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Google Website Ranking: Is Your Google Position Still Affected by Backlinks?

  • 3 min read
  • June 28, 2024
Are backlinks still influencing your Google website ranking?

Backlinks – also known as inbound links – are links on other websites that link back to pages on yours. It’s traditionally thought that the more quality backlinks you can gain for your site, the higher your Google website ranking will be. But, is this still the case? 

In 2016, Google’s Partner Development Manager, Andrey Lipattsev said that backlinks were one of the most important Google website ranking factors alongside content and keywords. However, the online landscape is ever changing and progressing, and thus, so are Google’s ranking factors. Are backlinks as relevant as they used to be? 

Is Backlinking Still Important for Your Google Website Ranking?

Backlinks definitely still matter and are a key Google website ranking factor. However, their importance has waned slightly since Lipattsev stressed their vitality in 2016. 

Last year (September 2023), Google Analyst, Gary Illyes said: “I think they [backlinks] are important, but I think people overestimate the importance of links. I don’t agree it’s in the top three. It hasn’t been for some time…. It is possible to rank without links.” 

In February 2024, Illyes repeated this point and said at a Pubcon event: “Links are important, but not as important as people think.

What is important to stress again though, is that Illyes hasn’t stated that backlinks shouldn’t be a priority, just that they’re not as important as they used to be. SEO ranking factors constantly change. With every tweak and change Google makes to their algorithms, their ranking factors alter too. It’s impossible to keep up with the exact ranking factors at all times!

However, backlinks are still important. They contribute to your site’s domain authority, trust and credibility. Backlinks also indicate that your content is valuable enough to be clicked on. In turn, this helps drive up more website traffic too. For the most optimised, visible site though, you need to focus on a range of SEO factors, alongside backlinks. 

Read more on how to Boost Website Traffic here.

How To Obtain More Backlinks & Improve Your Google Website Ranking

You can help improve your Google website ranking by obtaining more backlink opportunities. You can do this by:

Broken Link Building

Use an SEO tool to establish broken links on other websites leading to a competitor, and reach out to offer yours instead. 

High-Quality Content

Creating high-quality, accurate content as part of your content marketing strategy will naturally lend itself to being linked to.

Offer Your Expertise

Reach out directly to credible brands and sites and offer to write guest content. You can link to your site within this content.

Participate in Online Forums

By sharing your expertise directly with potential consumers and clients via forums can help attract backlinks from those relevant community members.


Sharing your content on social media, and building relationships with influential voices in your industry can encourage backlinks from their websites and social pages. 

So, this is backlinking, but have you thought about internal linking too? Read our blog regarding Internal Links and SEO here.

Obtaining a Better Google Website Ranking Takes Time, As Does Backlinking

Building a strong backlink network takes time, consideration and effort. Generating content of high value and quality is definitely the first step and encourages those links to start building! 

If you need further support in your optimisation strategy and want to improve your Google website ranking, consider our KIJO Optimise package. Transform your website into one that delivers with our expert optimisation team who will help improve your website’s performance. Contact us today.

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