In a recent interview with James Murray, EMEA product marketing manager at Microsoft Bing, and Laura Hampton of Impression, it’s suggested that Bing is going to decrease the impact of links play in their overall search ranking algorithms.  Bing was asked about this, and they siad that links are still an important ranking factor for search rankings.

Here is a snippet of the interview that drew our attention:

“We’re still not at the stage where links are going to go away, and so they will continue to be a factor that we look at,” says Murray, in the interview conducted in Paddington, London.

“What we might see is that links start to decrease in importance that they have in the general context of the various factors that we use to determine relevance.”

A Microsoft spokesperson from Bing said, “There are a variety of factors that come into play with ranking signals, links being one of them.” They explained that links are still an important ranking signal.  They don’t see that changing any time soon.

It seems that Bing is focusing a bit more on conversational search, although the core 10 blue links are still very dependent on link data for ranking, as well as other conversational search ranking algorithms.

Bing said:

Search is evolving to become more conversational, people are interacting with their devices and searching for information in more conversational ways. Microsoft is at the forefront of conversational computing, and we want the Bing search experience to be an efficient and productive experience for our users. We will continue to update and refine the Bing search experience to reflect this.

At this point, it’s pretty obvious that Google is reliant on link data when it comes to ranking.  It was shown that in a recent study that links are very important for rankings in Google.

Google has even said that links are a top three ranking signal.

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