How Many Backlinks Should a Website Have?

How Many Backlinks Should a Website Have?
How Many Backlinks Should a Website Have?

One of the most commonly used words in search engine optimization is backlinks. Building backlinks with well-known, reputable, and authoritative websites is crucial for Google's algorithm. They may determine whether a website improves or deteriorates in Google's search results.

Inbound links, incoming links, and one-way links are other names for backlinks. These clickable links let you navigate across the pages of different websites. Backlinks are thought to have a significant impact on the quantity and quality of traffic to your website from Google and other major search engines. As they contain more content that drives traffic to their web pages and websites, backlinked pages are more likely to get high organic search engine results.

Backlinks are a great way to increase traffic to your website. By having other websites link to yours, you're effectively giving them a vote of confidence. The more votes you have, the more credible and useful your website appears to be. This will help you attract more visitors from search engines.

Due to this, the more votes you have, the better Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines will rank your website. The idea of including backlinks in a search engine's algorithm is not new. Backlinks served as the foundation for the PageRank algorithm that Google first developed. Google later modified its algorithm, though, in a number of ways. Backlinks are still thriving and are a significant ranking element. Along with "content" and "RankBrain," backlinks are still regarded as one of Google's three key ranking criteria.

The fact that other companies endorse your website sends a positive message to Google. Search engines learn that a page or site is worth connecting to when other websites link to it, making it appear on a SERP. Therefore, building backlinks might help your website rank higher or be more visible in search results.

There are several kinds of backlinks. A better position in the SERPs is achieved through the use of high-quality backlinks. One high-quality backlink can be more effective than 100 low-quality ones.

What Is a Quality Backlink?
Factors Affecting the Number of Backlinks a Website Needs
Increasing Website Traffic With Fewer Backlinks
How to Determine the Number of Links Needed

Fastest Link Building Opportunities

What Is a Quality Backlink?

A backlink is deemed high-quality if it satisfies the following criteria:

  • It's located on a page with more links to reliable websites.
  • It points to a domain authority-rich website.
  • It comes from a reliable source in the mentioned industry.
  • It comes from a different website than the links on your page.
  • It's not a backlink exchange.
  • Not a "spammy" link at all.

To be competitive in SEO, a website generally needs between 40 to 50 backlinks to its homepage and between 0 to 100 backlinks to individual web pages. However, this number can vary based on several factors such as industry competition, the quality of backlinks, relevance to website content, and overall SEO strategy.

The quality of backlinks is extremely important because quality links can improve a website's overall rank with fewer links. To be competitive in the long term, it's best to focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks with high PageRank ratings.

Getting the most backlinks with the best PageRank possible should be your aim if you want to be long-term competitive for keywords and rank higher. When it comes to building backlinks, quality is always preferable to quantity.

It is therefore preferable to obtain one backlink with a high PR9 rather than 10 with a lower PR1.

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There are various factors that determine how many backlinks your website needs. Let's go into further depth about it.

Domain Authority

A domain's comprehensive strength is measured by the SEO statistic known as Domain Authority (DA), which was initially created by Moz. The Ahrefs equivalent of DA, Domain Rating (DR), displays the strength of a website's backlink profile. And Semrush's adaptation of DA called the Authority Score (AS), is used to gauge a website's overall quality and SEO effectiveness.

Each of the three aspects—DA, DR, and AS—is given a score out of 100, with higher scores denoting a more robust domain that is more likely to provide better SERP outcomes.

A website with a greater domain authority should appear higher in Google for a target keyword, all other things being equal in terms of content quality, matching user search intent, on-page SEO, and technical SEO. However, as you'll see in the section on keyword difficulty after that, it isn't always the case.

That would typically occur since Google's algorithm considers off-page SEO elements like backlinks when determining where a website should rank in the index. A website's domain authority will rise if more authoritative websites connect to it. This increases its perceived value to Internet users and, as a result, the ranking algorithm.

Keyword Difficulty

Another parameter that SEO tools use to determine how challenging it could be to rank a web page for a particular phrase is keyword difficulty. It also uses a 100-point scale, similar to domain authority, with higher scores signifying more difficult competition.

The keyword difficulty score is influenced by four things:

  • Domain authority: The overall strength of a domain
  • Page authority: The strength of a specific web page
  • Citation flow: The total number of links pointing to a specific web page
  • Trust flow: The standard of the backlinks pointing to a certain web page.

Domain authority is one key metric to help you determine how difficult it may be to rank a web page in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for a given keyword phrase. However, it's not the only metric you should consider. Metrics like citation flow and trust flow are also important because they show not just the quantity of backlinks but also the quality of those incoming links.

The DA score is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to a website's ranking. A lower DA score does not mean a website is out of the running to rank highly; in fact, a site with a lower DA can outrank one with a higher DA score, provided it has better-quality backlinks to the individual web page. Additionally, there’s one other thing these SEO metrics do not take into consideration when judging a URL: the quality of the on-page SEO.

On-page SEO is a powerful ranking factor for some keywords because it provides Google's algorithm with the correct signals to rank the content for a set of keywords. However, off-page SEO, such as backlinks, is not always the most powerful SEO ranking factor, especially when on-page SEO is optimized well on the page.

Internal Linking

The quantity of internal links a page obtains also affects how many backlinks it should have.

There are many SEO case studies that show how internal links can help increase a web page's rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Some SEO testing indicates that on average, 3 internal links are equal to 1 external backlink.

Not only does Google report that pages with more internal links are seen as more important to user experience, but they also state that these pages should be given higher visibility in the SERPs. So, if you want your page to rank higher on SERPs, make sure to include plenty of internal links!

Linking internally to the pages you want to rank in Google using keyword-rich anchor text will help send relevant signals to the search engine. Additionally, choose to link from other relevant content on your site instead of randomly because the annotation text can also be considered by Google’s indexing algorithm.

Backlink Quality vs. Quantity: Impact on Rankings and Authority
Backlink Quality vs. Quantity: Impact on Rankings and Authority

It is challenging to attempt to increase the number of backlinks to your website and specific web pages. And because Google only wants natural and organic backlinks to happen on the Internet, it actively opposes this strategy.

And as you see above, ranking a page in the top 10 places on Google doesn't necessarily require having a ton of backlinks. Here are some SEO-recommended practices you may do to improve your ranking outcomes with fewer backlinks:

  • Pick phrases with low keyword difficulty ratings and select at least 3-5 keywords to focus on while optimizing the website.
  • Put your keywords in the appropriate HTML locations for Google to crawl to achieve the greatest on-page SEO possible.
  • Aim to satisfy the user's search purpose with your content. You may generate content that is comparable to what is being rewarded by looking at the top-ranking websites in Google for your core keyword phrase.
  • Make at least five contextual internal links with keyword-rich anchor text to the page after the article is published.
  • If you can, include a link on your homepage to the website. Usually, the homepage has the highest internal PageRank score.
  • Instead of focusing on specific pages, focus on increasing the number of high-quality backlinks to the home page.

The only time you should consider increasing the number of backlinks to a certain web page is after you have done all you can to improve the strength of the SEO elements you can control on your site.

Once your web page and internal SEO signals are effectively tuned, you may discover that you require fewer backlinks than you initially thought to rank for your keywords.

With that, all said, what can we do to get an objective estimate?

Here is how to determine how many links you need after all the disclaimers with the help of a tool:

  • Enter the term you wish to rank for at Semrush Keyword Overview.
  • Semrush will inform you of the typical number of links required to reach page 1 of search results.
  • You may also view the ranking pages to examine the range of values.

You will undoubtedly note that there is a wide range in the number of high-quality links that websites receive when they rank on page one; this is why the number is average rather than precise.

However, once you know this figure, you'll be able to set goals for how many links you need to create.

Hope you now have a better knowledge of backlinks and how they help your website rank. Likewise, when it comes to backlinks, quality prevails over quantity!

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The quality of backlinks is extremely important because quality links can improve a website's overall rank with fewer links. To be competitive in the long term, it's best to focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks with high PageRank ratings.

What determines keyword difficulty?

The keyword difficulty score is influenced by four things:

  • Domain authority
  • Page authority
  • Citation flow
  • Trust flow

Inbound links, incoming links, and one-way links are other names for backlinks.

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