Mountain View, California–The head of the webspam team at Google, Mat Cutts, recently answered a question in a YouTube video regarding the exclusion of backlinks in the organic ranking algorithms. Cutts stated that although the search engine does have the capability to do so and has performed internal tests, it has not released a public version.
Cutts did though disclose such internal tests have yielded undesirable results, “We don’t have a version like that that is exposed to the public, but we have run experiments like that internally, and the quality looks much, much worse. It turns out backlinks, even though there’s some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really, really big win in terms of quality for search results,” the software engineer explained.
Peering into Backlink Exclusion
One of the biggest parts of the SEO community is to build a solid catalog of inbound links from high quality, high traffic sites. Unfortunately, spamming techniques and low quality sites are abundant, making it difficult to secure quality links for webmasters.
In addition, backlinks remain a strong indicator for the quality of the sites to which they point, along with query relevance. As Google releases new technologies, such as Hummingbird, a core insertion into the infrastructure of its ranking results which attempts to understand query context, other changes will unfold in the coming months and years.
Penalties Still a Key Weapon
Google continues to combat sites which operate outside the bounds of its Webmaster Guidelines. Recently, the search engine penalized Virool, a social video sharing site, in December, Rap Genius was penalized, along with Backlinks.com. The search engine issued a warning to affiliate sites operating with thin content.