Matt Cutts: Excluding Links From Google's Algorithm Would Make Search Results Worse

Matt Cutts

Backlinks are a huge part of the Google algorithm. Because of this, webmasters have tried to manipulate links to their advantage, such as by buying links.

What would Google's search results really be like without backlinks being factored into the algorithm? That's something many of us have wondered over the years, and is the topic of the latest video from Google's Matt Cutts.

"We don’t have a version like that that is exposed to the public, but we have run experiments like that internally, and the quality looks much, much worse," Cutts said. "It turns out backlinks, even though there’s some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really really big win in terms of quality for search results."

Cutts added that backlink relevance "still really helps in terms of making sure that we return the best, most relevant, most topical set of search results."

I know many of us would like to see the search results without back links taken into account. It would be pretty eye-opening, although I suspect some of us would be pretty horrified see the end result. It would be quite interesting to see a screenshot of what Google's search results without backlinks look like.

About the author

Jennifer Slegg began as a freelance writer, and turned to search engine optimization and writing content for the web in 1998. She has created numerous content-rich sites in niche markets and works with many clients on content creation, strategy, and monetization. She writes about many search industry and social media topics on her blog, JenniferSlegg.com and is a frequent speaker at search industry conferences on SEO, content marketing and content monetization. Acknowledged as the leading expert on the Google AdSense contextual advertising program, she runs JenSense, a blog dealing exclusively with contextual advertising. She is also the founder and editor of The SEM Post. She is known by many as her handle Jenstar on various webmaster forums.