For the SEOs of the world, links occupy remain as important as ever. A study by SEMRush lists different link signals as 4 of the top 8 search ranking factors while Backlinka found that the average #1 Google Search has 3.8x more backlinks and 3.2x more referring domains than #2-#10. By MOZ’s account, links account for 28% of Google’s ranking factors in local organic search. That’s worth more than any other factor!

But as any SEO expert could point out, more is not always better with link signals. Quality matters. Google penalizes websites using doorway pages, hidden links, thin affiliates, or other dishonest tricks to increase their site’s rank without increasing its quality or relevance. Search engines never want spam to have a positive influence on rankings. Working with spam can tank your site’s reputation as well; bringing poor-quality links together creates a bad neighborhood, tanking the reputation of every site caught in the chain.

Instead, SEO experts should want to focus on the good ways to improve link signals. A diverse array of methods exist, but most methods boil down to two principles: maintain a high quality website and only provide external backlinks to websites of equal or better quality. So long as your page and the external backlinks it attracts have good E-A-T, they will be able to climb the search rankings. The trust, diversity, and relevance of sites linking to yours (and vice versa) will always make a difference.

Take it from Bill Hartzer, cofounder of the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association: “Links… are how we navigate the web. They will always be important, whether or not a search engine algorithm is involved.”

According to Tamar Weinberg, Professional Hustler & Bestselling Author: “Links are alive and well. They’re a means to provide readers with further information should they want to learn more about the topic they’re reading, and as such, should be celebrated.”

are links dead (infographic)

Infographic Source: DirJournal