Links Still Matter: Unlock Link Ranking Results


Kyle Roof
July 9, 2024


Even by our standards, there’s been a lot of recent activity and change in the search engine optimization (SEO) world. The impact of Google’s extensive April 2024 core system update is still not completely understood. There is also a lot of contradictory information being tossed around about the relationship between links and search results.

Challenging the Status Quo

Whenever there is change, it’s a good idea to closely reevaluate existing practices to see if any have been impacted.

Take the belief that inbound links are essential to the success of an SEO campaign. While this may sound like elementary SEO, we wanted to confirm this principle was still valid after the Google update rolled out in April. If it wasn't, we needed to know quickly. Many SEO experts reported significant reversals in their search standings after the update without knowing exactly why.

Could it be that link ranking had something to do with these reversals? 

Where Some of the Confusion Came From

Some of the confusion about links stems from a tech conference where a representative from Google suggested that links pointing to a website weren’t as important as they once were. Gary Illyes went on to say that websites don’t need as many links to rank well because AI makes it easier for search engines to understand content.

Needless to say, there was some serious blowback. SEO experts challenged Illyes by citing examples of mediocre content outranking well-researched content because of the high number of links embedded in the content.

In the end, Illyes admitted that his comments about links not being as relevant were not well planned. He might have been technically correct, but these remarks were also very misleading. While Google might be able to better understand pages without relying on links as much as it did before, quality links from reputable sites still establish the authority and trust needed for higher rankings.

Putting Links to the Test

High Voltage continually scrutinizes Google’s updates and revises its SEO strategies to ensure it delivers the best solutions for its clients. To get to the bottom of the linking debate, High Voltage wanted to measure how building new inbound links could influence a webpage's rankings for specific keywords.

We started with two made-up keywords that could not possibly be connected with any legitimate websites. From there, five pages were created. One keyword was placed on the paragraph tag, H1 tag, file name, URL, and title page of the test site, which was then submitted for indexing.

Five more pages were created with a different keyword. Links from five PDFs were then pointed to the lowest-ranking page to test the impact they would have after being resubmitted for indexing. 

What we saw was that the lowest-ranking page receiving the new inbound links skyrocketed to the number one position! You really can’t get much better proof of the immense power that links continue to have on search results. 

Always on the Cutting Edge

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: the digital landscape is in constant motion.

Despite the upheaval from the Google update, High Voltage clients are thriving through change–and there’s a good reason why we are ahead of the pack. High Voltage keeps its thumb on the pulse of the latest search engine trends and only uses data-driven, white hat SEO tactics when creating digital marketing plans for its clients.

Because of our unwavering commitment to quality, High Voltage clients have experienced a surge in organic traffic to their websites and their keywords are climbing in the rankings. All of this keeps our clients and their brands at the forefront of their industry with an online presence that is more visible than ever.

This is not something new–it is how we have always done business for more than the last decade. For this reason, our clients are ahead of their competitors who may be trying to cut corners.

Give our Senior SEO specialist Adam a call to learn more about how to generate comprehensive, original content on clearly defined topics. We back content with meaningful links that are meant for real people to read–and that will be rewarded by Google’s algorithms!

About the author 

Kyle Roof

Kyle is responsible for the development and implementation of all SEO techniques used by the SEO agency High Voltage SEO and the SEO tool PageOptimizer Pro. Kyle is also the co-founder of Internet Marketing Gold, a global community of 3000+ SEO professionals who test and prove cutting edge SEO techniques. Kyle is also co-host of SEO Fight Club a weekly YouTube show that covers a multitude of SEO topics. Kyle’s SEO techniques and discoveries are followed by many SEO professionals and business leaders, he has been featured in many respected publications and is a regular speaker on SEO and SEO testing at conferences throughout the world.

You may also like

Diving Into GuesSEO

Diving Into GuesSEO

What Are You Waiting For?

Competition increases every day you delay action.