“How many links will it take me to get to the first page of Google?”
This is probably the MOST asked question we get, and until now almost everyone in the SEO industry gave the most annoying answer ever–
Well, today we’re going to try and actually answer that question!
Disclaimer: To be honest, I don’t want this to come across like we’re even going to pretend to give you a foolproof answer. There are so many influencing factors in rankings that it would be lying to pretend that we know with 100% certainty what it’s going to take to get you ranked. BUT we would like to give you a better answer than “it depends” so you have something to work with, backed up by data.
What Actually Matters In Ranking?
Let’s take a look at the data. We know that links are a very important factor, but just how important are they?
Ahrefs did a study on ranking correlating factors and the number of unique domains linking to a page is the most important factor.
(UR or “URL Rating” measures the strength of a target URL’s backlink profile and the likelihood that the URL will rank high in Google.)
Basically this means that the most important thing you can do to get higher rankings is build more good links to that specific page.
There are a few things to consider though:
1. Domain Authority / Domain Rating Is A Factor:
The amount and quality of links coming to your entire domain can also help you rank.
You should also take note of the authority of the domains that are ranking for your chosen keywords.
2. Not All Links Are Created Equal:
1 good link may be worth more than 10,000 crappy links.
In fact, Google has said with the latest version of Penguin they tried to get more granular in their calculations and are discounting or ignoring links that shouldn’t have value.
Just because a website has the most linking root domains doesn’t mean it’s going to win. Link quality, strength, context all matter.
3. There Are More Factors Than Just Links:
There are lots more factors than just links as well including:
- Search Intent
- On Page Optimization
- Content Relevance
- Content Depth
- CTR (Click Through Rate)
- Page Speed
- etc etc
And the closer you get to the top of page 1, the more these factors are going to matter.
With that all said, what can we do to get an objective estimate?
The Tool: How Many Links You’ll Need
After all the disclaimers, here’s how to figure out how many links it takes:
1. Go to Ahrefs Keyword Explorer and put in the keyword you want to rank for.
2. Ahrefs will tell you on average, how many links it will take to get to page 1:
3. Additionally you can check out the ranking pages to see the mixture of values:
You will probably notice that there is an enormous variance in the number of links websites ranking on page one — That’s why it’s an average, and NOT an exact figure.
But once you have this number, you’ll have a good idea of what to shoot for in terms of how many links you need to build.
What Kinds Of Links Should I Build?
When you look at this average, you want to think of this number as the number of QUALITY links you need to build.
A great type of link to build for this is in-content links like guest posts.
Want some help figuring out your link building plan? Just book a meeting with us here and get a personalized strategy!
Any questions? Let us know in the comments!
-The HOTH Crew