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How Many Backlinks Do I Need to Rank | How Many Backlinks Do I Have?


Published on | 615-953-9493 Naturally, one of the first questions that is asked when discussing a link building project is "How Many Links Will It Tank to Rank My Site?" In this guide we talk about the basic framework needed to answer that question, while setting up your site properly for to achieve optimal results.

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How Many Backlinks Do I Need to Rank | How Many Backlinks Do I Have?

  1. 1. | 615-953-9493 Stellar SEO
  2. 2. How Many Links Will It Take To Rank My Site for “insert keyword here”?
  3. 3. How Many Years Will A Drug Dealer Be Locked Up For? (keep reading, this will make sense very soon!)
  4. 4. Was He on Federal Property? How Much Was He/She In Possession of At The Time of Arrest? Did They Commit Additional Crimes In the Course of Dealing?
  5. 5. Is This Their First Offense or Do They Have a History of Arrests?
  6. 6. What Does Any of This Have To Do With Link Building? 4 Words:
  7. 7. “Aggravating” and “Mitigating” Factors
  8. 8. An “Aggravating” Factor is one That Works Against You. A “Mitigating” Factor is one That Works in Your Favor
  9. 9. Your History and Case Specific Details Will Greatly Influence The Final “Verdict”
  10. 10. Aggravating Factors Will Reduce the Effectiveness of New Links Being Built.
  11. 11. Mitigating Factors Can Make Each Link More Powerful and Impactful.
  12. 12. Before We Dive Into That, Let’s Start With the “Numbers”
  13. 13. Ask The Following Questions and You Will Be One Step Closer to Your Final Answer
  14. 14. What is the Median Number of Unique Referring Domains Pointing to the Root Domain of The Top 5 Competitors for “your keyword”?
  15. 15. What is the Median Number of Unique Referring Domains Pointing to the Exact URL(s) of the Top 5 Sites Ranking for “your keyword”?
  16. 16. How Many Unique Referring Domains are Pointing To Your Root Domain and the URL You Want to Rank for Your Keyword?
  17. 17. How Many NEW RDs Are Needed to Your Root Domain and Target URL to Bring Your Site Up to the Median Numbers of Your Competitors?
  18. 18. Let’s Take A Look At A Real Life Example.
  19. 19. To Find The Information, Let’s Head Over to Our example keyword will be: “Kitchen Cabinet Door Knobs”
  20. 20. When I Search “Kitchen Cabinet Door Knobs”, I Get the Following Sites:
  21. 21. For The Sake of Demonstrating, We Will Review: ● ● Both of these sites have an internal page ranking for the target keyword.
  22. 22. The first thing we will check is the number of RDs (referring domains) to the ranking page for As you can see above they have 7 “Referring domains” to the exact page that is ranking.
  23. 23. Next we will check the number of referring domains to any pages on his site. As you can see above they have 3.65K “Referring domains to their site in total.
  24. 24. Now we will complete the same checks for As you can see above they have 1.25K “Referring domains” to their site in total and 7 RDs to their ranking page.
  25. 25. We would repeat this process for the top 5-10 sites for each unique keyword we want to target.
  26. 26. Using Our Examples: 7 is the Median Number of Links Pointing Directly to the Ranking URL. 2,450 is the median number of RDs to the site in total.
  27. 27. To Be Very Clear… This is only the first step of many in developing a clear, numbers backed plan. I am not telling you to go out and build 2450 links and you will rank. Do not stop here!!!
  28. 28. Now That You Know How the Numbers Stack Up - What’s Next?
  29. 29. What Are Your “Aggravating” Factors?
  30. 30. Does Your Site Have a Manual or Algorithmic Link Penalty?
  31. 31. Does Your Site Have an Over-Optimized Anchor Text Profile?
  32. 32. What is Your Sites’ Typical Link Growth Velocity? How Does This Compare to the Growth of Your Competitors?
  33. 33. How Good Are Your Existing Links?
  34. 34. Is Your Site Filled with Thin, Low Value Content?
  35. 35. Is The Type of Content You Are Trying to Promote Similar to Ranking Sites?
  36. 36. For Example - Are the Top 5 Sites Long Form “How To” Guides and You Want to Rank a “Sales Page”?
  37. 37. There Are a Number of Additional Questions You Can Ask Depending Upon Your Situation, But Those Are a Great Start.
  38. 38. Now That We Know What’s Wrong, Let’s Look at What’s Right...aka “Mitigating Factors”.
  39. 39. Does Your Site Contain Primary Research Data or Case Studies of Value to Your Industry?
  40. 40. Do You Have Long Form Content That is More Valuable, Recent, and In Depth Than Your Competitors?
  41. 41. Do You Have Content That Better Answers a Query Than the Ranking Sites? Example: You have a how to training video, your competitors have short blog posts.
  42. 42. Do You Have Good User Engagement? Ctr’s, time on page, social shares, etc.
  43. 43. Does Your Site Show Steady Link Growth over 6-24 Months?
  44. 44. Is Your Site “Older” Than Most of Your Competitors?
  45. 45. Do Your Competitors Have Good Links or Just a Lot Of Them?
  46. 46. Again, The Questions Will Vary By Case, But If You Aren’t Asking Any of Them, You Aren’t Giving Yourself a Fair Shot at Ranking.
  47. 47. So, How Many Links Will It Take to Rank Your Site?
  48. 48. You Should Aim to Reach The Median Number of QUALITY Links Pointing to the Root Domain of Your Competitors.
  49. 49. You Should Aim to Meet The Median Number or QUALITY RDs Pointing to the Ranking URLs of Your Competitors As Well.
  50. 50. All While Checking Off Every “Aggravating” Factor and Maximizing Every “Mitigating” Factor.
  51. 51. In Doing So, You Will Find That Ranking for Your Main Keyword and Many Related Terms will Happen Much Faster and with Fewer Links Than Estimated.
  52. 52. Said Another Way: Prepare for the Worst - Then Work Hard So You Never See It.
  53. 53. Beyond the Median, there are many additional checks that should be carried out to further screen competitor links. We don’t have time to cover that in detail here today though.
  54. 54. Planning and Research are Essential to Link Building. If You Aren’t Checking All the Boxes, You Aren’t Making the Most of Your Investment.
  55. 55. Whenever You Develop A Well Thought Out and Cohesive Link Building Strategy, The “Synergistic Effect” Will Multiply Your Results.
  56. 56. 100 Links Optimally Built to Deserving Pages Can Outperform 500 Links Haphazardly Acquired and Sent to Less Than Optimal Content.
  57. 57. If You Would Like To Learn How To Get The Greatest Impact From Every Link Built, Stayed Tuned for Part Two and Three of This Free Link Building Training.
  58. 58. If You Need Assistance: The Checks Discussed Here Today ( and many more) Are Part of Our Managed Link Building Service.
  59. 59. Visit to setup a time to discuss your project.