Links to authoritative sites won’t help SEO (if relevance not there)

You’ll often hear talk about how getting backlinks from authoritative sites is an absolute must when it comes to improving your rankings. Well, it’s not quite like that.

For example, let’s say you somehow sneak your way onto a site like CNN or Wikipedia. Will that outbound link help you?

A recent discussion on the topic with Google SEO guru John Mueller shed some light. In his words: “Nothing happens. Why should it?”

In clarifying his point further, Mueller went on to say: “Here’s my affiliate site about handbags – and here’s a link to CNN & Wikipedia, please take me seriously now, k?”

Although Mueller is not spelling it out exactly, the point is clear: Relevance. Assuming you have a quality website page to link back to, without relevance, don’t expect much in the way of ranking improvements. SEO is very simple at the end of the day: Satisfy the user query with relevant, quality content. That’s what Google rewards.