Waiting for backlinks to kick in

How Long Does It Take for Backlinks to Show Up And Take Effect?

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If you’re an SEO expert, time can be your greatest opponent. Clients are eager to know when the link building efforts will pay off, and expect a turnaround time.

However, the truth is that a new link doesn’t boost rankings instantly. It can take weeks to months for any significant change to occur. Certain factors also affect this turnaround time.

So, how long do backlinks take to kick in? Let’s dig deeper to understand.

Insights From the Article

• Backlinks are important for establishing site authority and credibility, impacting Google’s search algorithm ranking factors.

• Backlink effectiveness varies, typically taking weeks to months to show noticeable results due to indexing and ranking processes.

• Factors such as link velocity, crawling time, domain authority, and relevance influence backlink turnaround time, showcasing the importance of quality over quantity.

Why Are Backlinks Important for Link Building?

Backlinks, an important component that helps signal a site’s authority and credibility, also claim an important position in Google’s search algorithm ranking factors. 

For example, if an authoritative site links to your content, that signals trust in your site on their behalf. Hence, Google will also find your site credible and trustworthy. 



How Long Does it Take for Backlinks to Take Effect?

The way backlinks or inbound links work can be complex. There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for them, but there are certain stages your inbound link will go through before it starts taking effect. 

Backlink Getting Indexed

Before your webpage can appear in Google search results, it first needs to be added to Google’s index. Google does this by regularly visiting and checking out websites.

Google crawling. 

Google crawling.

Think of it like this: when Google looks at websites, they have different amounts of attention to give out. For instance:

a) If a news website posts 100 new articles every day, Google notices it quicker because it’s always buzzing with activity.

b) But if it’s a website that only updates a few pages a year, it might take a while for Google to notice because it’s not very active.

Usually, top-performing sites hold Google’s attention, so any links on their site get noticed quickly.

The First Leap

When you create a new page on your website, it doesn’t immediately appear in Google search results.

The actual boost in SERPs (search engine results pages) comes when other websites start linking to yours. A page ranked at 469 might leap up to 120, and one at 60 could even make it to the top 10.

If you’re getting good links from good sites, your page could suddenly shoot up in ranking within 1 to 2 months.

Eventual SEO Growth

Once you’ve gone through the first couple of steps, you’ll start noticing your website climbing up in search results. That’s when you know things are kicking off.

However, how long it takes for these backlinks to boost your rankings can differ. It might take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Timeline for Backlink Results to Work

Behind the scenes, a lot is going on with backlinks, which makes it tricky to predict exactly when you’ll see results. But here’s a rough idea:

Timeline of backlink effect on ranking

Timeline of backlink effect on ranking. Source: The Website Times.

a) Weeks 1-4
In the first few weeks, search engines find your backlinks and start indexing them. Depending on how popular the sites linking to you are, this can happen quickly or take a bit longer.

b) Weeks 4-12
After your backlinks get indexed, you might notice some changes in your rankings. But remember, SEO takes time, so big improvements could take a few months.

c) Months 3-6
Around the three-month mark, you should start seeing more noticeable boosts in your ranking. Building good backlinks and creating valuable content is important to keep the momentum going.

d) Months 6-12
Your position on SERPs should be steadily climbing by now. Keep up the link building, and you’ll likely see improvements across all your web pages in search results.

Seeing Results

The impact of the incoming link can vary depending on several situations. 

Imagine you’re starting a new website with no history or traffic from search engines. When you try to get other websites to link to yours, it can take ages to see any real results.

Even if you manage to get lots of links each week, don’t expect to see much organic traffic for months.

The same goes for adding new pages or blog posts to a new website. Even if these pages have a few links pointing to them, without a solid foundation for the whole site, you’re in for a long wait. We’re talking months of waiting around with no guarantee of progress.

Now, if your website has been around for a year or two and has picked up a few backlinks along the way, things might seem a bit more promising. But don’t expect any major changes in your SERPs anytime soon. Unless you’re targeting really easy keywords, it’s unlikely you’ll see a big boost.

Of course, there are exceptions. For less competitive keywords, a handful of high-quality backlinks could make a difference in just a month or two. But those situations are rare.

On the other hand, if you have a big, established website with loads of traffic, you’re in the best position. When you add new links to a site like this, you can see the difference within a couple of days. That’s because search engines already trust your site, so they’re quick to notice and reward any new links you acquire.

Factors That Influence Backlink Turnaround Time Results

Certain factors affect the time it takes for backlinks to show an effect. Let’s examine them.

Link Velocity

Link velocity is the speed at which a site acquires backlinks over time.

Link velocity

Good link velocity.

A high link velocity signals that the site is getting a large number of backlinks in a short period. This could indicate a black-hat link building method, like a PBN or link farm. 

Google may view this as a manipulative attempt and penalize your site. Hence, it is always recommended that a steady link velocity be maintained to ensure a sustained and long-term improvement in SERPs. 

Crawling Time

Crawling time refers to how quickly search engines discover and index new backlinks pointing to your website.

If the crawling time is fast, meaning Google bots visit and index web pages frequently, they’re more likely to discover new backlinks quickly.

This can lead to a shorter turnaround time for your backlinks to be recognized and counted towards your website’s positioning.

Google crawling

How Google crawling works.

Websites hosted on servers with faster response times and better accessibility tend to have quicker turnaround times.

Plus, sites that frequently publish new content and attract regular crawler visits are more likely to benefit from faster indexing of backlinks.

Domain Authority (DA)

Domain Authority (DA) is a score created by Moz that predicts the likelihood of a website ranking highly for your target keywords in SERPs.

Domain authority scale

Domain authority scale.

Google tends to crawl and index websites with higher DA more frequently. If your website has a high DA, Google bots are more likely to visit it regularly, which can lead to faster discovery and indexing of new backlinks.

Page Authority (PA)

Page authority, similar to domain authority, is a metric used to predict the likelihood of a page ranking high in search results. While DA focuses on the overall site, PA focuses on a particular page within a domain. 

Similar to DA, pages with higher authority tend to experience faster link turnaround times due to their visibility, reputation, and trustworthiness within their respective niches.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. It’s essential because it provides context to both users and Google about the content of the linked page.

Anchor text

Importance of anchor text for SEO.

Using relevant keywords in your anchor text can help improve your website’s ranking for those keywords.

However, it’s crucial to avoid over-optimizing anchor text, as this can appear manipulative to Google and may result in penalties.

Content Strategy

A well-executed content strategy that creates high-quality, relevant, and authoritative content, coupled with proactive promotion efforts, can significantly impact the turnaround time for acquiring backlinks.

SEO Content Planning.

SEO Content Planning.

As mentioned earlier, regularly updating and refreshing your content can help maintain momentum in acquiring backlinks over time.

Fresh, up-to-date content remains relevant and attractive to both users and other website owners, helping you maintain authority and relevance in your niche.

Topical Relevance and Authority

When a site is popular for having authority or being a thought leader in a domain, then it has high topical authority in that matter.

If you own a real estate business and two well-known brands link to your site—one selling beauty products and the other selling real estate—the link from the real estate company would likely have a bigger impact on your ranking. 

That’s because it’s more closely related to your business, so it brings more relevant authority.

relevant backlinks

Importance of relevant backlinks.

When we talk about link relevance, it’s important to consider not just general niche relevance but also how closely related a specific content page is to the page we want to link to.

For example, if you’re promoting a link building agency, it’s not enough to have links from pages discussing SEO broadly.

You also need links from pages specifically discussing topics like link building, email outreach, or off-page SEO to truly establish your authority in the field.

Link Placement

The placement of backlinks within a webpage can impact their effectiveness. Backlinks placed within the main content of a webpage, also known as contextual links, are generally more valuable than those in footers, sidebars, or other less prominent areas.

link placement

Importance of link placement.

Contextual links are more likely to be clicked by users and are given more weight by Google when determining rankings.

Link Diversification

A diverse link profile, with backlinks coming from various reputable referring domains, signals to Google that your website is trustworthy and relevant.

Google is more likely to prioritize crawling websites with diverse and credible backlink profiles. Google does this based on various factors, including the quality and diversity of their backlink profiles.

A diverse link profile with backlinks from different types of websites and domains can increase your website’s crawl priority. This means that Google bots may visit and index your site more frequently, resulting in faster turnaround times for new backlinks.

Domain Age

While this isn’t a direct factor, newer domains may experience longer turnaround times for backlinks because they often have less established credibility and authority in Google’s eyes. 

Google may not crawl new websites as frequently or as quickly as they do with older, more established domains.

However, older domains that have been around for a longer time tend to have accumulated more trust, authority, and credibility over the years. Google is more likely to index content on older domains more frequently and with greater priority.

Hence, domain age can influence backlink turnaround time indirectly through factors like credibility and crawl frequency.

Gaining Rankings Effectively via SEO Strategies

In SEO, the search for quicker outcomes and a boost in online presence never stops. Backlinks play a pivotal role in achieving this goal, significantly influencing your website’s credibility and rankings.

If you’re eager to expedite the backlinking journey and enhance your SEO effectiveness, these tips are the solution you’re looking for.

Focus on Quality over Quantity

Quality backlinks come from websites with high domain authority and credibility. Due to their strong reputation and trust from Google, getting backlinks from these sources can significantly boost your website’s authority and improve its overall ranking in search results.

Quality backlinks and quantity backlinks.

Quality vs. quantity of backlinks in link building.

While getting a large number of backlinks may seem appealing for quicker results, focusing on quality backlinks ensures long-term success.

Quality backlinks provide sustained benefits to your website’s SEO, helping to improve its visibility, traffic, and ranking over time.

SEO Tools

Tools such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Moz provide valuable metrics like Authority Score, Domain Rating, and Domain Trust, offering deep insights into the quality of websites.

By leveraging these metrics, you can identify promising backlink opportunities and evaluate the strength of potential linking domains. You can use this knowledge to target backlinks that have the potential to significantly impact your website’s ranking.

Accelerated Website Loading Speed

From a technical SEO perspective, the speed at which your website loads plays a crucial role in the backlink process. Both search engines and users favor websites that load quickly. 

To prevent sluggish loading times, focus on optimizing your website’s loading speed. This can be done by reducing the size of images, using browser caching, and minimizing unnecessary scripts.

Create High-Quality Niche Content

Top-notch content plays an important role in long-term link building tactics. While the outcomes may not be immediate, consistently producing valuable and relevant content that caters to the preferences of your target audience can increase your crawl frequency and help your backlinks take effect sooner. 

Creating a Fool-Proof Link Building Campaign

Having a solid link building strategy helps improve backlink turnaround time by ensuring that efforts are focused on acquiring high-quality inbound links from reputable sources.

By targeting relevant websites and implementing effective outreach tactics, you can increase the likelihood of obtaining backlinks more efficiently.

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the SEO game, time can be your biggest challenge. Clients are always eager to see early progress from their link building efforts, but the truth is, it doesn’t happen overnight. It can take weeks or even months to see any significant changes.

In SEO, patience is key when it comes to seeing results from link building efforts. It can take weeks to months for backlinks to start impacting your rankings.

While it may take time, focusing on getting quality backlinks from high-authority sites, quality content, and optimizing your site’s performance can help speed things up in the long run.


  1. Why don’t backlinks boost rankings instantly?
    Backlinks don’t instantly boost rankings because Google needs time to discover, crawl, and index them. Factors like the authority of the linking site and the relevance of the link also play a role. This process can take weeks to months before its impact on rankings becomes apparent.
  2. What factors influence the time it takes for backlinks to work?
    Factors such as domain authority, crawling time, content strategy, link placement, and link diversification shed light on why backlink turnaround times vary.
  3. How can focusing on quality over quantity in backlink building benefit SEO efforts?
    Focusing on quality over quantity in backlink building benefits SEO efforts by ensuring that each backlink holds value, leading to improved website authority and higher search rankings.

Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

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