How many backlinks is needed to rank on the first page of Google?
How many times have you asked yourself this particular question? 5, 10 or maybe a 100 times.
It is basically the quality not the quantity of backlinks that really matters, So even if you have low number of quality backlinks, you can still outrank many and be on first page.
You don’t need a hundred or thousand backlinks to rank, because google has changed it’s algorithm from quantity to quality.
Well, the question of how many backlinks a website needs in order to rank is something everyone ends up asking themselves once they figure out how important backlinks actually are.
But like all things in SEO it’s not something that has a clear-cut answer, that’s because the answer to this question often depends on a lot of different things.
Some of these things you might be able to figure out on your own, but later on in this post we’ll explain some of the factors that aren’t so obvious to most people.
Anyhow, the fact that there isn’t a clear-cut answer that applies to all websites can often be quite frustrating to learn however, if you know how to analyze your niche you can actually come up with a pretty precise target and in this post we’re going over some of the most powerful methods that will help you formulate a clear-cut target for your particular chosen website or keyword,
So make sure you stick around to the end of this post, to learn what these methods are, and once you’re done reading, you should have no issues when it comes to figuring out how many backlinks you’ll need to rank your website.
How many backlinks do you need to rank well?
The main answer here is that it depends on your niche and chosen keyword, now later on in this post we’re going to touch on how you can analyze the competitiveness of your niche or chosen keyword to come up with a target,
but before we do that you need to understand that if you’re in a highly competitive niche you will likely be up against other websites that have a sizable backlink profile, because of this you will probably need a large number of backlinks if you want to compete with them.
Well, how many backlinks do you actually need?
luckily there are tools that will help you work that out and that’s another thing we’ll touch on later but, and this is a big “BUT” quality isn’t the end-all, be-all here and that’s because in many ways you could argue that backlink quality is just as important, if not more important than backlink quantity, after all one amazing backlink can often be worth 10 or even 100 average backlinks.
With all of that being said, there is a major thing you need to be aware of and that is, if you’re in a really competitive niche you’re probably going to be up against websites that have a large number of high quality backlinks so they will have both quantity and quality and if that’s the case you too will need to focus on both quantity and quality too.
And there’s no real way around this, if you just focus on one side of the coin you’re going to be left behind no matter how good of a job you do, so to sum it all up the level of competition you’re dealing with will decide the numbers you need to focus on in terms of link quality and link quantity.
How do you analyze a competition?
At this point you’re probably wondering how can you work out where you stand and how you should move forward, after all if this issue mostly depends on what your competition is doing how do you analyze the competition so that you can get to the bottom of this issue.
Fortunately this isn’t really that hard to do as there are so many seo tools out there that will help you analyze the competition.
For instance if you type a certain keyword into the Ahrefs SEO tool
It will provide you with a keyword difficulty score. By the way this is just one approach you can use for the challenge but if you have a better method or tool you use for this kind of stuff let me know in the comment section below.
Anyway the keyword difficulty score produced by Ahrefs will let you know how many backlinks you’ll need if you want to have a good shot at ranking for the term in question.
The tool doesn’t really tell you about the quality you need to aim for when it comes to your backlinks so you can’t rely on this figure a 100% after all remember, that one amazing backlink can be worth many average ones, because of this, you might want to take a more hands-on approach when analyzing the competition which is what we’re going to cover next
How exactly do you take a more hands-on approach?
Basically just need to analyze the actual backlink profiles of the websites you’re going to be up against when targeting a particular keyword, if you do that you’ll have a better sense of what the current benchmark is and what you should actually be aiming for in terms of both quality and quantity of backlinks.
And like we mentioned earlier, you can use SEO tools such as, ahrefs to help you conduct a deep analysis of the competition.
If you Provide this tool with a certain keyword, it will analyze the website’s ranking for that particular term.
For instance, if you check out this graphic in the image below
you can see some of the top ranking websites for the term women’s clothing, what’s interesting here is that ahrefs will provide you with something known as domain rating also known as DR,
This is essentially a rating that measures the strength of a website’s backlink profile and the higher this number is, the stronger the backlink profile is as well.
If we click on one of these websites we can get a closer look at their backlink profile
what’s also interesting here is that backlinks that come from websites with a high DR, are essentially classified as high quality links, so if you’re going to copy the link profile of your competitors, which is something we’re going to cover later in this post,
you’ll want to note down the high DR websites that are linking to your competitors and if you do this you can then go about getting some of your own high quality links from these sites.
Moving forward ahrefs will also help you sort links by type, this is really helpful if you want to copy the link profile of a certain competitor and if you use a tool like ahrefs you can also see how many backlinks a competitor is building on a monthly or even daily basis.
A lot of people don’t really do this sort of research and they tend to only focus on total backlinks at any given moment in time.
However, new backlink data is really helpful because if you know how many backlinks your competitors are building, as time goes on you can figure out a couple of really important things.
For one you can get a sense of how many backlinks you’ll need to keep on building to maintain and improve your position once you’re neck and neck with the competition.
Also if you know how many backlinks the competition is building every day or every month you can get a sense of how seriously they’re taking SEO.
For instance the competition might have a lot of strong backlinks but they might not be building a lot of links at the moment in fact the growth of the link profile over the past few months or even years could possibly be a little flat,
If that’s the case, this could be a sign that it won’t be too hard to compete with other sites and maintain your position once your link profile is up to scratch.
After all the number and quality of backlinks you need to build a secure position is often different from the number and quality of links you’ll need to build every month to maintain your position and if you don’t appreciate the difference you might lose your rankings not long after you gain them.
How do you come up with a backlink strategy that will beat the competition ?
At this point you might have a rough sense of the number of links you’ll need and what the quality of these links will need to be, so what steps do you actually need to take next so that you can actually build these links and beat the competition.
You might just want to begin by building links that’s similar to what the competition already has, after all the competition already has a backlink strategy that seems to be working so why not emulate what’s already working.
For instance after using the link sorting feature on ahrefs you might notice that the competition has a lot of edu links and these are links from educational institutions.
If you study these links, you might be able to figure out how you can replicate them too and in some cases you might not be able to build the same links as your competitors.
But that’s okay, you should still try to make sure that your links have a similar or even higher domain rating as your competitors, in doing so you can ensure the links you’re building are going to be good enough to rank.
Of course building backlinks is a whole other article of itself but as it happens i actually have another post that covers this topic, check out my post “Top 3 link building strategies to get backlinks” because this post teaches you about some of the best link building methods and if you actually have some advice or tips when it comes to building links based on your competitors link profile please share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.
I will love to hear from you and remember backlinks can only do so much, you see backlinks are one of the major pillars of a good SEO strategy so it’s important to remember that backlinks can only do so much for your rankings, because there are a bunch of other stuff you need to focus on too and if you ignore these other things you probably won’t experience a ton of success with SEO no matter how many amazing backlinks you build.
What are the other ranking factors when it comes to google?
For example, suppose you’re targeting the keyword “how to train a cat”
If that’s the case your web page on this topic needs to be really helpful to the person that is performing this search and looking for this information.
That means your web page should be one of the best web pages that exists on this topic and there should be very little doubt on that , you also need to make sure that you take care of basic user experience issues too.
Congratulations you made it to the end of this post, hopefully now you have a clear sense of how you should approach the question “How many backlink do i need to rank on the first page of google?”
as you can see there’s not really a one-size-fits-all answer and it all really depends on the competition as well as the quality of your backlinks plus, you also need to account for the other ranking factors of SEO too.
Of course you might still feel a little confused and uncertain of how you should move forward , that’s perfectly understandable as we have covered a ton of information today and some of it wasn’t totally beginner level material.
Ranking on the first page of Google is no easy task and there is no secret formula to it.
However, backlinks have been and will continue to be an important component in achieving the goal of ranking on Google’s first page.
The number of backlinks needed depends on your competitors who are winning out for those positions. Strengthen your resources for links based on this.
Backlinks quality is far much important than quantity, use tools like Ahrefs and Semrush to assess your competitors profiles and know what you are up against.
Build your strategy using tried and tested techniques to gain more high-quality backlinks than your competitors.