12 Jul

How Many Backlinks Do I Need to Rank in Google? Full Analysis and Free Template

In this post I am going to demystify the confusing question and provide you with a template and system to answer a key question…

“How many backlinks do I need to get to the first page in Google?”

Want My Team to Complete a Backlink Competitive Analysis For You?

I show you everything we do to analyze a websites competitive position in terms of links in this monster of a post!

If you want my team to complete this analysis for a REALLY low price simply sign up below… 

How Does This Quick Valuable Service Work?

  1. Order by clicking on the link below
  2. Enter your URL and email into a short form
  3. Receive a custom report prepared by me and my team in under 1 week!

From the report you will know…

  • ​What keywords you are currently ranking for
  • Who your competitors are
  • How many quality links they have
  • How many quality links you have
  • Suggested strategy to close the gap between you and your competitors!

The Confusion!

People often email me with some variation of the above question and I can definitely understand the frustration!

  • “I have done everything the gurus say to do and done great keyword research and created great content but I get so little traffic and am not ranking anywhere near the first page!”
  • “I built a website, it doesn’t get the rankings it deserves and when I search for answers I end up in paralysis by analysis”
  • “I know I need backlinks but I don’t have any clue as to how many I need 5, 10, 100, 1000? How can I tell”

This frustration is completely understandable…I shared it as well.

The Case for Backlinks

If you do 3 things well when it comes to building a website it is going to get traffic…

  1. Solid Keyword Research 
  2. Create better content than anything else out there
  3. Get more quality backlinks than your competition

If you do those 3 things over time it will be rare you don’t have success!

The first 2 (keyword research and content) are well documented but how many and how to get links is definitely not simple!

Brian DeanBacklinko.com July 5, 2016

Backlinks remain an extremely important Google ranking factor. We found the number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor

MozRanking Factors

The 2 most important factors are links “1. Domain Level Link Features” and “2. Page-Level Link Features”

What If There Was a Systematic Way to Know the Answer!

What I am going to share with you today is a systematic way to break down the questions above and truly understand how many links you should be prepared to get to compete with your competition.

We will simplify this question way down to 4 steps and include a template for you to follow!

Whether you are thinking about going into a market or are currently in one this process can be used to know what you need to do to compete!

How To Analyze The Number of Backlinks You Need to Compete?

Overview:

  1. What are the keywords you are currently ranking for (or attempting to rank for)?
  2. Who are your top competitors?
  3. What is the gap in terms of the number of links your competition has vs you?
  4. Get the additional links you need to either compete or better yet crush your competition!

Detailed Tutorial:

For the purposes of this tutorial we are going to use a website that I have no association with as the case study site!

Introducing our case study site, http://rangefinderadvice.com/ (I have no association with this site). We are going to consider ourselves the owner of this site and try to answer the question of how many links do we still need to get to page 1?

For this tutorial there is a Free Google Document template that helps with this

Step 1 – Determine what keywords you are currently ranking for using SEMRush.com

For the case study site http://rangefinderadvice.com/ it is clear that there are some pillar articles they are wanting to rank for so we will do the analysis for each of these 3 pages to say how many links are needed for each of the main money pages to rank well…

  • http://rangefinderadvice.com/best-golf-rangefinders/
  • http://rangefinderadvice.com/best-hunting-rangefinders/
  • http://rangefinderadvice.com/best-golf-gps-reviews/

Running each page through SEMRush.com we see how the site is doing for each of the target keywords…

  • ​URL = rangefinderadvice.com/best-golf-rangefinders
    • Keyword = Best golf rangefinder
    • Google Rank = 24
  • URL = rangefinderadvice.com/best-hunting-rangefinders
    • Keyword = best hunting rangefinder
    • Google Rank = 5
  • URL = rangefinderadvice.com/best-golf-gps-reviews
    • Keyword = Best golf GPS watch
    • Google Rank = 20


(Enter the URL into SEMRush and see what keywords it ranks for or how it ranks for the keyword you are targeting)

(Enter the details into the free Google Spreadsheet Template I created here for you)



Step 2 – Find your competition for those keywords using Google

In this step you want to find sites similar to yours that are ranking well in Google for the keyword you are wanting to rank for.

  • TIP – The key is to identify sites similar to yours! You don’t want to be comparing your site to an Amazon Page or Wikipedia page… if you are an ecommerce store find other similar ecommerce store or likewise if you are an Amazon affiliate site (such as this example).
  • In the example the first 3 results are all amazon affiliate sites which shows that as long as the on page content and SEO is of a similar quality the key difference maker is the number of links!


Now enter the 3 competitor URLs into the Google Sheet Template



Step 3 – Determine the difference in the number of referring IP’s between you and your competition.

Now it is time to determine if us ranking at 25 for the same keyword and similar sites is due to the number of backlinks to the site and if it is the reason how big is the gap?

Using MajesticSEO.com we enter each ranking URL into the Site Explorer.

Our Example Website:



1st Place Result:



Now entering the number of Referring IPs into the spreadsheet provides a picture showing the gap between the site we are wanting to rank and the first page results.



  • TIP 1 – You can do this all with a free account if you are just wanting to analyze 1 site
  • TIP 2 – NOT every backlink is created equal. If you want to get a more accurate analysis you can choose a TF level to filter out. For example remove all Referring IPs with a TF < 5 to get a better understanding of the link profile you need to overcome.

Step 4 – Determine the Gap and How to Close It!

Now that you know how your site matches up to the first page competition it is time to decide how do you act on this information.

In the template I tried to provide a suggestion on how to close the backlinks.

If this was my personal money site and I had an average gap in the number of referring IPs to the homepage I would have the following strategy…

  • 7 White Hat Outreach Links (guest posts, sponsored posts, broken link building, outreach, ego bait etc)

This would help close the gap by around 27 links which should allow us to get to page 1 based on the quality of the links but at a minimum would give us a really good understanding of how many additional links would be needed.

Here is the full analysis for the sites 3 main pages…



What I find very interesting is that there is one of the three pages that is ranking on the first page in position 5 and it is the only one of those 3 articles that has a small gap.

  • TIP – One aspect of SEO I really enjoy is the ability to see marginal improvement and adjust course as needed. What this means is that if you think you have a 50 referring IP backlink gap… don’t try and close it all in one big blow schedule it out over
  • TIP – Regardless of your gap and budget I advise that you schedule out the link acquisition over time (2-3 months in the case study example).
  • TIP – The best backlink strategy is one that uses a mix of backlink sources and doesn’t over-rely on any one tactic regardless of how “safe” it is. My goal is to ensure Google can not “finger print” my money sites as “built with PBNs” or similar.

Does this Repeatedly Work?

Does this systematic method of analyzing the number of backlinks you might need work? Here is one example of a team who used an extremely systematic approach to build up a portfolio of sites in 2015.

Their approach was extremely systematic with each site going through the a detailed/systematic process of…

  1. Solid Keyword Research
  2. Great Content Creation
  3. Similar Backlink Analysis (they relied heavily on PBN sites for their links in this case)

The results of their systematic approach was the creation of a very healthy looking portfolio of sites!



Can My Team Help You?

Want My Team to Complete a Backlink Competitive Analysis For You?

I show you everything we do to analyze a websites competitive position in terms of links in this monster of a post!

If you want my team to complete this analysis for a REALLY low price simply sign up below… 

How Does This Quick Valuable Service Work?

  1. Order by clicking on the link below
  2. Enter your URL and email into a short form
  3. Receive a custom report prepared by me and my team in under 1 week!

From the report you will know…

  • ​What keywords you are currently ranking for
  • Who your competitors are
  • How many quality links they have
  • How many quality links you have
  • Suggested strategy to close the gap between you and your competitors!

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