How Many Backlinks you Need to Rank on the First Page of Google?

In this guide, you will discover how many backlinks you need to rank on page one of Google, and how to check the quality of backlinks you have.

The exact number of backlinks that will get you results is based on the SEO competition for the keywords you want to rank for, as well as your current domain authority and your competitors in your industry.

These factors help you estimate how many backlinks you need to build initially to get results, but the backlink strategy doesn't end there. Google is always re-crawling pages on the web, which makes search rankings volatile. So to keep your rankings high, you need to keep building backlinks to pages on a regular basis, even after you've achieved the top results.

How Many Backlinks do I Need to Rank on the First Page of Google?

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How Many Backlinks do you Need to Rank?

Most website owners know that backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors for Google.

The problem is building backlinks is hard work that requires a lot of time, money, and effort.

So how do you know how many backlinks you should build?

4 Factors that Affect Your Search Rankings

SEO Keyword Difficulty

There are many tools that tell you how difficult a keyword is on a scale of 1 to 100. The purpose of these rankings is to give you an idea of how much effort it will take to rank for that keyword. The number of backlinks needed increases faster than the difficulty of the ranking. For example, if a keyword has a difficulty of 10, you will probably need about 10 backlinks to rank for it. But if the difficulty is 50, you may need 100 backlinks to rank.

Domain Authority

A backlink strategy is essentially a strategy to increase your domain authority as well as the authority of important pages on your site. So, your current domain authority gives you an idea of where you are starting from. If you have a brand new website, then you are starting from scratch and will need a solid backlinking strategy to start building authority. If you already have fairly high domain authority, you will need fewer backlinks per page or per keyword to rank for more difficult terms.

Competitor Research

Assuming you want to rank for terms typical of your service or industry, you will need to determine the strength of your competitors. Each industry has a different level of SEO competition. If you're lucky, not many businesses in your industry have implemented SEO strategies yet, making it easy to be in competition with them. But that's usually not the case. SEO has been around long enough that many websites have SEO strategies in place. Looking at the number of backlinks your competitors have will give you a good idea of how many links you should aim for.

Don't Stop Backlinking Strategies

Backlinking strategies are not a one-time thing. Google needs to see that your backlinks are coming in at a natural rate and that they never completely stop. Since search rankings are volatile, the solid base of backlinks established in the initial strategy must be constantly reinforced with new backlinks as long as you want to maintain the top-ranking position. The rate at which you build backlinks can probably slow down once you've reached your goal, but if it stops completely, you can expect to see your results decrease.

How Many High-Quality Backlinks do you Have?

Checking the number of backlinks to your site is easy. However, figuring out the quality of those links, and making decisions about where to build backlinks in the future? Not so easy.

The number of links you had in your backlink profile formerly meant everything. There were people who could sell you hundreds of links at a time and that could really move the needle in search results. 

That's no longer the case, as Google has updated its algorithm to combat this spammy tactic, and has firmly encouraged businesses and agencies to focus on creating quality content and sharing it through content syndication on high-profile sites that are actually used by people.


How to Check Backlinks in Google Analytics

How Many Backlinks a New Website Needs

How Many Backlinks do I Need to Rank on the First Page of Google?

The most backlinks a page has, the more Google organic traffic it receives. Backlinks are one of the primary ways to attract an audience from authority sites in your niche, and can potentially increase your domain ranking, Google PageRank, Alexa rank, and even your domain authority. 

Of course, these links must be high quality and relevant to your website niche. High-quality backlinks will never hurt your SERP ranking. A new site can benefit from five to seven high-quality links every month for an extended period of time.

Lots of quality backlinks are always a good thing but don't forget to also optimize your site meta tags, URL structure, and meta description. 

The more optimized your website is, the fewer backlinks you will need. Therefore, if you have a lot of links, but your page is not optimized, it will be difficult for you to compete with another website with a similar number of links but better optimization. Indeed, a poorly optimized site decreases the relevance and authority provided by backlinks.

It is also essential to ensure that your content is always current. You can ensure this by updating your page with the latest information.

What is a Quality Backlink Profile?

A backlink is classified as high quality if it matches the following requirements:

- It’s on a page with more links to high-quality sites.
- It leads to a website with a high Domain Authority.
- It’s from a trusted source within the specified niche.
- It’s from a different website than your existing links.
- It’s not a reciprocal backlink.
- It’s not a spammy link.

Search engines use algorithms that define each of these requirements. For example, many have a collection of reference sites that are considered trustworthy, such as Wikipedia. You can see this article on how to get backlinks from Wikipedia.

Reciprocal links have been exploited in the past, causing Google to reduce the value it placed on them. They retain some of their quality, but the highest quality backlinks should come from sites you don't link to simultaneously.

It is better to have fewer links from different relevant sites than to have hundreds of links from sites hosted by the same IP address.

Can you Rank without Backlinks?

It's entirely possible for a page on a website to rank without necessarily achieving a specific number of backlinks because of its high-quality content.

Major authority sites, such as the Huffington Post, Forbes, or even a famous blogger can rank on the first page without even using direct links. Such sites are the exception, not the standard. Most websites need a certain number of backlinks from high authority sites to rank.

A smarter SEO strategy for you would be to focus on content production rather than link building and it's a good idea to start your backlinking strategy with internal links to your own site. Every website should have links to other pages. 

Indeed, you can write the best content possible, but without links, your competitors will win.

How Many Backlinks Needed to Rank - Summary

Instead of worrying about how many backlinks you need, focus on the long-term game of building quality backlinks.

Guest posting is the best way to start your link-building content marketing strategy, as it has the benefit of providing you with a link and exposing you to a wider community.

Backlinks are most effective if they are high quality, and are less effective if your site is not optimized at the same time. When improving your website backlinks, quality always matters more than quantity.

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