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Are dofollow backlinks valuable anymore? What is the evidence?

     
1:03 pm on Jan 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have a highly targeted but modest website that recently got a dofollow backlink from a large, relevant and high authority website.

I recently got another dofollow backlink to the same site from a massive and only slightly less relevant website.

The backlinks have not made a bit of difference in Google search results for my site. What is the evidence that proves dofollow backlinks have value anymore with Google?

Considering the modest size of my site, I expected at least some impact from the backlinks.
2:21 pm on Jan 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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IMO I find any changes to current pages that affect ranking (external or internal) only become apparent after an algo update.
2:52 pm on Jan 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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There's an old theory that google's algorithm waits a while before giving credit for a newly-discovered backlink.

A refinement of the theory is that the amount of credit starts at zero, then slowly rises, reaching a peak after a year or so, and then begins a long slow decline. So very new backlinks and very old backlinks don't have much effect.
3:24 pm on Jan 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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A few thoughts ...

First, how long ago is "recently"? This might just need more time.

Be cautious about how much influence to expect from any particular link. The site linking to you may be Big and Important but what about the page your link is actually on? Is it a Big and Important page within the site, or just an ordinary page among thousands or even millions? Also, how many other links are on the same page? And what are the page's signals of relevance? Any of these might affect what the link will do for you.

Another factor might be what the competition has been doing. What if you got two new inks but the other guy got three? Your links might be doing more good more than you can see. They'll keep you in the race but it takes a lot to actually get ahead.

The bottom line: keep doing whatever it was that earned those new links, even if you can't tell what an individual link is worth. Quality links will always help your cause.
3:40 pm on Jan 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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All good feedback. I'll narrow my concern a little more. Have any of you seen recent evidence, such as within the last 6 months to a year, that gaining important backlinks is helpful to your rankings?
4:05 pm on Jan 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Here's a question: Do these two new backlinks send much traffic to your site?

Some have speculated that google's algorithm gives more credit to backlinks that get clicked.

Regardless, in my opinion the best way to judge a backlink is by how much traffic it sends.
6:05 pm on Jan 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If it's from a paid in-content article, it's likely to be drawing from a poisoned well and no longer having an effect, like with what happened with paid links in major magazines a year ago. When those magazines no-followed the paid links the rankings didn't change. The links were already not counting at Google.
 

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