks) to someone scanning searchenginewatch.
And that is the power of the editor!
Anyway, for what it’s worth, I think…
Backlinks Are Here To Stay (At Least For Now)
Sitting on the fence? Me? Not at all