Google have stated through Gary Illyes, the following info about Penguin 4 with regards to backlinks:
Bottom Line Is:
Google is trying to tell us that unless your site is being aggressively spammy, that low quality links will just be ignored!
They’ will just ignore them read more about it here.
SEO’s have waited for a long time for this day.
This tells us several things:
Google changed the search market in the ’90s by evaluating a website’s backlinks instead of just the content, like others did.
Updates like Panda and Penguin show a shift in importance towards content.
Will backlinks lose their importance in 2017?” Well, I personally think backlinks still have a lot of time left in them.
But inevitably what google is trying to do is figure out how a particular page matches a user search.
And sometimes backlinks matter for that.
It’s helpful to find out what the reputation of the site or a page is.
But for the most part, people care about the quality of the content on that particular page. The one that they landed on.
So I think overtime, backlinks will become a little less important.
What they are trying to do really is be able to tell John James wrote this article.
Or Reed Fox wrote this article, something like that, that would help them understand, OK.
This is someone who is an expert in this particular field.
And then even if we don’t know who actually wrote something. Google is getting better and better at understanding actual language.
So one of the big areas that they are investing in is trying to figure out how to do more like a Star Trek computer. Something called conversational search.
The sort of search where you can talk to a machine and it will be able to understand, so you’re not just using keywords.
In order to understand what someone is saying, like how tall is Mike Tyson, and then when was he born, to be able to know what that’s referring to.
He is referring to Mike Tyson.
That’s the sort of thing where, in order to do that well, we need to understand natural language more.
And so I think as they get better at understanding who wrote something, and what the real meaning of that content is. Inevitably over time, there will be a little less emphasis on links.
But I would expect that for the next few years, we will continue to use links in order to assess the basic reputation of pages and of sites.