If you are interested in improving the SEO of your website, you may have heard of an optimization technique called backlinks.
Backlinks are links you create from one website to another (one of which is your site) that build authority with search engines.
The aim of SEO is to increase the ranking of your website so it shows higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
If you create enough high quality backlinks, you will be able to improve your website ranking factor to appear on page one.
The question we are asked most is how many backlinks do I need to rank on page one of Google? The answer to this is not a straightforward numerical value.
How many links you need will depend on the type of site you have, the type of business that you run, or the length of time that your business has been operating.
We have gathered as much information as possible below to enable you to learn what backlinks are, how they can help your business rank higher, and how best to implement them into your SEO strategy.
Table of Contents
- Quality Backlinks
- Start Building Your Backlinks
- Calculate The Backlink Gap Between You And Your Competitors
- Why High-Quality Backlinks Are Good
- There Are More Factors Than Just Links
- Are Backlinks Still Important?
- How Many Links You’ll Need
- Why Quantity of Backlinks is Good
- Do I Really Need To Build Backlinks To My Homepage?
- Why Quantity of Backlinks is Bad
- How to Get a High Quantity of Backlinks
- Enough Already—How Many Backlinks Do You Need?
- How Many Backlinks To Inner Pages?
- How Do I Analyze My Competitors’ Backlinks?
- How to Check How Many Backlinks a Website Has?
- The Sliding Scale Of Brand Authority, Content, and Backlinks
- How Many Backlinks Does A New Website Need?
- Is The Quality Of My Backlinks More Important Than The Quantity?
- Write Great Content
- How Many Backlinks Per Day Is Safe?
- Should I Build More Links From the Same Website?
- How Many Backlinks Does My Website Have?
- Build High-Quality Backlinks To Content
- What Is A Quality Backlink Profile?
- How Many High-Quality Backlinks Do I Need?
When creating quality backlinks, you should aim to build backlinks from websites with high domain authority to your site.
A high domain authority website is one that is highly trusted by search engines and people who are searching for similar companies.
Creating links with companies that are trusted both by humans and computer systems is seen as the best quality backlinks that can be built.
There are websites that allow you to check the domain authority of a site you are interested in building links with.
Using a website that checks the domain authority of the site you have built links with is an excellent place to start when trying to improve your SERP ranking.
When looking at the ranking of a site for domain authority, sixty or above is excellent, forty to fifty is good, and anything below forty is bad.
Link building with websites above sixty is the best place to start; however, you should ensure that the websites you build links with are linked to your niche.
If you use irrelevant companies to build links, this will damage your SEO over time.
When beginning to build your backlinks, the first thing to decide is if you are going to build them yourself or employ the services of a specialized SEO company to build them for you.
Link building is not a particularly difficult thing to do; however, it is time-consuming and can be complicated when first beginning the process.
It is best to look into whether it will be best for your business to complete this process yourself or to have a third party complete it for you.
Things to consider include how much time you can put into building backlinks and if you have the skills to build high quality links.
Also, you should consider the cost of outsourcing this process, especially if you are a new business. If you have not budgeted for SEO, you may find yourself spending more than you can afford to build links.
If choosing to complete the process yourself, you analyze the backlinks of your competitors by using keyword searches in Google.
If you search for keywords relevant to your business and niche, you will see other companies offering similar products and services.
We recommend that you then review the first five to ten companies that show on this list and complete an analysis of their backlinks using a site such as Ahrefs.
You can use the links they are using to build high quality links for your site.
When calculating the backlink gap, you will need to know which keywords are relevant to your niche and business.
With a list of these keywords, you will then be able to calculate how many backlinks you will need to rank on the first page of a search engine.
Again, you will need to use a specialist site to complete the calculations. We recommend that you continue to use Ahrefs for the best results.
First, find a website within the top ten ranked sites that offer similar products or services to your business. The website you find should also have a similar domain authority to yours.
For the site you first choose to look at, you should review the strength of the backlinks they have in place. Look at only the Dofollow links that are in place and review those with an authority score of above forty.
You can see how many high authority links that company has that make it place so highly in the Google search results.
Your aim is to then have more high quality links in place for your website than your competitor does.
If you have more backlinks of a high quality in place than your competitors, you will rank higher than they do on Google.
It may sound obvious, but high quality backlinks are good because they are high quality. High quality links benefit your business because they improve the authority of your site and help you to rank higher in SERPs.
The higher your website ranks, the more organic traffic your website will receive, so including links of high quality should be a key part of your backlink strategy.
When link building, in addition to calculating how many links you need, you should focus on building backlinks to websites that all provide high quality content.
If you focus on building links with high quality websites, you will avoid link building with scam websites, which will damage your domain authority.
While link building is an important part of any SEO process, it is not going to work in isolation to help your site rank on page one.
Websites can rank on page one with a combination of backlinks and other SEO strategies. If you have fewer backlinks than your competitors and wish to increase your rank while building backlinks without Google penalties, there are several things you can also do.
Creating content that is recognized in search engines is a great place to start. Writing guest posts or commissioning a guest post or blog post with direct links to your website will help.
Guest posting is an increasingly popular part of SEO strategies.
You can also focus on on-page optimization, ensuring that every part of your web page is optimized for SEO rankings.
Your digital marketing strategy should include specific page reviews to ensure that all titles, products, images, and descriptions are optimized for your competitive niche.
You should also consider the anchor text you are going to be using within your site, as this is analyzed by Google when creating rankings. It is better to have higher quality text than a bigger quantity.
Backlinks are important for a business as they remain the most used way that Google apportions a domain rating to a website for ranking purposes.
Google’s PageRank algorithm was created to calculate a webpage’s relevance by analyzing the backlinks between websites.
Over time, the quality of the links on your website has become more meaningful, as low-quality links will detrimentally impact your rating, which means that backlinks are still an important part of any SEO strategy.
As discussed above, the quickest way to determine the number of backlinks you need to improve your ranking is to analyze the backlinks of your competitors.
Generally speaking, you will need one or two more high quality backlinks than your competitors have for the same keyword on their web pages.
The number of backlinks needed cannot be determined without analyzing your competitors’ site ranking and information.
It is important to note that if you determine your website needs 125 backlinks to rank higher than all competitors in your niche, you should not create all 125 on day one of having your business in place.
You may choose to focus on the quantity of backlinks rather than quality for a number of reasons. You may be setting up a new site and need to increase the number of backlinks you have quickly.
The speed of the process with low quality backlinks does not stop your site or page from moving up the rankings.
It has been found that the number of domains referring back to your own site will steadily improve your ranking within Google.
So, if you are just starting out with a new site or you find that your ranking position has stalled, more links rather than focussing only on the highest quality of links will still help your ranking.
In order to build the authority of your website, you must create backlinks to your homepage. If Google does not recognize your site as legitimate, any inbound link to pages within your site will not benefit you.
The number of backlinks you need to build to your homepage will vary depending on your niche, but if you want to achieve higher rankings, your link building strategy should always include building links to your homepage.
While a high quantity of backlinks can help your website rankings due to the volume of URLs referring to your site, quantity over quality is not always the best option for a business.
If you are quickly trying to improve your website’s SEO through more backlinks, you risk link building to one or more spam websites in your haste to increase the volume of backlinks.
Your page authority and website ranking will be negatively impacted for each spam website you are linked to.
If you are focussing on creating more links, they will also likely be of lower quality than other pages are using. If other websites are all using higher quality backlinks, they will have a higher domain authority through using high authority sites with fewer links in place.
There is such a thing as too many links when looking at low quality, as each backlink will have a lower value and page authority for your business.
There are numerous ways to get a high quantity of backlinks in a short space of time.
One way is to create reviews and testimonials on external sites that include a link back to your site. For example, if you run a restaurant, you can leave reviews on a site such as Trip Advisor and include a link to your menu or homepage.
You can also contact influencers or owners of businesses in a linked market to your company and offer them free products in exchange for a review or mention on their site or social media platform. Always request that they include a link to your site.
Finally, you can use tools that will tell you if your company or product has already been mentioned on another site.
If you find your company mentioned, but a link is not included, simply contact the site owner and ask that they include a link with their post or comment.
The volume of backlinks you will need to rank higher will depend on a number of factors. The factors include the number and rank of the competitors in your niche, how many backlinks your competitors have in place, and their domain authority.
We recommend you focus your research on the information required for your SEO strategy.
The best way to establish how many backlinks you need to inner pages is again to perform a search of specific keywords and their rankings.
You should then review the top ten competitors for your niche and establish how many backlinks they have.
Look specifically at which pages have the most and least backlinks and how many backlinks there are to the homepage.
You can again use a tool that will then show you the amount of content and volume of backlinks for each of the companies you are interested in.
From this information, you can then determine how many backlinks you need to have to the inner pages of your site.
In addition to using a program as discussed above, you should be looking closely at the competitors in your niche.
You cannot just find out the number of backlinks they have and increase by a set percentage to rank higher.
Google places different values on various aspects of the link building process, so you should find other sites with the same target audience and analyze their links.
You should find out which domains and pages your competitors are getting their links from and the content they have on their sites.
From there, the key takeaways are to mimic or improve on what they are doing to rank higher with Google.
There are several tools available to check how many backlinks each site you are interested in currently has. You can use tools such as Ahrefs or SEOJet to find and analyze the information.
If you are unsure of which tool is the best for you, we recommend that you look into several and view the information that they provide, how it is presented, and the cost to help you make the decision.
When asking the question, how many backlinks do I need to rank, you should be checking that you have also created brand authority on your homepage, identified the power pages within your site and included appropriate content on those pages, and built high quality backlinks.
If you can build a big enough brand that is trusted enough by Google that your homepage ranks first, you can relax a little about creating links to inner pages on the site.
Content is extremely important when trying to rank higher than competitors. If you have a power page that includes the main keywords for your site and includes content to optimize this page, you will rank higher than competitors.
It is a recognized fact that the more high quality links a website has, the more organic traffic will arrive at the site.
The key when setting up a new site is to ensure that any new links are high quality to improve domain authority with Google.
Creating between five and seven new, high quality, links each month for a prolonged period of time will be a huge benefit for new sites.
While gradually increasing the number of links you are building, you should regularly review the domain authority of the site.
As this increases, the number of links you build each month can gradually increase alongside.
In addition to creating links, ensure that you create content that is relevant to your niche and will link to your SEO strategy.
If you do not continue to optimize your site as you increase link building, you will be wasting your time.
There are benefits to both high quality backlinks and a high quantity of backlinks when looking at how important backlinks are to your site.
A higher quantity of backlinks allows for more search traffic to be directed to your business.
However, if the quality of those links is low, then Google will not rank you as high, and therefore, more backlinks would be needed to get a better ranking for search results.
The answer to this question can become circular, so we would always recommend that you focus on the quality of the links you are building.
However, if you need to build a high volume of backlinks quickly, you can do this, providing you check that the sites you are linking to are not scam sites.
Write Great Content
When looking to write great content, you should identify the keywords that will help you optimize your pages and ensure that those keywords are used.
If you are creating a guest post, you may choose to have several guest posts use the same keyword to build authority.
Alternatively, you may choose a longer piece of content that covers multiple keywords and variations of those keywords to improve traffic from search results.
Include anchor text that includes your keywords to add more context.
If you are outsourcing your content writing, you should ensure that you provide all of the key information you need to have included to help your ranking.
Many companies will advise that creating a high volume of links per day will result in Google penalties; however, that is not always the case.
If you create a large volume of links per day in a natural way, you will not receive a penalty.
So, if a video or post on social media goes viral that relates to your niche, and you create a link to it along with thousands of other business owners in that and linked niches, this is natural.
However, if the anchor text appears to be a random link or scam, then Google will reduce your ranking accordingly due to reduced authority.
Building multiple links from the same domain will be beneficial to your link building strategy. However, when building multiple links from the same site, you should ensure there are backlinks from multiple pages within that site rather than the same page each time.
If you receive links from the same page repeatedly, this may be flagged as spam by Google, which can damage your ranking.
If you have found a domain that Google trusts that you can build multiple links from to your own site, then you should move ahead with this strategy.
To establish how many links your site has, we recommend that you use a backlink checker tool. This will give you information not only regarding the number of links but also the quality of the link.
When building links to your homepage or inner pages, it is better to ensure that the quality is high for each link you are creating.
Spending the time to ensure that keywords are correct and that the content is well written will save you money overall and improve your ranking in a more sustainable way.
A quality backlink profile relates to all of the information Google can find regarding the backlinks you have to your site.
This will include if the source is trusted within your niche, that the link is not spam, that the link is to a site with a high domain authority, and much more.
Algorithms will be used to determine the backlink profile that your site has to decide on the ranking that will be given. Fewer links of high quality will be more beneficial to your backlink profile.
The number of high quality backlinks you need will depend on the target keyword you are using to increase your SEO.
You should check each target keyword against other websites in your niche to see how many high quality backlinks that site has.
You should then aim to have at least one more high quality backlink than the website you are competing against to ensure that your domain ranking is higher.
This type of link building strategy will ensure that you are not spending time creating a larger number of backlinks than is actually needed to achieve your goal.
Scott Calland is a highly regarded content specialist with an English Degree. He has a passion for creating compelling content as a UK journalist that engages, informs, and entertains readers. With over 10 years of experience in creating news publications as a reporter, Scott has developed a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of how to craft content that resonates with audiences. Working closely with data analysts Scott’s research on topics is unrivalled for latest news updates.
Scott is also an investor in Searcharoo.