The Future of PageRank: 13 Experts on the Dwindling Value of the Link

In a recent Webmaster video, Matt Cutts confirmed that Google has tried internal versions of its search engine that work entirely without links. The results are low-quality – “for now,” he said. But this suggests that the value of the almighty link has come into question at Google, and they may be working on a version of the PageRank algorithm that doesn’t depend so heavily on the link graph – which means PageRank as we know it might be on the chopping block. But when?

In light of this, we asked some of our favorite SEO and inbound marketing experts to answer the following three questions:

  1. Do you see the link losing value over time? Do you foresee a future where backlinks lose some or all of their weight in the PageRank algorithm? How far off would it be?
  2. Thought experiment: If Google search did work without links (as Russian search engine Yandex is attempting), what metrics would replace it?
  3. How – if at all – should SEO’s change their content marketing and link building strategies in the coming years, given inevitable changes to the algorithm?

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