Will backlinks lose their importance in ranking?

In the latest Google Webmaster video, Matt Cutts was asked if “backlinks” will lose their importance to “content” in ranking. In reply he said, it will be many, many, many years to come before that happens.

In a previous video, Matt Cutts informed that a search engine without backlinks was not showing relevant results in Google’s internal experiment. So backlinks won’t be leaving us soon.

Author Link Google Ranking

He added that Google may start putting more importance to content produced by a reputed author. I guess in plain words, he indicated to Author Rank. Addition to that he mentioned about natural language processing, the contextual meaning behind webpages, in determining ranking too. Recently Google was granted patent on Context sensitive ranking. Personally I am an advocate of how Google is promoting contextual search to find the “meaning” of the search.

What is your take on algorithm changing and Google’s actions against link manipulation?

photo credit: ContentVerve

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