People at Google have recently stated that the importance of backlinks within the overall ranking scheme could diminish over the next few years. According to observers, the search engine may be looking at alternative ways to determine the relevance of a website to a particular keyword. These include signals from experts, the qualitative and quantitative interaction of humans with the content, and other on-site indicators.
Signals from experts could be links from a top journalist to your site, for example. If the industry is the same as yours, or similar to yours, and the linking party is considered an expert, you could benefit immensely from such a link.
Alternatively, Authority websites can also be gauged by their on-site content. On-site content is one of the easiest ways a search engine can determine a site’s worth. Detecting content matter, nuances of language, use of industry terminology, quality of language used, and even grammar can help a search engine get to grips with site quality and any potential authority status.
Currently, inbound links are the most important ways a search engine can determine the relevance of a web page to a particular keyword. However, unscrupulous link builders have been using links to increase relevance for web pages that are not really relevant. Motives can include monetary profit for one’s business, or working on a client’s behalf to raise rankings.
Quality link building involves creating mutual relationships with other businesses and stakeholders, so that any links between websites act as reflections of real world relationships. These are likely to be trusted by search engines, and your website is more likely to receive the benefit and rank higher.