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How Long Does Link Building Take to Impact Rankings?

How Long Does Link Building Take to Impact Rankings?

If you are wondering whether link building is the right SEO strategy to employ, one of your main questions will concern the time frame over which any efforts you make to earn high quality backlinks will be effective. While there are a number of variables and uncertainties involved in determining this, you can rest assured that white hat link building will deliver positive results. So here is a look at how long you might have to wait for ranking improvements to emerge.

The Value of Patience

There is no hard and fast rule for how long it takes for Google to index pages and the links they contain, although it is safe to assume that this will be completed in a matter of days.

Higher profile sites with a lot of authoritative heft will achieve this faster than more obscure, less established sites, so keep this in mind when choosing which sites to target. Of course if you work with an outside vendor, your campaign will be managed by experts (like these) who will do all the hard work for you, saving you time and hassle.

Indexing is just the first step of the journey, and from here on out you will need to be patient and not expect overnight miracles to occur. Research from MOZ suggested that it will typically take two and a half months for any ranking improvements to become apparent, in the case of a single backlink being created elsewhere.

The more links from high-quality third-party sites you earn, the faster this process will accelerate, although, even in the best case scenario, you are looking at a wait of over a month for any major ranking movement.

The Price of Success

Another thing to keep in mind is that link building will be far more effective as an SEO strategy for smaller, newer sites that are aiming to boost their ranking when starting from scratch. Meanwhile, sites that are already in the upper echelons of Google’s SERPs will not necessarily see the same significant spikes in ranking performance over a short span of time.

This is good news for sites that are just arriving on the scene, and, of course, for sites that are already successful, the chances are that they already have their SEO tactics as refined as possible, so this aspect is less relevant in the first place.

The Importance of Authority

The final thing which can catalyze the impact that link building has on search rank is the DA (domain authority) of the site where links are earned. As hinted at earlier, higher DA sites are likely to lead to a faster ascent up the SERPs than those with a lower authority rating. This should, therefore, be used as a guide to whether you should partner with particular sites, or avoid them.

Most importantly of all, do not believe any promises made about ranking improvement time frames achieved via link building; there is so much at play when SEO is concerned that it is better to use this as part of a wider strategy than to put all of your eggs in one basket.


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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.