A new study released by Stone Temple Consulting (STC) takes an in depth look at the influence of backlinks, and deems them to be just as important as ever.

The study suggests that recent industry chatter surrounding the decline in importance of links as a ranking factor is misleading. With the likes of Moz and Searchmetrics having published opposing arguments in the past, the study set out to disprove these theories, placing significant importance on the effects of links on Google rankings.

The study, shared by Eric Enge of STC, shares information provided by Andre Lippatsev from a Google Hangouts conversation, in which Ammon Johns queries:

Ammon Johns: We heard that RankBrain is the third-most-important signal contributing to results now. Would it be beneficial to us to know what the first two are?

This is then answered with:

Andrey Lippatsev: Yes. Absolutely. I can tell you what they are. It’s content and links going into your site.

The study includes an in depth analysis of statistics provided by previous studies from Moz and SearchMetrics, before comparing them to their own results that oppose them, proving a direct correlation between number of links and ranking position.

With the information being sourced from trusted industry experts, and having also been endorsed by Barry Shwartz, the study appears to have enlightened many experts as to the true importance of linking as a ranking factor.

Find a summarised video breakdown of the study results below.

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About the author:

Adam Stokes joined ClickThrough as a content writer in March 2015. His role involves writing industry news articles, blog posts, product descriptions, web pages, infographics and more for many of ClickThrough’s clients. Away from his desk he enjoys writing screenwriting, creating flash fiction, and eating nothing but Cadbury’s.