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Matt Cutts: Will backlinks lose their importance in ranking? [youtube.com...]
Thanks to Rustybrick on Seroundtable for drawing attention to this: [seroundtable.com...]
Folks may want to reflect on recent conversation's where Matt Cutt's revealed that they had experimented with results not influenced by links and they were not good enough to use. The direction is certainly set.
Personally, I think for many there's a tie in with conversations commenced recently over here on brands and how reputation is managed by Google :
What Does "Branding" Actually Mean? [webmasterworld.com...]
and how Google attempted to manage brands earlier on with
Big brands do not have the upper hand - Matt Cutts [webmasterworld.com...]
Key milestones for me have been brand measurement ; on page quality measurement / Panda ; and link devaluation / Penguin; and somewhat still wobbly, authority referral point measurements.
So what's your strategy on the go forward? How will you translate the thinking of Matt's video into yours or your client's site's future? What will you be communicating to your staff or clients ?
I can see a new revitalised industry forming.
On ecommerce, we're spending a lot of time thinking about user interfaces, hoping, for certain types of sites, that visitor experience on the site will get around some of the difficulties Panda is presenting. Value-added content is more important than ever.
Site and page structure, both, are vitally important. Everything is focused to making a page instantly clear to visitors and on getting the searcher to what they're looking for in the most efficient way possible.
But google will forever fight against links because links mean poeple are leaded to another site without using google.