Links, links, and more links. They are so important to SEO success and the bread and butter of the SEO business. The more pages linking to your site, the more important you seem to Google. The biggest question that SEO specialists get is when. When will it happen? When will I see results? When can I start my linking campaign and how long will it take?
The short answer is that results take time – that much is known. The real question is how long.
That is just what Kristina Kledzik writes about for Moz Blog. She set out to figure how long link success takes by reviewing her company’s thousands of pages that are indexed. For the next six months afterwards, the content style on the pages were left relatively alone. “I focused on rankings for target keywords with a 25–35% Keyword Difficulty Rating”, she says. She then began tracking the links to the pages.
How Long Does It Take?
Kledzik set out to find out how long it took for a link to have an effect on a page. She selected particular pages from her company’s extensive index to examine. In her analyzation of the pages, it proved to be that it takes an average of ten weeks for a link to cause a jump in rank for a linked page.
Ten weeks is the average, but there is more to the equation than a simple data input could tell. She did make a note of the fact that more links typically means a more immediate effect on ranking, but that ten weeks was still the average.
The more links the better it seems to be for a page’s success. It will also increase your ranking over time. While it takes ten weeks to jump once, there is no telling how long it would take how long to get a page’s rank even higher or whether rank fluctuates or peaks after ten weeks.
Correlations Between Rank and Link Effectiveness
While ten weeks is the average pace for link effectiveness to take full effect, there are further factors that must be taken into consideration.
For instance, Kledzik found an interesting correlation between lower ranking pages and link effectiveness. For whatever reason, links had very little effect on higher ranking pages. It’s a little like a large corporation. A few sales or losses here or there will not register all that much to their success or failure. For a smaller business, it could mean closing down or staying in business another month. Seemingly, it is the same for linking and online ranking success.
It also seems that the longer a link is on the page, the more effective it will be. It is certainly an interesting concept to consider when launching a link building campaign.
Domain Authority Matters
This is no surprise to any SEO, but links with a higher DA rank will have a bigger effect on the success of a page. Again, the success is relative to ranking. Links with a rank less than 25 can actually cause a drop in page popularity after a while.
Based on the statistics alone, a page can still jump rank after ten weeks, but it will either level off or decline at some point thereafter.
To further back up the point, there have been multiple instances where sites with a 25 or higher DA will get to that success point even faster than a page with a lower DA. Still, there will be a jump after about ten weeks for both.
DA rank is a key factor for link building campaign success. Kledzik herself said she doesn’t trust it when sites have a ranking below a 25. In fact, she is less likely to shop at these sites. It might be that others feel the same which could explain the lack of rank jumping.
While it could be due to lack of trust from consumers and visitors, it could also be related to Google’s algorithms judging a site. It may think that a particular link site is too new; therefore, little value is given to it straight away.
Of course, a lower ranking does not mean that a link is not worth any value. Generally, it just takes time for a site to register any progress. The true reason for that is certainly up for debate.
The Truth Behind Link Building Campaigns
Going out and starting your own campaign? Just don’t expect to hit success right at ten weeks if you do it, says Kledzik. Success takes time and particular steps. Remember that ten weeks is an average. It could take longer or shorter. Follow the steps and general timeline and you may find a successful linking campaign.
First Steps: Get Help
There are several ways to go out and find some help for your website. First you can go out and hire a reputable SEO firm or an agency to handle your business for you. An agency is arguably the most effective way to find link building success. In the long run, it is the most cost effective method even though it may not seem that way at first.
Working with an agency can take some time though, so it is best to be prepared for that probability. You need to set up with the right agency, go through paperwork, and let them work their magic. All of that can take anywhere between 1-3 months to get going, according Kledzik.
For those that do not want to work directly with an agency in the beginning, it may be more prudent to hire someone for an in-house position. A person who you directly supervise and communicate with on a daily basis may be more beneficial to your specific business model or financial limitations. Just be sure to hire someone with good credentials. Keep in mind that hiring an individual could be just as expensive and more time consuming depending on how you go about it. Know your limitations and be clear about your general expectations.
The last model is the good ‘ole do-it-yourself route. Kledzik makes reference to relying on your PR (PageRank) team. PageRank, as we reported weeks ago, is no longer a thing. While it was active, it was a convenient way for individuals to handle their success themselves.
Still, most successful SEO campaigns did not rely solely on PageRank to handle their campaigns. If you do go the DIY route, there are a few small things that anyone can do to improve their SEO success. While there are methods to do it yourself, the best way to achieve larger success is by hiring someone else to do it for you.
Strategy Makes Perfect
Next comes strategy. Strategy is everything when it comes to a successful link-building campaign. You need to make a strategy that will make people want to link to your page.
Think about your brand
What does your blog/company do? The best way to generate links is to look within your niche first. If your niche is too narrow, then broaden your category out to other related realms.
Try contacting sites and blogs to see if they want to do a collaboration or if they will link you and vice versa. This could take at least a week to complete.
What can you share with the world?
What is your area of knowledge, passion, or expertise? People love advice, especially for a small, niche problem. If you have expertise on these areas, why not write content or reach out to people online. You would be surprised how quickly people can find you and link to you. Try reaching out to your core demographic through social media.
A nice way to get the info out there is to use fun, eye catching graphs with compelling data. Just make sure the graphics link back to your page.
Unique research that no one else uses
She cites the formerly successful OkCupid blog. Each blog took weeks to write, edit, and send out. Still, the blogs pulled in hundreds of visitors. Why? They completed their own extensive research on the dating world.
The cherry on top of the link building process is making sure everything happens when they should as they should. You have to pick a plan of attack. Then pick who, if anyone, is going to attack the plan with you, and then follow through with the plan.
All told, plan for several months of link building campaigning. SEO takes time and you want to make sure that you are using that time effectively. Make sure to keep in mind that it will take time to complete.