Do you have the goal of getting to the first page of Google’s search engine ranking results? Many see backlinks as one of the ways to achieve that goal. Just how many links will it take, though, to get to that first page of Google? Many pose this question, but very few have ever received a concrete answer. We attempt to dig into this a bit more here.
Asking the Professionals
When you poll search engine optimization professionals, the answer you usually receive is “it depends.” The number of backlinks that it will take to get the first page of Google’s search engine results is said to vary significantly. The factors that it can take will depend on the niche you are after keyword wise, the competition, etc.
You probably still want the answer though, right? You want to have an idea as to how many links, even if it is not an exact number! The catch here is that there are going to be many factors. There is never any way to know, without concern, how many links it will take to get to the first page of Google. Analytical thinking, though, can help to get us close.
A company by the name of Ahrefs recently completed a study. The goal of the study was to look at Google search engine rankings and correlate them to backlinks. Did certain types of links have a more efficient track record of increasing search engine ranking results? Are there other areas to focus?
The study compared, in a valuable way, how different domain linkage resulted in ranking variances. The measure utilized was known as the UR or URL Rating. It is the strength of a target URL’s backlink profile. If the backlink profile is one that would rank high in Google, it would have an increased impact on ranking results.
All Links are Different
Every single backlink is going to be different in the impact it will have on your website’s search engine rankings. You may have one really good backlink and it could be superior to another site that has a bunch of invaluable backlinks.
Google has gotten a lot smarter in recent years in the way that they have ranked pages on its search engine. Algorithm updates, such as Penguin, have been able to help Google get to a great level of detail. They are looking at the results very closely, trying to figure out which links they can ignore entirely. If you have poor quality backlinks, Google is now able to pick up on this and the impact it will have on your results is negligible.
Talks about how to get a page or an overall website ranking highly in search engine results are common. It takes a lot more than just backlinks. You want to be thinking about the quality of the content, how relevant it is to the keywords. What is the level of detail that the material is getting into?
Google is also looking for SSL Certificates now, ranking sites that have those higher in results pages. The speed of the pages and click through rate will even have an impact. The root of all of this is that you could have quality backlinks, but see that others still trump your site or pages due to the many other factors coming into play.
Facing the Competition
Any search engine optimization expert will tell you it is important to grasp your competition. Are you trying to win in a niche that is considered to be competitive? How many other sites are out there that are just like yours? How can you work to make your site stand out when stacked up against the others?
You want to assess the market overall so that you can come up with a winning strategy to stand out in the eyes of Google. This could mean trying to get more high quality backlinks, but that is not all. You want to work towards creating quality content that is authoritative. When your site is seen as the expert source of information it will be able to enjoy higher rankings.
Competing in a crowded niche is going to result in more backlinks being needed to rank higher, along with the other factors. If you carve out a vacant slot, the path to the first page of Google’s search engine ranking results becomes much more accessible.
Calculating the Links
There are tools on the market that can help you figure out exactly how many backlinks your site needs. One of the best tools out there is that of the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. As we stated above, this is not a one size fits all approach. It takes analysis to try to determine the number of backlinks and the quality content needed.
Using the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, what you can do is to put in a keyword that you want to rank highly for. Take the example of “local sound bar retailer.” Once you enter this into the Keyword Explorer from Ahrefs, you are going to be able to get an analysis, results.
What the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer will tell you is the difficulty rating of the keyword. It will also tell you the search volume, return rate, etc. Based on the keyword difficulty, the output will be the number of backlinks that it believes will be required to get on page one of search engine rankings.
The Road to Page One of Google
There are going to be many factors at play, as we have discussed, beyond just the backlinks. Search engine optimisation professionals that understand this will be taking the time to analyse beyond the backlinks. Tools that exist and help shed light on backlink quality and quantity needed, though, can assist on your road to the first page of Google’s search engine ranking results.
There are a few different types of backlinks. There is also a rating system called Domain Authority which gives us an idea of the quality of the website we are getting a backlink from.
Your backlinks should come from a range of websites from domain authority 10 – 40+, this will give an even spread and look natural to the search engines. Then you can chose from guest posting on industry blogs, authority links and web 2.0 link building. Either way your link building needs to be done along side an expert who will ensure you get the right spread!