A recent interview with James Murray, EMEA product marketing manager at Microsoft Bing, and Laura Hampton of Impression suggested that Bing will be decreasing the impact links play in their overall search ranking algorithms. We asked Bing about this, and they told us that links are still a very 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 told us, “There are a variety of factors that come into play with ranking signals, links being one of them.” They also explained that links are still a very important ranking signal, and they don’t see that changing any time soon.
Bing seems to be focusing a bit more on conversational search, but the core 10 blue links are still very dependent on link data for ranking, as well as other conversational search ranking algorithms.
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.
We know Google is very reliant on link data for ranking. A recent study showed that links are very important for rankings in Google. We also heard Google tell us that links are a top three ranking signal.
With Bing, it seems links remain very important, despite what some might interpret from the James Murray interview.