How Long Does Link Building Take To Influence Rankings?

When many people build backlinks to their site, they often expect instant results. They think they’re just going to build a few links, and the next day this will influence their rankings and shoot them to the top on Google.

But, link building doesn’t really work like that.

In this article, I’m going to teach you what sort of time frames you can expect to see results from backlinks and link building.


How Long Does It Really Take To Influence Your Rankings?

The answer that many SEOs will give you when it comes to how long it takes for backlinks to work, is that it depends on a number of factors.

Most of them will simply tell you that you just have to wait and see how it goes. I don’t really like that answer.

In this article, I’m going to share my experience with link building and explore how long it generally takes for it to influence your rankings.


Delay Between Google’s Algorithm

Firstly, it usually takes about three to six months for my clients to see results with link building.

Why does it take this long for backlinks to influence your rankings? Usually, this comes down to the delay between when you build the backlink, and when Google’s algorithm actually crawls it.

The Internet is a big place and Google’s crawler isn’t instantaneous. It doesn’t capture all data instantly, especially if those particular pages are not that active, or don’t receive much organic traffic.

You can see this in real-time if you go to Google Search Console. There will be a big difference between your actual live backlink profile, and the data from Google Search Console.

The thing to remember is that with any type of SEO – link building, producing content, the technical changes on your site – all of these things can take a while to influence your rankings.

You can publish a new article, but it won’t actually rank on the first page of Google for three to six months, because that’s just the way Google’s algorithm works.

It’s a game of patience that takes time, investment, and continuous effort, but the results are 100% worth it. Plus, if it was easy, everybody would be doing it!


There Are Other Uncontrollable Factors

There are also other factors that are outside of your control when it comes to link building. For example;

  • What are your competitors doing?
  • How competitive is your industry?
  • What sort of keywords are you targeting?

When it comes to link building, the results also depend on the niche that your website is in.

If you are targeting a really easy niche, with very low competition keywords, you can see an impact from link building much faster than if you built links to a hyper-competitive niche.


Diminishing Returns

Let’s say you have a brand new website that you’ve never built links on before, you will see that link building will influence your results much more quickly than if you have a website that already has a strong backlink path.

The reason for this is because of diminishing returns.

It’s the same way when you learn a new language. If you learn Spanish for a year, you can see huge results in your progress. But, after that year, your progress is going to halt because you’re kind of in a plateau.

You will continue to make progress, but it’s going to be more gradual, and a lot slower.


Link Building In An Easy Niche With Low Competition Keywords

A great example of this is a website I started in the pets niche a few months ago. This website was a brand new domain with no links or backlink profile.

As a result of building backlinks for it, you can see an almost immediate impact between when the links were built, and when the organic traffic spiked.

Now, why is it that if you have a brand new website with no backlink profile, you’re going to see results much quicker? Usually, it’s because there’s a very small gap between you and your competitors when it comes to link building.

Many websites don’t have any links at all. So, when you start building backlinks, you can very quickly bridge the gap.

After that point, even after six or twelve months of link building, your progress will continue. You still need to build backlinks, but the progress is slightly slower than it would be for a brand new domain.

When it comes to the pets niche, it is really low competition industry, so it was pretty easy to boost my ranking.

I did this by targeting keywords that were between a keyword difficulty of 0 to 10, because these keywords were easy to rank for after building a few backlinks.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even though you want to build backlinks to your website, you should also focus on very low competition keywords if you want to see faster results.


Produce SEO Content to Influence Your Rankings

You can build backlinks to your website, but you also need to focus on producing content too. I would also recommend outsourcing your SEO content.

If you’re not publishing content or targeting keywords, then it doesn’t matter how many backlinks you have to your website, you’re probably not going to see the impact of them very quickly.

The reason for this is that you’re not producing enough content and getting your website out there to your audience to find.

While backlinks help, and are one of the most important ranking factors for your website, you need to take advantage of that authority.

You can do this by making sure you are publishing as much content as possible, that is targeted to low competition keywords.

Using this approach will give you good link building results far more quickly than if you are just publishing without any sort of keyword strategy in place.


Review Your Backlink Strategy

So, what happens if you’ve been building links for six to twelve months, and you’re still not seeing results?

You’ve got a strong keyword strategy in place, and you’ve been publishing loads of content that’s very targeted, but not getting the results you want.

So, what do you do?

I would advise you to take a step back and re-analyze your backlink strategy. Look at your backlink profile and consider;

  • Are the links you’re getting high quality?
  • Do they look natural?
  • Are they relevant to your website and the content you’re linking to?
  • What sort of link building methods are you using and are they working?

If you’re getting backlinks from forums or directories, they’re not going to have much of an impact on your rankings. Instead, you should be using the strategies that I recommend, such as the Skyscraper Technique, or HARO link building.

These sorts of link building strategies are proven to work in 2020, and I expect them to keep working over the next five to 10 years.

While it might take three to six months, when you have a brand new web site with no backlink profile, you can see results almost immediately.

Whatever your niche is, following the approaches to link building that are outlined in this article will have a great influence on your rankings.