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Google’s John Mueller Talks About Backlinks and the Impact of SEO Strategies That Every Company Must Acknowledge


Google declares that the total number of links that point to a specific website doesn’t have that much relevance to them while also revealing the worst penalty that the internet giant slaps on a site that uses black hat SEO.

It isn’t a surprise for Google’s John Mueller to confirm that thousands of low-quality links don’t matter when it comes to how they rank a website. An experienced Seattle SEO company knows that one link from a relevant site carries more weight.

Mueller discussed this reality during a Google Search Central SEO hangout last February 19. When a participant asked him about the value of unique referring backlink domains versus the number of links, he answered with clarity that those two factors have minimal effect. Instead, Google wants business website owners to pay attention to other things, considering that the company views those links differently from internet marketers and web designers.

Google focuses on the relevance of every link to the website where it points. So, determining the value is done individually. If a website has over a thousand irrelevant links pointing to it, it won’t do anything positive for improving its rank on the search engine results page. Google will ignore those links across different domains.

Meanwhile, Mueller responded to a recent Reddit thread, asking the question of what’s the worst thing that Google can do to a website proven to have used black hat SEO methods. As a typical Seattle SEO company, the assumption is that Google will permanently deindex that website. However, Mueller debunks this myth by saying that Google always leaves an open door for a website to recover after being penalized.

Nonetheless, the site owner must put in the effort to give Google a reason to lift the penalty. Therefore, if no effort is made, the site remains deindexed from Google. This is crucial information for site owners who are planning to use black hat tactics. Once they’re caught, at least they have the ball in their hands once they get deindexed. This is contrary to what most in the industry believes that Google can control which sites must be deindexed.

Mueller adds that there’s no such thing as getting “permanently” deleted from Google. It’ll take time for a penalized site to be indexed again, but that’s a lesson to be learned. There’s no shortcut, too. It means that websites caught using methods that Google deems as “illegal” will have to go through a lengthy process of proving that it deserves to be indexed once again. The internet giant calls its penalties “manual actions,” which suggests that they can be undone based on reason.

Nonetheless, Google occasionally removes websites for good, but the reason for doing it must be severe. The best example is a website that contains nothing but pure spam. Mueller says that Google wants to focus more on looking for a website’s “good” side at the end of the day.