Link metrics is the foundation of Google’s ranking algorithm, which will never lose its sheen. In fact, it is the backbone of the SEO and nothing can be achieved without quality inbound links. A website’s authority can be determined and evaluated only by the quality of the links it has. Google consistently revises its ranking processes consequently changing the process of evaluating quality backlinks.Even though evaluation of link quality has transformed, backlinks have been the main key of determining authority for Google’s existence.
The question is why links are so important? To understand this, we need to look back at the concept of the PageRank algorithm, which uses the presence as well as quality of backlinks pointing to a website to determine how to measure a site’s authority. Here, it must be noticed that PageRank was engineered to be a natural way to measure authority, which gradually helps websites to rise to the top (in a closed system). But it should be remembered that it is not a closed system. As soon as webmaster learn about their website’s PageRank, they start building thousands and thousands of backlinks to get high rankings. This has forced Google to take serious actions and develop certain critical check points.
Over the years, Google has started penalizing the websites that were involved in link schemes. One of the most significant developments was the Penguin update. (Google launched the Penguin Update in April 2012 to better catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, in particular those doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings.)
Google also emphasized on the website’s functionality as well as the content quality in order to raise the standards of the websites. All these elements together determine the authority where links are still a big part of the overall game.
Today, link building is all about building links naturally; it exists in 2 forms:
Manual link building
However, when it comes to building high quality backlinks, nothing can beat guest blogging. It is one of the best ways to achieve high quality backlinks.
Can links be replaced?
Link significance as well as PageRank have been the major foundation of Google’s evaluation of authority, so it is hard to predict that it will lose its significance overtime. Of course, it will evolve with the passage of time, but will always remain at the centre of the Google. So businesses must improve their link building efforts.