Several different factors go into determining how fast your ranking will change based on your link-building efforts. Regardless of what method you’re using, it will generally take several weeks to see movement in the rankings.
The type of link, the age of your site, as well as your relevance, are some of the key factors that determine how much link building will affect your ranking, but the time it takes is still a bit up in the air.
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Factors That Impact the Time it Takes and the Ranking Increase
When you’re building out your link profile for your site, the primary factors that influence how long it takes to see a rank increase are typically your original site ranking and saturation of links.
A higher ranking site will not jump as quickly or as high as a low-ranking site. This is because the closer you get to the top of your SERP, the more competitive and important all the various factors are. In cases of low-ranking pages, you may see a rank jump in as little as 4-6 weeks.
However, a top 10 page may take 10-12 weeks to shift one spot in the rankings.
Secondly, the domain authority of the sites from which your links originate and the sheer volume of those links has a lot to do with how much of an impact it has on your ranking and how long that impact will take to show.
Backlinks from trustworthy and popular sites have a larger impact than those from untrustworthy or speculative sites. In other words, having popular “friends” on the internet makes you more popular, to look at it in simplified terms. Some types of link building are downright dangerous.
You also want to make sure you’re not using no-follow links and tags as these are ignored by search engines, as they tell the search engine not to track their data. This isn’t usually an issue if you’re link building with reputable sources.
Go With the Flow When Link Building
Whether you’re linking to building yourself or other sites are linking to your site, the way in which you do it and the speed at which it occurs has an impact on your ranking.
The goal of link building is to slowly build out relevant backlinks to your content that will generate traffic and a positive user experience.
This accounts for multiple factors of determining your ranking at once. Link volume, link velocity, and link relevance are all related.
The strategy for link building that will show results the fastest is to slowly build links naturally by backlinking from other content so that your content is seen as relevant to the links you build.
Backlinking your page to something unrelated will confuse the search engine and cause it to take longer to calculate your new ranking and worse, it could make your ranking go down.
Some SEO experts think that the way to make a site’s ranking go up is to go all-in on the backlinks so that your site’s traffic increases by massive volumes. Unfortunately, search volume is only one factor that impacts your site ranking, so foregoing natural progression in favor of massive link building will have the opposite of the desired effect.
Expect to Wait a While Even if You Do Everything Right
Supposing that you’re doing everything right and you begin your link-building campaign and start building out backlinks immediately as best you can, either on your own or through a professional firm, you’re still looking at months of work before you see noticeable results.
For one, you need to develop and implement a link-building plan, this process alone can take several weeks to a few months. Once the plan is in place, the struggle is finding reputable links, as we’ve said, links that aren’t reputable or that themselves have no domain authority can have a negative impact on your ranking.
This phase of the process varies in length but can take up to 3 months or more.
Some factors, like keyword difficulty and domain authority, can have a positive effect on your ranking and the speed at which you see improvements, but the actual amount of time you can save is hard to determine.
The interesting thing to note is that once you see an initial increase, it takes less time to see further increases in ranking from the same links. That is, of course, if your site isn’t already in the top 10.
Very low-ranking sites with low difficulty keywords may see faster results as the rankings are easier to calculate until you hit the top SERP. Keyword difficulty has a drastic effect on ranking time and amount of rank movement.
If your page is higher in the ranking or you are attempting to rank for very difficult keywords, it may take up to a year to see results from a link-building campaign. All of this is relative, there is no definite answer.
As you can see, getting results from link building can be a time-consuming process. To improve your rate of success, you should focus on building out links from reputable sites using low difficult keywords with high relevance. This will help to cut down the time it takes and improve the results once you see that initial rank increase.
The important thing is that you build out your links in a natural way and go for building the reputation of your site over a mass marketing campaign style of link building. That way, you won’t have wasted your efforts or the amount of time it takes to see results.
Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams - including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing leading, building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams. When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii.
Over the years he's written for publications like Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, MarketingProfs and other highly respected online publications. Connect with Tim on Linkedin & Twitter.
Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams - including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing leading, building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams. When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii. Over the years he's written for publications like Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, MarketingProfs and other highly respected online publications.