The development of the internet has led people to utilize it as a marketing tool. And we all have one basic question.
How Many Links Does it Take to Get to Page One of Google?
Unfortunately, there has never been a definite answer to this query. The answer most marketing companies give ‘it depends’ only raises more questions.
I’ll try to give a better answer than that. With all honesty, there are different issues that need to be considered for a page to be ranked first by Google. I will help to give you an idea of what might improve your rankings, but not the up straight answer that you might need, but these ideas are backed up with real information collects over years of activity.
What is most essential in Ranking?
It is basic knowledge that links play a fundamental role in rankings. The real issue is how vital they are.
Recently, there was an analysis conducted by Ahrefs to determine the factors that influence ranking. It was determined that the essential factor is the number of unique domains linked to a particular page. This then automatically means that for your company to stand a chance to be on the first google page then you need to create better links to your page.
With this in mind though, you need to consider things like:
The creation of different links is done in various ways. You will find that it is best to have one good link than a thousand links that make little or no sense. Recently, Google has said they would totally ignore links that are of little or no value. This hence shows you that having many linking domains does not guarantee that your website will be the first page on google. The linking domains have to be strong, of quality, and in the right context.
This has been a lengthy discussion about links but they are not the only things to be put into consideration. Other factors to be put in context include:
- Content depth
- Content relevance
- Click-through rate
- On-page optimization
- Page speed
- SSL certificates among others
- Level of Competition
To determine the number of backlinks that you will need for a specific keyword, find out the number of backlinks for the specific keyword from your competitors. This can be done by adding up the links to the specific pages. It is best to avoid the pages with many and the pages with the least amount of backlinks. This will roughly inform you of the number of backlinks to use and expect a good ranking.
Quality of Backlinks
The number of backlinks is not a determining factor but rather the quality of the backlinks. Balance is needed between the quality and number of backlinks. It is vital to ensure that your backlinks meet some of these qualities:
- The source should be trusted
- Should be from a source that is relevant
- Not paid for
- Should have On-site Optimisation
- It should be able to send traffic
- From a different source to your existing backlinks
- On a page with a PageRank
- Next to backlinks to authority websites
- Should not be reciprocal
- Few other backlinks on the page
- Should not be easily acquired
- Exact/Phrase/synonym match anchor link text used
A lot of backlinks are an indication of a poorly optimised website. This thus waters down the trust, relevance, and authority that are associated with backlinks.
Below are steps to guide you in reducing the number of backlinks:
- Important pages should be positioned on 1 or 2 pages away from the homepage
- Remove any of the unnecessary links outbound
- Direct authority to the pages that you want to rank well
- Always check broken links and fix them
- Ensure you add in content links to the important pages
- No pages should be positioned fives clicks away from the homepage
- 301 redirecting non-existent URLs that have backlinks pointing to them
- Removing or merging pages that have little useful content on them
These things will matter most the nearer you get to be at the top of the search engines.
It is important to know that these will be happening behind the scenes especially if your business is in a competitive industry. You will find that the other firms will block bots, to prevent other people from knowing their number of backlinks. This proves that there are many factors that could mislead you.
Below are ways to help you figure out how many links you will need.
- Go to Ahrefs Keyword Explorer and put in the keyword you want to rank (ie; ‘SEO Manchester‘)
- Ahrefs will tell you on average the number of links to get to page 1
- You can also check out the ranking pages to view the mixture of values
The number you get is an average because different pages featured on page one differ from each other with the number of backlinks. This is a good starting point for figuring out the number of backlinks that you will need for your page. The most important thing though is not having a specific number of backlinks to build but rather quality link building that is steady with time and as a continuous process.
Have you already found the answer? Comment below if you know a better way to the top of Google.