The ultimate question, isn’t it? How many backlinks do I need? However, the problem with asking this question is that it implies that there is an answer.
Okay, that’s a bit cryptic. The problem is, the answer is different for every website. And it also implies that there is a limit as to the number of backlinks you need. The short answer is, you can never stop creating backlinks.
Here’s why you need to keep creating backlinks…
First, your competitors are probably building backlinks even as you read this; if they’re smart anyway. While Google doesn’t just keep a running tally and the website with the most backlinks wins, the number of links it still makes a difference.
Second, links get old and can drop off depending on what kind of links they are. Links from blog posts and blog comments can get archived or deleted. Or the blog could get deleted. Article directory links can also get archived and may not get “spidered” very often. Classified ads usually only last a month. Business directories get shut down or deleted. If you don’t keep creating backlinks, you will eventually have none.
Now, that doesn’t mean you have to be creating thousands of linkbacks per month. Again, it depends on what your competitors are doing and the quality of your links and theirs. I will be writing an article soon on how to analyze your competitors to see how many backlinks they have. And another on how to analyze your site to find out how many backlinks YOU have.
Is it a quality link?
Another issue to take into consideration is that there is a huge difference in backlinks. some are high quality and some are very low quality and count for next to nothing. For instance, I usually counsel my clients not to bother with swapping links with other businesses unless the other business has a higher Google pagerank than they do.
Remember, Google pagerank flows downhill. If they have a higher pagerank, you’ll get the benefit of the link swap. If, on the other hand, you have a higher pagerank, they will get all the benefit of a link swap.
Link quality also relates to things like:
- whether the link has your keyword phrase for anchor text or is just a raw URL
- whether the link comes from related content. Is the page, website, blog post or article your link is coming from related to your page or is it “just a link?”
- what is the page rank of the site your link is coming from?
- how old is the site your link is coming from?
- how much related content is on the website your link is coming from?
- are all your links coming from one source or a diverse selection of link types?
Final advice on linking strategies
So, how many backlinks do I need? The best advice I can give you is to keep developing links to your website, create one link to another page of your website for every 4 links you create to the Home page, and get as many different kinds of backlinks as you can.
In other words, guest blog posts, blog commenting, article posting, directory submissions, classified ad submissions, paid reviews, social bookmarking and the list goes on. Not to be overly self-promoting but you might want to check some of the reviews on this blog for quick and easy automated or semi-automated link creator tools to help with the linkbuilding process.