Are links dead? Ah, the age old SEO question – an argument that seems to surface on the internet every few years. While many might argue that links are no longer the most important ranking signal, they are still an important consideration and well worth the time. True, there are always new ranking signals and Google updates their algorithm frequently – much more frequently than most people would imagine, links are likely here to stay.
According to SEMrush, 4 out of the top 8 ranking factors are related to link signals. That said, it’s important to note that not all links are created equal. A good general rule of thumb is to think that the harder links are to get, the more valuable it is most likely is. Emphasis should be on trust, diversity, and the relevance of links.
Of course, there are more nuanced discussions that many are having online such as the role of the rel link attribute tag in which links can be labeled as dofollow (this is the attribute by default), nofollow, and also the more recent additions of ugc (which stands for user generated content) and sponsored. Google says that it is noteworthy to mark your links accordingly.
Check out the following visual deep dive for more information on the question of whether or not links are actually dead after all (here’s a hint, they aren’t):