How Many Links Can you Safely Build Per Day?
A pretty common question we get from our readers is how many backlinks per day they can create without any issues.
It’s pretty natural to want to know how you can raise your site’s rankings as quickly as possible, and everyone has heard by now that adding too many backlinks too quickly could get you in some trouble.
Unfortunately, the answer to this questions is not a straightforward one (like many other things in SEO). Hence why I’m writing this article instead of blurting out a number!
Can You Get a Penalty for Adding Too Many Backlinks Too Quickly?
Yes and no. Let’s look at a couple different examples to better understand how many backlinks per day you can be adding.
First, let’s pretend you have a new website without any backlinks built to it yet. However, you’ve got a genius business idea and you somehow managed to get some good press.
Overnight, your business explodes in true viral fashion… and so does the amount of backlinks your site has. As more and more readers see this good press, they keep sending more and more backlinks – maybe even hundreds or thousands of editorial backlinks per day.
Of course, this is pretty much every SEO’s wildest dream. It does happen fairly regularly in the real world, though.
Do you think Google can (or should) penalize a site for receiving this high number of links due to gaining popularity overnight? Hopefully you’re shouting at your computer, “Of course not!”
If this were the case, going viral or gaining sudden popularity would be a death knell for websites.
For our next example, let’s pretend we’re an inexperienced SEO without any good sense or patience. We want to rank our site as quickly as possible so we can be America’s next top billionaire, so we go hard on this thing.
We start building tons 10, 20, 30 backlinks per day. We use a mix of web 2.0s, PBN links, and maybe some guest posts thrown in. We also use pretty aggressive anchor text to make sure Google knows exactly what to rank our site for.
The chances of this site getting penalized are much higher. But why?
Natural Link Profiles for the Win
On the one hand, we had a site receiving natural links from thousands of sites (note: this is a bit different from Churn and Burn SEO). As they were natural, you can safely assume that most of them were inner-page, contextual backlinks with a good mix of anchors from decently relevant websites.
It’s for this reason that quality guest posts and niche edits are considered so safe. If done correctly, it’s impossible for the algorithm to tell that these backlinks are unnatural (as long as you follow best-practices when selecting your anchors and targets of course).
And on the other hand, our not-so-bright SEO was building backlinks that in large numbers look very unnatural. Web 2.0s and PBN backlinks have distinct signatures that give the algorithm some clue that something not-so-wholesome is up.
This isn’t to say that these types of links are unsafe, though. Any type of link (including PBN links) can be safe when used correctly by a skilled SEO.
The second example has a much higher chance of picking up a penalty because its pattern of link building, and thus its backlink profile, will appear highly unnatural to Google’s algorithm.
So to be safe, you want to mimic natural link profiles as much as possible. This is done through backlink diversity, or building a mix of different types of backlinks to keep Google’s algorithm from suspecting that anything is amiss.
You also want to be applying this same concept of diversity to the anchor text that you’re using. You don’t want to keep hammering the same keyword anchors over and over. Be sure to mix it up, include variations of your keyword, and include a good amount of branded, generic, and URL anchors.
If you want to be really safe, using a lot of natural anchors is the way to go. You’ll still need to use exact match anchors, just don’t go crazy with them.
Quality Over Quantity
If you are building links yourself, make sure to focus on the quality of the links instead of the quantity of them. By doing this, you will also be able to increase the quantity of backlinks which is safe to build to your website.
We’ve got a whole article on what makes a quality backlink, but a few important things to keep in mind when trying to build links quickly are the linking sites’:
Authority and Trust
Authority is a somewhat obscure metrics/concept that’s represented by things such as Ahref’s DR (Domain Rating) and Moz’s DA (Domain Authority). They are influenced by the total amount and quality of backlinks the domain has as well as more intangible things like how trustworthy the domain is. The higher, the better.
However, let’s go back to our example of the website that received hundreds of backlinks very quickly due to good press. Do you think all of those backlinks came from sites with high DA/DR’s? You can safely assume they didn’t as that’s just not how the internet and SEO works.
This is just one thing to consider and must be considered in conjunction with the other factors on this list.
If your link is coming from an article or a domain that is themed about something that would make sense to link to you, that of course is better. A website about pets linking to your website about dogs makes a lot of sense in Google’s eyes. A website about pharmaceuticals linking to a website about marketing makes a lot less sense.
You don’t have to go overboard with relevance – just use your brain. Could this type of link occur in the real world? Or is it just something a novice SEO would do?
Some other metrics you can take into consideration are things like traffic, traffic location, TLD (top-level domain), rankings and current site health, quality backlink profiles, and so on. Like with everything in SEO, we are just looking for naturalness above all else.
In the previous section we talked about the unique signatures (footprints) of a couple kinds of links. PBN links, for example, are special in that they are generally homepage links which are significantly more rare than inner-page links. This is part of what makes PBN links so powerful, but you also have to be careful.
You have to take care not to overdo it getting too many of this type of backlink as search engines will recognize it as a pattern that doesn’t normally happen. If you have some other things that stick out as unnatural as well, you might end up with a penalty.
Maintain backlink diversity for your site’s safety. Mix in some other types of backlinks like social signals (see: what are social signals?), high quality guest posts and edits, various sorts of pillow links, and so on for added naturalness.
Industry Best Practices
Advanced SEOs will be able to get away with quite a bit more than someone who is new to search engine optimization. If you are newer to the game, you will probably want to keep the following in mind.
When you first start to build backlinks, build slowly. It’s advised that you stick to pillow linking for the first month or so before moving on towards other link backlink types. Get your social media up, build your profiles, etc. These are things that new websites normally get in the beginning stages.
You can start to work in other links like edits and guest posts early on as well, but just keep it to a few for the first month with very natural anchors.
Ramp Up Link Building Over Time
As your website accumulates more and more links over time, it makes sense that you will be able to build more and more links safely while still appearing natural. A website with 2,000 referring domains can safely get a lot more backlinks per day or month than a site with only 20 referring domains.
How Many Backlinks Per Day Wrap-Up
As you can see, how many links you build per day will depend on a lot of factors.
Unfortunately, there is no set number for the amount of backlinks you can build per day. That’s not how Google’s algorithm works. You have to take into account the whole picture and ask yourself if it looks natural or not.
Also, instead of thinking about adding backlinks daily, it makes more sense to think on a weekly or even monthly level. Backlinks get indexed at random intervals, so you don’t really need to worry about added a certain amount every day to spread them out.
Focus on getting quality backlinks and stick to industry best practices if you are newer to search engine optimization and link building. This will keep your site safe from penalties in the case that you overlook something that the algorithm checks for.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!
Chris Tzitzis is an SEO and a Co-Founder of SirLinksalot.co. He has extensive experience with Affiliate SEO and running an SEO Agency.
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