Google has confirmed once again that the quality of links pointing to our websites is more important than how many there are. In an online chat recently, Google’s John Mueller said: “We try to understand what is relevant for a website, and how much should we weigh these individual links. The total number of links doesn’t matter at all. You could go off and create millions of links across millions of websites if you wanted to, and we could just ignore them all.
“Or there could be one really good link from one website out there that is, for us, a really important sign that we should treat this website as something that is relevant because it has that one link, maybe from like a big news site’s home page. So the total number essentially is completely irrelevant.”
I don’t think this was the case with Google several years ago. But as the search engine has gradually built up a better ‘picture’ of the web, it has become increasingly confident in its judgements of what links are important, and can focus on these in its assessments of pages.
The takeaway for us is to remember when we’re asking for links from other sites, that one link from a respectable, established and relevant site will be worth many links from low-quality ones. Indeed, irrelevant ones may now be worth nothing at all.