In the latest video published on Google’s Webmaster Help channel, Matt Cutts answers a question that come from Mr. Leah from New York.
"Google changed the search engine market in the '90s by evaluating a website's backlinks instead of just the content ... Updates like Panda and Penguin show a shift in importance towards content. Will backlinks lose their importance?"
The answer was? Ideally, overtime, yes. Matt states that links still have many years left in them, Google has made no secret that quality content and resource creation will be the way of the future. There is no doubting that back-links will still hold value as a metric of measurements for quality resources, but as Google shifts focus towards advancing it’s ability in understanding conversational language in search we may see their impact take a back chair as a ranking factor.
Matt Cutts has stated: "As we get better at understanding who wrote something and what the real meaning of that content is, inevitably over time, there will be little less emphasis on links. I would expect that for the next few years we will continue to use links to assess the basic reputation of pages and of sites."
He added that for the "Next Few Years" links are not going anyway and will still be used for determining reputation. But overtime, Google will rely a little bit less on links for reputation purposes.
So while back-links may be secure for now, it may be sensible to start getting a good resource and content strategy that will encourage organic linking and set your business as a resource, before the sort drops.
Here is the Original Video:
Hope that will help… Cheers...