Hey, it’s Hoz with a new ask Hoz session and in today’s session I’m going to be answering the manic question how many backlinks do I need per day to rank my site?
This question needs reframing, as you’ll soon see why. By the time we’re done here, we’ll have a plan for doing this right.
I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve have had this conversation with new SEO clients, but here’s how it usually goes:
Here's what we're going to be covering...
Any SEO will tell you that the answer to this question is ‘it depends’. But fear not, because I’ll show you the way after I clear the question up.
At this point, most clients think that I somehow misunderstood them and they hit me with a new revised version of their original question. Usually something like:
This is always amusing. Perhaps those people think that a monthly backlink count will be easier to cope with mentally than a daily one. Heh.
But still, the real question here is: how many backlinks do I need to rank… or how many backlinks does a website need to crush it in the Google search results.
It’s not about the links really (I mean that literally, as you’ll soon see). It’s about the results.
Here’s why this is important:
The game changed some time ago. For most inexperienced people it’s not how many backlinks do I need or how many links to build per day… it’s about what can you do to earn links.
- Do I like the fact that link building got harder in many cases?
- No, of course not. I wish it was a simple issue where we just figured out how many backlinks do I need to outrank my competition and then just work toward that magic number.
- Am I talking about building natural links?
- Well, what exactly is a natural link? Let’s say yes and no. If I post some content to Facebook and I add a link back to my blog, I called that a manufactured link.
Now, let me add here that link building is actually a math endeavour. There are a finite number of links required to rank. This is true. But Google run the big show and if you want to rank in Google you need to be very careful about how to build those links… and asking how many backlinks do I need – in most cases – shows that there’s a misunderstanding on how SEO works today.
Let’s have a good old caveat here for good measure: if you’re a seasoned SEO and you understand how things really work, then you’re going to play this game whichever way you want, within the rules or outside of the rules.
But for the rest of non-super SEOs, the game is now played in a very different way to the old mass link building days.
Let’s see just how this is done today…
Sometimes none. Zero. I’ve ranked pages in decent niches with zero links.
- With very good content
But it’s not as simple as just crafting some content (although that’s a good starting point).How well your website ranks for a particular keyword is mostly down to relevancy.Click To Tweet
If your website is about tea, then you’re probably going to find it hard to rank for puppy training search terms.
That’s an extreme example, but it’s useful to explain relevancy.
Your website will naturally be relevant (or at least it should be) to the things you want to rank for. So it starts with content.
As I mentioned before, unless you’re an advanced SEO and you really know what you’re doing, then looking for a magic number of backlinks is back-to-front.
Now, I’m not saying don’t do link building and I’m certainly not saying link building is evil. Links is how the web works. You can’t possibly find a page unless you have a link to it so links are the DNA of the web. They’ve always worked and they always will.
However, Google’s algorithm filters out certain types of links so it’s not that the links don’t work, it’s the algorithm that we’re battling against.
In an ideal world, the real answer to your question how many links a day should you be getting for your website would be as many as you possibly can. But that’s not the reality today; that’s not how you play this game anymore.
So unless you want to potentially burn your site down you need to be strategic about this and you need to start with your content because that’s where it’s at today: content marketing.Focus on creating content good quality content that other people would link to.Click To Tweet
Now, one fact that doesn’t escape me (or you) is that it’s very hard to get content linked to naturally, especially if you’re in certain niches.
For example, if you’re a plumber and your pages are about plumbing services then good luck getting tons of natural links.
Your link building has to be proportionate and complimentary to your content. If your website has 3 pages and a gazillion links, then something is amiss and that’s probably not going to get past a manual review.
So if you’re the plumber, for example, your page about your plumbing services is not really going to get liked and linked – at least massively – but you could blog about tips and tricks, thing things to do things to do and check when this goes wrong and when that goes wrong.
That kind of informative blog post provides value to your potential audience and that’s the kind of thing that gets linked and liked especially in Social Media.
That’s a perfect example of content marketing.
Now, the plumber may say well this sounds like too much work. I agree. But you have to think about your overall plan. What’s what’s the strategy? What’s the end goal?
If you want your page or your pages to rank better in order to get more visitors then you need to increase your domain authority and for that, you need links. So if you started blogging great tips and people started sharing and linking those pages, you would start to increase your domain authority which would, in turn, help your other pages rank.
That leaves you with a more visible site, with more visitors and potentially more leads and more business.
This is what I mean when I say that this is how the game is played today.
So, I would really forget about how many links you can build – I would stay away from concise numbers and focus on your content.
Keep in mind that even the most viral content has a shelf life: a bell curve tracks a number of shares and likes a piece of content gets, with a start, a peak and a decline.
So if the most viral content has a decline in links across its lifespan, then it would be odd for the plumber’s content, which is not viral, to have a steady, predictable amount of monthly backlinks.
You see?Focus on content marketing if you want to win.Click To Tweet
Here’s a great video from Matt Cutts (ex Google head of spam) Explaining how Google determines the quality of your content if there aren’t many backlinks to it.
This was an Ask Hoz question featured on the Youtube Channel. Make sure you CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE to catch all the video updates!
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