In this post, we answer a common SEO question "how many backlinks do i need to rank."

How Many Backlinks Do I Need? Answer Revealed

In this post, we answer a common SEO question "how many backlinks do i need to rank."
Zemfira Meloyan Zemfira Meloyan
Table of Contents

Understanding the role of backlinks in SEO and their impact on ranking is crucial for any website wanting to improve its visibility in search engine results. 

Backlinks are a fundamental aspect of SEO because search engines like Google consider them as votes of confidence from other websites.

Backlinks tell search engines that your website is worth checking out because your content is valuable and worth ranking highly. 

According to research done by, 58.1% of SEO specialists recognize the influence backlinks have on search engine rankings.

So, you might wonder then — how many backlinks do I need to take my website to the top of Google’s search results? 

Spoiler alert: it’s not as simple as a magic number! 

In this article, we’ll reveal the strategies that can help you understand the number of backlinks you need to rank higher in search results and so much more.

Let’s get started and decode this mystery! 

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links, are links from one website to another. 

They are essentially votes of confidence from other websites. 

When one website links to another, it signals to search engines that the website you’re linking to is valuable and credible. 

This, in turn, can positively impact the search engine rankings of the website you’re linking to.

Many people wonder, “how many backlinks do I need” to achieve significant improvements in their search engine rankings. 

If you are among these people, you might want to keep reading, as this article will spill all the tea about backlinks. 

Do Backlinks Still Matter?

As already mentioned, backlinks remain a significant factor in how search engines like Google rank websites. 

They help search engines understand the value and relevance of your content.

After all, backlinks from reliable websites signal to search engines that your content is trustworthy.

Links from websites in a related industry indicate that your content is relevant to specific topics or keywords.

While backlinks are still important, their role has evolved. 

Modern search algorithms have become much more sophisticated, considering numerous factors beyond backlinks to assess the relevance of content. 

Factors such as page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and user engagement metrics (like bounce rate and time on the website) can also play a significant role.

However, backlinks still play a big role in your website visibility. 

So, before answering the question of “how many backlinks do I need,” let’s look at what influences the number of backlinks needed to rank. 

Which Factors Influence How Many Backlinks I Need to Rank?

It’s not about “How many”, it’s about the quality of backlinks, the right targets, and consistency. 

So, here are some of the fundamental factors to keep in mind.

Keyword Search Volume

Higher search volume keywords can often help you rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This means there are likely more websites competing for those top spots. 

Like in the example below, “link building strategy” keyword has a very high search volume, so it’s going to be harder to rank with it, because many websites compete to rank with it.

Screenshot showing the keyword search volume metric as it's important for link building.

Websites that have higher search volume keywords, like the one above, in their content get higher domain rankings. So, to compete with them, you’ll likely need a comparable number of reliable backlinks to prove your website’s trustworthiness.

While it may require investment in content creation and link building outreach efforts, the long-term benefits can outweigh the costs, providing a great source of traffic and SEO benefits.

Moreover, backlinks from trusted sources can help drive this traffic to your website, which in turn can positively impact your rankings.

For high-volume keywords, extensive content promotion through backlink building is crucial to ensure your content reaches your target audience.

Keyword Difficulty 

The amount of backlinks necessary for a website to rank higher on search engines can also be impacted by the target keyword difficulty. 

Keywords with high difficulty are often highly competitive because many websites are trying to rank with them. In such cases, you generally need more backlinks to compete effectively. 

These backlinks also need to come from reliable websites.

For keywords with low difficulty, there is less competition. Therefore, fewer backlinks might be needed to rank well. Even a modest number of quality backlinks can be sufficient.

As shown in the picture below, for the keyword “how to rank higher on google” with the 27 KD, you’ll need approximately 32 referring domains to rank. 

Screenshot showing a keyword difficulty and the number of needed referring domains.

If it holds at 50 KD or more, that number may rise from between 50 to 100 backlinks. (See the picture below.)

Screenshot from Ahrefs showing how many referring domain is needed for a keyword.

Website Position 

The position of a webpage in search engine results can also influence how many backlinks it needs in several ways.

Generally, the higher you aim to rank (e.g., top 3 positions), the more backlinks you will likely need. 

Top-ranking pages tend to have more backlinks because they typically have better domain rating, relevance, and trustworthiness signals, which are often reflected in the number and quality of backlinks.

If you’re targeting highly competitive keywords, you’ll likely need more backlinks to rank well. 

Less competitive keywords (often long-tail or industry-specific) may require fewer backlinks to achieve a high position in search results. Since there’s less competition, fewer backlinks may be needed to stand out.

By using Ahrefs, you can find the right keyword to target. 

As shown in the picture below, when searching for keyword “link building strategy,” you’ll need 399 referring domains to rank in the top 10. 

Screenshot showing keywords and the needed referring domains.

In summary, websites that have or want to have higher positions generally require more backlinks, but this can vary based on the above-mentioned factors. However, the quality of these backlinks is more important than the quantity, which we’ll cover in a bit. 

If you’re still wondering “how many backlinks do I need” for my website, consider these factors carefully first.

Content Optimization

Well-optimized content that provides valuable, relevant information tends to naturally attract more organic backlinks. When content is seen as reliable and informative, other websites are more likely to link to it.

Properly optimizing content for target keywords ensures that search engines understand the context and relevance of your content. This potentially reduces the need for numerous backlinks to achieve good rankings.

However, if you have well-optimized content, but you’re not ranking in the top 3, getting backlinks will help you rank higher. 

Content that is well-structured, easy to read, and logically organized improves user experience, leading to lower bounce rates and higher engagement metrics. Search engines consider these metrics, which can help improve your rankings even with fewer backlinks.

Also, including images, videos, infographics, and other multimedia elements can make content more engaging and shareable, increasing the likelihood of earning backlinks from different sources.

Like in the example below, HubSpot almost always includes multimedia elements in its blogs. That might be one of the reasons why it has very high-ranking content. 

Example showing how Hubspot uses multimedia for better content.

Moreover, optimizing meta titles, descriptions, and headers (H1, H2, H3) with relevant keywords can improve search engine visibility and click-through rates (CTR). (See the picture below.)

Screenshot showing how a keyword should be used in the title tag and the meta tag.

It’s important to also mention some tools that can help you optimize your content. These are Semrush or Ahrefs that can help with keyword research, backlink tracking and so much more. You can also use Grammarly to improve content readability and overall quality, hence optimizing your content further. 

Additionally, strategic internal linking within your content helps increase the visibility of your pages. 

If you try to make long-form content – even better! Long-form content that covers topics in detail often performs better in search rankings. 

Regularly updating and refreshing this content to keep it current and relevant can also improve rankings and reduce the need for additional backlinks. 

How Many Backlinks Do I Need to Rank? Here’s the  Answer

Answering the question of “how many backlinks do I need to rank” is complex and varies based on the several factors mentioned above. 

You may also be wondering, how many backlinks do I need per month? How many backlinks are good overall? 

Let’s see! On average, you might need from 40 to 50 backlinks to get your website off the ground. Some small companies might need more than that because they’re just starting. 

It’s a manageable goal that doesn’t require an overwhelming effort or budget.

It really depends on a lot, you can have estimations, but you can never know the right number of backlinks that you’ll need to rank with a specific target. 

Whatever it is, one thing is for sure; you need to be consistent with it, keep your content optimized, and push it with contextually relevant backlinks to achieve results quicker than expected. 

In addition to creating compelling content, you can also try guest posting for reputable websites in your industry. This strategy not only earns backlinks but also improves your visibility.

Moreover, analyzing competitors’ backlink profiles can also provide strategic insights into your “how many backlinks do I need” question.

So, you can see really good results with only 10 backlinks a month, but if you do backlinking for a certain period of time and then stop, you most likely won’t see good results in the long run. 

Consistently getting backlinks over time helps in creating a natural backlink profile; this is because search engines prefer a steady growth of backlinks over sudden spikes, which can sometimes be viewed as manipulative.

As you see positive results, you can scale your efforts. This gradual increase helps in sustaining long-term SEO success.

However, if you still don’t know where to start, it might be better to use the services and advice of a professional. 

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Overall, the perfect number of backlinks needed per month can vary widely depending on various factors, such as your industry’s competitiveness and reputation. Plus, depending on how consistent you are with your backlinking efforts the results can also vary. 

So, now that we got this covered, what’s next? 

The Timeless Debate: Backlink Quantity vs. Quality 

Now comes a greater question: what is better: backlink quality or quantity? 

In the early days of SEO, only the volume was often enough to boost a website’s rankings. More links meant more chances for a website to be discovered by search engines.

These large numbers of backlinks can come from a variety of sources, potentially increasing the diversity of your link profile. This variety can be beneficial because it shows search engines that your website is gaining attention from different places on the web.

Because it often results in links from a wide range of websites, it can help you reach different audiences and increase overall brand exposure.

Also, building a large number of backlinks quickly can lead to short-term gains in search engine rankings. This can be particularly useful for new websites looking to establish an initial presence in search results.

However, pursuing a high volume of backlinks often leads to getting links from irrelevant websites. These spammy links can harm your SEO rather than help it.

If, for example, you’re using private blog networks (PBNs) to rapidly build backlinks, it can lead to penalties from search engines if detected. This can significantly damage your website’s credibility.

So, it’s better to get links from reliable sources rather than get them to just fill in the quantity because a single backlink from a reputable website can be more valuable than dozens of links from less known sources.

Overall, focusing on the quality of the link reduces the risk of penalties from search engines, and if you focus on getting reputable backlinks, you’ll be less likely to be flagged as manipulative. This way, you can ensure your website’s long-term health. 

To Sum Up 

Now that we’ve fully covered your question of “how many backlinks do I need,” let’s wrap this all up for you!

  • Backlinks are crucial for SEO, but modern algorithms also heavily weigh other factors like page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and user engagement.
  • Several factors can influence how many backlinks you need to rank, which are search volume, your website position, keyword difficulty, and content optimization.
  • The number of backlinks needed to rank varies, but focusing on quality, contextually relevant backlinks is crucial for sustainable SEO success.
  • Focus on acquiring backlinks from reliable sources within your industry. 

We hope this article was helpful and it answered your question of “how many backlinks do I need”. 

Go forth and link up! Good luck!

FAQ about how many backlinks you need

Is it good to have a lot of backlinks?

It’s not about quantity, it’s more about the quality of backlinks, referring domain metrics, and relevance to your website content.

Is 100 backlinks good?

You can get 100 backlinks, but it’s better to avoid penalties and treat it as a continuous process for better website rankings.

How many backlinks per day is safe?

Getting 5-10 backlinks from reliable websites is okay. Getting more than 15 might seem spammy and have you penalized.

Can I rank without backlinks?

It depends on many factors. You need backlinks, optimized content, and good technical SEO for your website to rank.

How many backlinks are enough?

It depends on the page (landing page, homepage, blog, etc.), what position you want to rank for, and how optimized your page is..

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