How long does link building take to get results?

Link building is an essential aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) that can help boost your website’s visibility and organic traffic.

However, many website owners and SEO professionals often wonder about the time it takes to see results from link building efforts.

It can take several weeks or months for search engines to index and attribute the backlinks to your website. Patience and consistency in your link building efforts are key.

Without saying “it depends”, there are a lot of factors to how long it takes for any link building campaign to get tangible results.

What is the link building process

Link building refers to the practice of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites that point back to your site – our DFY link building service is perfect for busy owners or agencies wanting to outsource.

These links are signals to search engines that validate the credibility and relevance of your website.

When search engines discover high-quality backlinks pointing to your website, they view it as a vote of confidence, indicating that your website possesses valuable content.

As a result, search engines are more likely to rank your website higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Link building is not just about quantity; it’s also about the quality and relevance of the links.

Search engines primarily consider the following factors when evaluating the quality of a backlink:

  1. Authority and trustworthiness of the linking site: Backlinks from established and reputable websites carry more weight.
  2. Relevance of the linking site: Links from websites that are topically related to your content are considered more valuable.
  3. Anchor text: The text used for the hyperlink matters. It should be descriptive and relevant to the linked content.
  4. Contextual relevance: Backlinks within relevant and meaningful content are more impactful.
  5. Diversity of link sources: Having a diverse range of backlinks from various sources indicates credibility.
  6. Natural link profile: Search engines prefer organic link growth instead of sudden spikes in backlinks.

Can you speed up the process of link building?

While link building is a long-term strategy, there are a few steps you can take to potentially speed up the process:

  • Create high quality content: Producing high-quality, valuable content increases the chances of naturally attracting backlinks from authoritative websites.
  • Seek out link opportunities: Actively look for opportunities to acquire backlinks from relevant websites in your industry. This can involve outreach, guest posting, or collaborating with influencers.
  • Build relationships: Networking and building relationships with other website owners and influencers can lead to valuable link building opportunities.
  • Utilize social media: Promote your content on social media platforms to increase visibility and potentially attract natural backlinks.

What can affect link building results

Several factors influence the time it takes to see results from link building efforts. It’s essential to consider these factors to set realistic expectations and develop an effective link building strategy.

1. Level of competition

The level of competition in your niche plays a significant role in the time it takes to see results from link building.

If you competing in a highly competitive industry like real estate, finance, gambling or health, it will take longer to outrank your competitors who already have a strong backlink profile.

The general rule of thumb, the more money to be made in the particular niche’s SERP, then the more likely it is going to be very competitive.

On the other hand, if you are in a niche with lower competition, you may start seeing results sooner.

2. Your website’s authority

The current authority of your website also affects the time it takes to see results.

Established websites with a higher domain authority may notice improvements more quickly, as search engines are more likely to trust their content.

Newer websites or those with lower authority may take more time to build credibility and see significant improvements.

3. Choice of link building strategy

The specific link building strategy you employ can impact the timeframe for results.

For example, building a few high-quality, relevant backlinks might yield quicker results than relentlessly pursuing a large number of low-quality links.

Even if you are competing in a competitive industry, avoid building links in PBN networks or link farms, the long term risk is not worth it.

It’s crucial to focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to link building.

4. Content quality and engagement

The quality of your website’s content and its ability to engage users can influence the time it takes to see link building results.

If your content is informative, valuable, and engages users, it is more likely to attract natural backlinks.

Creating high-quality content should be an integral part of your link building strategy.

5. Frequency and consistency of links

Consistency is key when it comes to link building.

Too many websites start and stop building links when they think they need them. It should be a continous strategy.

Regularly acquiring high-quality backlinks helps search engines recognize your website as a valuable resource.

Consistent effort in link building can lead to more consistent and faster results.

Tip: Analyze the competitor who dominates every keyword in the SERPs and calculate their monthly inbound link velocity, as it gives you a gauge on how many links you need to try build or earn per month.

6. Indexing and crawling frequency

Search engine bots need time to crawl and index new backlinks. The time it takes for search engines to recognize and attribute the backlinks to your website can vary.

While search engines like Google crawl the web frequently, the indexing process may take some time.

Patience is crucial, even if Ahrefs or Semrush shows the link in their reports; it can take weeks or even months for search engines to fully detect and credit your backlinks!

What results to expect from link building

With the factors mentioned above in mind, it’s important to set realistic expectations for link building results.

The time it takes to see noticeable improvements can vary significantly based on the factors unique to your website and niche.

1. Short-term results (1-3 Months)

In the initial stage of link building, you may start observing small improvements, such as an increase in indexed pages and crawl rate.

However, significant changes in rankings or organic traffic are usually not expected during this period.

2. Medium-term results (3-6 Months)

With a solid link building strategy, you can start seeing improvements in rankings and organic traffic.

This period allows search engines to crawl and recognize your acquired backlinks, leading to measurable progress.

3. Long-term results (6+ Months)

Link building is an ongoing process, and sustainable results are usually achieved in the long term.

As you consistently build high-quality backlinks and improve your website’s authority, you can expect long-term improvements in rankings, organic traffic, and overall online visibility.

How to measure the success of link building

To measure the success of your link building efforts, you can consider the following metrics:

  1. Rankings: Monitor your website’s rankings for target keywords in search engine results pages.
  2. Organic traffic: Analyze the amount and quality of organic traffic coming to your website.
  3. Domain authority: Track changes in your website’s domain authority over time using tools like Moz’s Domain Authority or Ahrefs’ Domain Rating.
  4. Backlink profile: Evaluate the number and quality of backlinks acquired, including the authority and relevance of linking websites.

If you consistently monitor these metrics, you can clearly assess the effectiveness of your link building strategy and make necessary adjustments if needed.

Frequently asked questions

Can I see instant results from link building?

Link building is not a tactic that yields instant results. It requires time, effort, and a well-planned strategy. While you may observe some small improvements early on, significant and sustainable results are achieved over a more extended period.


Link building is not an overnight process but rather a long-term investment in your website’s SEO. While the exact time it takes to see results varies based on several factors, having a well-planned strategy, focusing on quality over quantity, and staying consistent are crucial elements for achieving sustainable backlink growth and improved rankings.

By setting realistic expectations and continually refining your link building efforts, you can enhance your website’s visibility, drive organic traffic, and ultimately achieve your online goals.

Gareth Boyd

Gareth Boyd

Gareth has been in SEO since 2003 and has been instrumental in establishing and growing businesses online, leveraging the power of SEO, strategic content development, affiliate marketing, and e-commerce.

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