18.05.2021, Vladislava

How many backlinks do you need

How Many Backlinks Do I Need to Rank on Page 1 of Google?

If you’re wondering how many backlinks you need to conquer Google’s SERP, don’t fall for the guides that instantly claim 10, 23, or any other number. While it may sound tempting to follow a simple path, there is no guarantee that it will deliver the desired results. That said, we can admit that there is no panacea to curb link-building.  

In this article, we will elaborate on how many backlinks a website should have, considering its unique niche. We will try to explain the basics so that you can carry out an in-depth analysis and define your own working solution.

The Basics of Backlinks 

Before we move to how many backlinks you need to rank at the top of Google’s Search, let’s find out what backlinks really are and why they matter in the first place.

What Are Backlinks?

Have you ever seen a hyperlink in a blog leading to another website with statistics, news, case studies, etc.? Probably, everyone has. This is a backlink. Basically, it’s a hyperlink to your site from other websites.

 Why would someone refer to your site? There can be numerous reasons; some of the most popular ones are:

  • You are a reliable source of information in a particular niche. Therefore, others want to reap the benefits and prove their content by linking to your site.
  • Your content is of high quality, which makes others quote it. In this case, again, they can prove the credibility of the information with a link.
  • You posted stunning, niche-related content that may be interesting to an audience. Another source would like to increase the traffic to its website by sharing your insights or facts.

Sometimes, however, a business decides to choose a predictable path and buy backlinks. This can be interpreted as “Black hat” SEO and may deliver penalties. However Google’s algorithms are not advanced enough to tell a so-called “white link” from a “black” one. However, it can understand if the link source is poor, or unnatural, which may negatively affect your reputation in terms of search engine results. 

To avoid such a pitiful scenario, you should always work on your credibility and deliver high-quality content. While it may be more difficult and time-consuming, the results will be worth it.

Why Do Backlinks Matter?

For Google, backlinks are a way to assess a site’s recognition and acknowledgment in a particular niche. In fact, hyperlinks leading to your site mark it as reputable and trustworthy. The search engine considers a site with a lot of quality backlinks as a niche leader or an authority website.

While Google could try to analyze the authority of each site and the quality of the posted content itself, it would be too time-consuming and highly unreliable. Instead, the Search Engine factors in public opinion and references, which simplifies the rules of the game for all players. 

Here is an example of the Brian Dean’s website

*number of domains referring to his website https://backlinko.com/

*organic traffic generated by Brian’s website

It’s pretty clear that the two are correlated. The more backlinks his website got, the better it was ranking. 

The way to high ranking is pretty simple: deliver beneficial, deep, and unique content that would provoke interest and, consequently, make others share it. 

Advantages of High Ranking Pages

We have broken down the impact of backlinks on ranking and provided a brief explanation on how to reach a high rank in Google with their help. But why should you care about it? Here are the pros of ranking high:

Enhanced Exposure

In a world where 68% of online experience starts from a search engine, any service seeks to get as much traffic as possible. Those who rank higher have much more chances compared to those who fail to get in the top SERP. If your website appears on the second page of the search results, only 0.68% of users are likely to proceed with your link, according to data from Backlinko.

In fact, only 0.78% of Google searchers clicked on something from the second page. BACKLINKO

Moreover, a top-ranking page drives more traffic to your other pages. Ahrefs found out that the average top-ranking page ranks in the top 10 search results for approximately 1,000 other relevant keywords. It increases your chances to gain more clicks easier. 

Increased Credibility

Your site’s credibility matters a lot: it affects your state on Google Search and allows you to rank higher easier compared to others. For example, you may not need as many backlinks as others do. 

Besides, it drives even more links to you from other sources: websites tend to refer to reputable pages more. It results in bigger traffic and higher revenues, of course.

What Also Matters in Ranking?

Backlinks aren’t the only thing you need to focus on when trying to increase your ranking. Here is what to pay attention to, as well:

Domain Authority and Domain Rating

Domain Authority is a score that predicts the likelihood of the site to rank in SERP. The score range is from 0 to 100, where those with a higher rate have more chances to appear in search results higher. 

Domain Rating is a similar metric but developed by Ahrefs. It’s based on the same range and assesses backlinks: their uniqueness, authority, quantity.

Search Intent

By search intent, SEO specialists understand the purpose of conducting an online search. It varies from the desire to visit a specific web resource or to find an answer to a certain question. Google has been developing its algorithms to meet the search intent – in other words, deliver the results that will instantly satisfy a user. 

On-Page Optimization

At its essence, on-page optimization is a set of measures taken to improve the website’s position in the search ranking. They can be broken down into four sub-categories: technical, content-related, internal links and structure, and design. 

Content Relevance

Filling your site up with numerous topics for the sake of dozens of backlinks or a wide range of keywords may be a bad idea. The published content must be relevant; otherwise, you risk undermining all your hard work and could fall behind your competitors significantly. 

Content Depth

Topic-related content plays a crucial role in search rankings. It’s always much easier to take a higher rank position with a narrow-specific site rather than a general one. The reason is Google assess how deeply you cover all the aspect of the particular topic. Therefore, a native mobile app development page has more chances to conquer the search results compared to an IT-services site. 

CTR (Click Through Rate)

Click Through Rate is a popular metric that indicates the performance of your ads or keywords. It’s calculated as the number of clicks received divided by the number of times the ad was shown. High figures mean that the information is useful and affect your rankings positively. 

Page Speed

Page speed or page load time is the amount of time necessary for your content on a particular page to be fully displayed. This is an important factor not only for better user experience but also for Google, which claimed to assess the metrics for every site.

SSL

 

Secure Sockets Layer or SSL is a security measure that stands behind a secure connection between a browser and a web server. Not long ago, Google decided to use the existence of SSL as a sign of trustworthiness, which affects the site’s credibility and, therefore, its rating. 

How Many Backlinks Will You Need to Reach the Top of the Organic Search?

We have already mentioned that the number of backlinks that will ramp your site up to the 1st SERP in Google Search varies from business to business. There are many factors that shape the final figure. With the help of these questions, you can approximate how many you need to add to meet the desired results. 

How Many Backlinks Do I Have?

Auditing your site is a compulsory initial step. Detect how many backlinks a website has to know how many you need to add. You can use a variety of services that will analyze your web resource and show where you are standing at the moment. Once you look at the report, you may be stumped by the following issues:

Too Few Links

Too few means that your competitors have far more links for the main keywords you want to rank with – for example, 25 against 12. In this case, even the quality content won’t help you to compete for the top SERP, and you need to add more.

Too Many Links

In actuality, there can’t be too many links. Even if you do have a lot, they’re unlikely to you’re your ranking unless they are negative backlinks. In this case, you need to eliminate them and add high-quality ones. 

Do You Have Links of Bad Quality?

Referring to the previous point, what are negative backlinks? Here are some examples:

  • Links with the same optimized anchor text
  • Spam links
  • Links coming from one and the same page
  • Paid links
  • Harmful links

While not all of them are negative at their core, too many of any type is likely to drop your rating.

How Many Quality Backlinks Do You Have?

Quality content drives quality links. That’s why if you want reputable sources to establish a digital rapport with your site, you need to deliver accordingly. These can drive popular blogs or media away:

  • Failed optimization
  • Grammatical errors
  • Misspelling
  • Your links to poor sources
  • Awkward keywords

 

 

*anchor in the link spelled wrong

How Many Relevant Backlinks Do You Have?

Relevant links are those that fall within the specifics of your business. It means that all the others undermine your state and should be erased. The examples of irrelevant links are numerous: for instance, sites with a suspiciously optimized anchor text. If you want to get rid of them, delegate the task to a webmaster to avoid penalties from Google. 

How Many Natural Backlinks Do You Have?

Google assesses how natural your links are. In other words, it tries to understand whether you are cheating or not. That’s why you need to analyze which links fit into your context. For example, if you aren’t an international company but a local one, having tons of links from another continent is suspicious. 

How Natural Is Your Overall Link Profile?

Having a couple of non-natural links is okay: after all, you may get some references from non-industry-related sites. However, you should analyze your link profile in general. If the majority of referrals don’t fit, you may have found the problem to fix. 

How Many Backlinks Does the Competition Have?

You should know what your opponents are doing to outperform them. That’s why you should choose the keywords you want to rank with and analyze your competitors’ backlinks. Check the top ten SERPs and see where you fall behind. 

How Many Backlinks per Month or Day Do Competitors Receive?

Link building is more of a marathon rather than a sprint. You should never stop building links to maintain your positions. That’s why it makes sense to check how many backlinks per month your competitors add and do the same.

Final Calculation

Based on all the collected data, you can say how many backlinks are good for your site. Determine those that should be eliminated and exchange them with good links; identify how many more you need to add to have as many as your competitors do. And don’t forget to carry out the audit regularly, as there is nothing more permanent in link-building than change. 

What Else to Consider? 

Here are a couple of things for you to keep in mind when crafting your link-building strategy:

 

The Importance of the Link Quantity 

While quantity never comes over quality, it does matter in link-building. Provided all your content is beneficial and educational, you may lose to your competitors if they have more quality links. That’s why using the top SERP as an example is always a good idea. 

The Importance of the Link Quality 

It’s better to have a few quality links than a lot of poor ones. Bad links – paid ones or those from suspicious sources – can only undermine your site’s strength. That said, you should always focus on quality: it’s better to move slowly than ramp up your stats by buying links.

Google’s Penalties

If Google finds your links suspicious, you will get a penalty. Usually, it means that your ranking is significantly dropped, or you don’t appear in search results at all. In either way, users merely can’t find your source via organic search. 

Homepage Backlink Profile Strength

Links on a homepage play a crucial role in terms of domain authority. Some claim that you need about two or three hundred links on a homepage to have a chance to reach the top of SERP. While this can be subjective, we can’t deny that having a strong homepage profile is a must.

Innerpage vs. Homepage

It would be thoughtless to abandon inner pages and focus on the homepage completely. Nonetheless, a strong homepage can facilitate ranking up high for others. It boosts brand authority and requires less effort to boost inner pages. Some great examples are Amazon, Wikipedia, and Walmart. 

6 Tips How to Get a Flow of Links

Backlinks matter and can drive you to the top of SERPs. But how to get a lot of them? We have prepared 6 tips for you to consider:

Quality Over Quantity 

You may have dozens of posts, but it won’t guarantee you success. Quality always comes over quantity. You can experiment with the types of content, from infographics and blog posts to landings and whitepapers. Moreover, you need to dive deep into the topic to deliver meaningful insights. 

Speak Up About Your Works 

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool even in the era of digital. The more people know about your recent article, the better. It will gain more attention, and, therefore, you have more chances to get additional links. 

Build a Rapport With Influencers  

Today, every niche has its bespoken leaders who shape its context. They can help you promote your site and increase its popularity. The personal approach is the right way to establish meaningful connections that will repay you in the future.

Become a Writing Persona and Enhance Your Reputation in the Niche

Don’t forget that you can write not only for your own site but also publish your works on other sources famous in your community. It will boost your reputation, help to gain more attention, and, as a result, earn you more backlinks. 

Update, Update, and Update 

Even if you have tons of publications, don’t stop adding new ones. This is beneficial for two main reasons. Firstly, you are making Google fall in love with you and your regular activity. Secondly, you attract a loyal audience who is looking forward to your new piece of information—a win-win situation.

Seek Professional Guidance 

Carrying out content marketing on your own is hard and time-consuming. You will have to carry out deep analysis and then deliver content regularly, which requires a lot of time and effort. However, there is no guarantee that you are following the right path. Here, outsourcing SEO services might come in handy: you will save time and surely meet the objectives. 

While all these tips are relevant, you should remember that the way to success in organic search is thorny. You will have to try several approaches to craft your unique winning strategy. Once you manage to do so, though, you are going to enjoy the process and reap the benefits of high rankings.