How Many Links Do You Need for SEO Promotion?

It's a tough question that requires examining each case individually. It's quite difficult to give a sufficient answer when we don't know the exact type of the site, how old it is, its reference mass, competitors, etc. But even after analyzing all these criteria, the exact number will still remain unknown. What you can find out is a certain range to aim for. 

What to do 

  1. First, you need a competitor analysis system. Let's take the most popular one, Ahrefs. You can also use Megaindex or Serpstat. All of these tools have free trial versions with limited functionality.

  2. Now you need the "reference mass" of your competitors and see how many backlinks they have and what are the dynamics of their placement. You can also look up some new websites residing in top positions (which you also want to enter in about six months to a year) and see what their reference mass is like. 

You need new sites because popular sites that are old can occupy high positions not because of links or texts, but simply due to some other achievements, like having a strong business side, lots of brand traffic, wide range of products, lots of content, etc. 

Looking at new high-ranking sites will allow you to make notes from situations that are not that far from your own. Investigating the reference mass (other sites that reference them) of such sites will tell you how your competitors build their strategy, how dynamically they use links, and from which donors they do so based on their thematic relevance, authoritative status, semantic core, general quality, and their level of spamming. Then you simply need to try to work with links in the same way they do. 

The only thing is, if they decide to take a risk and put links too fast, for example, 100 per month, then it's not worth repeating. Instead, you should limit yourself and do the same thing but more smoothly 

And try to follow not one competitor, but 2, 3, or 5 – the more, the better. Try to achieve some general average based on the sites you try to replicate. It might happen that some new up-and-coming site uses a risky strategy to get to the top, including link building. And it is quite possible that it will soon fall under penalties. Therefore, keep it at the average level. 

Let’s say that you have 5 new competitors that have top positions based on different queries. On average, they put 20 links a month, some links are anchor links, some aren't, some links are natural, some of them not so much. And they have, for example, 200 links in total at the moment. This is your goal. 

Using Megaindex will help you see the scale between natural and unnatural links. Then you calculate the average proportion of unnatural links that is acceptable in this site's niche. It is better not to exceed 30%, i.e. ⅔ should be natural or pseudo—natural links, and only ⅓ should be unnatural, such as anchor, purchased, or exchange links. 

So what you have to do is to take their strategy and start at your normal speed or at their speed (if it's not too intense) to systematically try achieving that figure, while simultaneously improving everything else, which includes site optimization, product range expansion, writing texts, working with user behavior inside the site and on search results, etc. Try to develop your site in a versatile way, while also steadily acquiring the desired reference mass, which, among other factors, allows for gaining a foothold and staying in top positions.