How Many Backlinks Do I Need to Rank


Editorial Staff

Every website need backlinks to stand a good chance of attaining a high google search rankings, no doubt about that.

But its results is highly influenced by the number of backlinks needed especially if you are targeting first page which has compelled webmasters and internet marketers to spill this common question below:

How many backlinks do I need to rank?

Research conducted by Brain dean of backlinko has proven that the higher the quantity and quality of backlinks, the greater the chances of ranking above your competitors especially in a very competitive niche.

Hence, using a case-study, we will help you demystify step-by-step process of calculating how many backlinks that you need to rank for a particular keyword in your niche.

So what are we waiting for?

Lets get down to real business.

SPECIAL NOTICE: f you don’t have much time to read, feel free to click on any of these category of topics that interests you for quick access for it will take you straight to it.


For sake of better understanding of this topic, we will use a case-study example of a fertility doctor who wants to go online to reach out to more people, offer medical advice across the world and boost his finances.

So to achieve his aim, he set up a website, write a typical webpage content with headline topic: “What are the pros and cons of IVF(in vitro fertilization)” and hope to rank his content for keyword: “pros and cons of ivf” on google first page search results.

To rank his content, he has to optimize his webpage content to make it seo-friendly.

And to do so involves 3 major aspects such as technical seo, on-page seo and off-page seo of which backlinks is a huge important factor of it(which is why we are writing this very article you are reading right now).

Now, in respect to this topic which is How many backlinks do I need to rank, which we are discussing about, we will analyze the various steps to execute to determine how many backlinks needed to rank on first page of google.

So, lets check out these steps one by one below;

STEPS: Determining How Many Backlinks Needed to Rank

Install Keywordeverywhere in your web browser

What is keywordeverywhere?

It is a unique kind of tool that that specializes in:

-keyword research
-monthly search volume
-Cost per click(CPC)
level of competition
-backlinks data(number of referring domains and actual backlinks)
-domain authority etc. of the search result webpages for the keyword(s) involved.

So, Why This First Step Of Installing keywordeverywhere?

To help us fish out these data:

  • domain authority(DA)
  • number of referring domains and actual backlinks

which we will be using much later as we proceed.

This tool is a freenium one(you don’t need to pay before using it) that supports these forms of browsers; Google chrome and Mozilla firefox

But if you are interested in using this tool for advanced keyword research on long term basis, this link: keywordeverywhere premium access will guide you through.

Conduct your targeted keyword(s) Research

This is where the web browser where you installed the keywordeverywhere extension tool comes into play.

In other words, it is such browser that you will used to conduct such research.

So, using our case study keyword: pros and cons of ivf, of which you are hoping to rank for, the following screenshot below shows the google search results for it.

case study keyword Google search

And if you observe very well, you will notice that each result webpages comes along with its corresponding domain authority(DA)(in red box), referring domains and referring links(backlinks)(in green box) signified as MOZ DA, Ref Dom and Ref Links respectively.

So, what exactly is the need of these Domain Authorities and Backlinks Data?

  • To show us the level of strength and Authoritativeness of our competitors(the search result webpages). That is how strong they are in the niche space.

So what next……………………………

What is the Keyword Difficulty(KD) of our Target Keyword

At this point, we will make use of keyword and website analysis tools such as Moz, Ahrefs, Semrush, Seo majestic etc of which Semrush is our number one choice because of its simplicity and easy-to-use features.

How do we make use of this tool?

  • Step 1

a. Visit Semrush website and create an account by clicking the signup button and inputting your email address and password OR you can use your google account to create it

  • Step 2

After creating your account and login into your account, you will be taken straight to the semrush tool as shown below where you can access the keyword section by clicking the “keyword overview” to get stated.

  • Step 3

After that, input your target keyword in the keyword overview space and click “search” as shown.

For the case study example, we input our target keyword “pros and cons of ivf” and hit search.

After hitting “Search”, this takes us to the keyword search result data as shown below;

As you can see below, such data statistics contains every details concerning the keyword such as;

Search intent: informational
list of top countries alongside their respective search volume.
– Highest search volume: 260(from USA)
– Number of keyword variations = 29
– Number of Questions = 2
– Related keywords = 101
– Global search volume(number of searches worldwide) = 2.3K
– Keyword Difficulty = 22%

Of every details shown above, the most prominent to us as far as this topic, how many backlinks do i need to rank, is concerned is the Global search volume(GSV) and keyword difficulty(KD).

What Is The Essence Of the GSV and KD?

– To predict our chances of achieving our overall purpose: To rank on the first page of Google search engine.

So from the look of things, we are 100% good to go because;

  1. The case study target keyword is low(22%) meaning it is much easier to compete for.
  2. Secondly, the keyword has a decent search volume worldwide(23,000)

Know the Quantity Of Backlinks

Quantity means Numbers!

This is the most crucial step of this process of knowing how many backlinks is needed to rank.

And at this point, what backlinks am i referring to?

Your competitors’ backlinks!

I mean the backlinks of each of the search result WEBPAGES(and NOT the entire backlinks of its homepage websites) at that point of performing the keyword analysis.

And the same Semrush tool is here to assist us on knowing the numbers.

So lets go back to this tool to view the search results webpages alongside their corresponding number of backlinks as shown below;

As you can see above, it shows the overall SERP analysis of the case-study keyword: Pros and Cons of ivf, and for better clarity and understanding, this table below shows graphically displays it all.

Search Results webpagesits positionsNo of referring domainsNo of backlinks

So, judging from these numbers we are looking at, we can simply conclude on the number of backlinks needed to rank on google first page.

In other words, meaning that we need atleast an average of 10 backlinks to stand a chance of knocking off competitors (with approximately same number of backlinks) off their positions thus hitting the first page of google search results for the target keyword.

At this point, we can justifiably round up this article here since this step has already answered our question topic: How Many Backlinks Do I Need To Rank which is about 10 and above.

No doubt about that.

But do me this one last favor; Take a good look at the table again.

What do you observe?

There seems to be something strange about the backlinks figures viz-a-viz their corresponding positions.

You will notice that the result webpage which has just only 1 backlink is occupying the 4th position, way above the others below which has more than 1 backlink.

Under normal circumstances, it shouldn’t be so at all.

So what exactly happened?

Enter: This is where QUALITY comes into play

And that takes us to our very last step which is …………………..

Know the Quality Of Backlinks

Quality means Strength.

And if you may know, this “Quality” factor is the exact reason why the positions of the webpages vary and appear inconsistent from time to time especially as these webpages continue to acquire new backlinks continually.

Infact quality is actually what we should strive at when trying to build backlinks for the purpose of getting a higher search engine rankings.

So what explains the quality of a backlink?

Quality is the level of authoritativeness and trust that a website possesses and it is widely measured by its domain authority(DA) from 1 to 100(1=lowest, 100=strongest).

In thier niche, some businesses build their website authority from scratch over a long period of time while some attain it instantly.

For the former, good examples are Ahrefs, yoast, moz, searchenginejournal, semrush etc in the internet marketing niche while for the later, we have CNN, ABCnews, Aljazeera, BBC, huffpost etc in the news media niche.

Infact, these news media do not need any backlinks at all to rank on top spot.

So, how does this quality issue comes into play?

Let me explain

As shown below, Google, via its staff, made a statement that quantity does not necessarily matters when it comes to link building and content creation.

But rather he stated that Google throws more weight on quality over quantity in another statement as shown below

So, from these 2 statements, i need not say much again.

Atleast, judging from the last statement, we can explicitly deduce that just ONE backlink from a strong authority website is thousands times better than hundreds of backlinks from poor quality websites.

No wonder the webpage( on 4th position is ranking higher above others despite the fact that it has only ONE backlink.

Hence, when creating backlinks, put in mind the nature of websites you are creating it from not just only the numbers only.

Go for high quality backlinks websites(with DA of atleast 30 and above) in your niche

CONCLUSION: How many backlinks do I need to rank

For the case study example as it relates to the main topic of this article; how many backlinks do i need to rank, we have already concluded that atleast 10 backlinks is needed to have a beautiful chance of ranking on google first page.

That is on one flip side of the coin

On the other side, with the final step that deals on quality, this issue of numbers have become highly debatable in the sense that though numbers work, it no longer depends on the number of backlinks that other competitor webpages possesses.

Or else how do you explain a competitor with just 1 backlink ranking above other fellow competitors with 10s or 100s of backlinks.


But least we rush into conclusion, there is something I want you to know about assessment of search engine rankings that you may not like.

An honest truth!


Yes, quality of backlinks might play a significant factor in rankings, no doubt about that but it does not 100% guarantee first page of google.

That is the bitter truth.

Other factors also need to be considered as well.

What are these major factors?

  • Quality of content; does your content covers every aspect of its topic in-depth?
  • title, meta and description tags: does these tags contain your target keywords and do they briefly describes what your content is all about?
  • Search intent: does your content meet readers expectations?
  • On-page SEO factors such as internal links, click through rate, user experience etc: are your contents internally-linked to one another?, do visitors spend enough time on your site, are they satisfied with your content?.
  • website loading speed: does your website loads less than 3 secs?

In addition to creating high quality backlinks, if you work on getting these factors right on your website contents, they will surely help contribute towards boosting your search engine rankings.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The statistics, data, figures and claims are valid and accurate as at the time this article was written and published but are subject to changes as webpages carry out SEO optimization over time. For example, a particular competitor webpage can be ranking on 5th position at this moment but might change position as time goes on. PLEASE TAKE NOTE.

Now, over to you

Now you have a good idea of how to determine the amount of backlinks you need to rank.

So, are you giving it a shot right away?
Do you have any questions about anything related to this topic at all?

Feel free to drop your comments, questions, suggestions, criticisms, analysis and advice

I am 100% available to respond to your comments anytime, anyday.

Thanks for your time, patience, endurance and attention.

Till I see you again in my next post, I remain your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.

Oppp! Sorry.

Your friendly neighborhood SEO and online wealth tutor.


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