14100 768
SEO 41 min read

Link Building Statistics You Should Know to Improve Your SEO Strategy

Survey of 523 SEOs
Link Building Statistics You Should Know to Improve Your SEO Strategy
Author of aricle about MUM
Blog Editor at Serpstat
Over the past few years, link building has been the subject of numerous discussions among SEO specialists. The Serpstat team decided to study this topic to transform the talks into a plane of real facts.

We interviewed 523 people to find out whether link-building is still essential and to help specialists in this field to build an efficient strategy based on actual data. As well we invited experts to evaluate the study's results.
Please welcome
In our research, we interviewed representatives of B2B, B2C, agencies and freelancers. In total, we surveyed 523 professionals.

Depending on the type of company, the participants had different sets of questions. So in the material, you can analyze the situation with link building in your field.

We wish you to find inspiration and intriguing insights. Have a good read!
Want to find a quality website for link building? Serpstat will help you.
Click the button below, sign up and get a free 7-day trial!

Respondents' Data

Let's start with a more detailed acquaintance with our participants.

We received 36.5% of responses from North America, 34.2% from Europe, and 29.3% from Asia.

35.9% of respondents have more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing. 19.1% have been working in the field for 5 to 10 years, followed by 13.7% of those with 3 to 5 years of experience. Only 5.1% have been engaged for less than a year.

Since most of our respondents have more than 3 years of experience in the industry, they also hold high positions. The largest number of participants were founders (33.3%), and the smallest were junior specialists (10.1%).

We focused our attention on specialists with experience in link building. However, their professions turned out to be quite diverse. The clear winner is SEOs with 42.07%, digital marketers with 21.8%, and content marketers with 12.5%. Only 3.74% were linkbuilders. Among the remaining 19.89% were developers, reputation managers, product managers, and multi-task specialists.

The following image appears when discussing the data division by company type:
  • 37.1% of participants work in agencies.
  • 26.5% are freelancers.
  • 19.8% work in B2C.
  • 16.2% represent B2B.
  • 0.2% work in consulting.
link building infographic

How Link Building Impacts The Business

This section was available to all respondents. Its main goal is to identify the impact of link building on organic search both now and in the future.

55.7% said that link building brings high results for SEO. Only 6.5% gave low ratings to the effectiveness of link building.
the impact of link building
Backlinks will always play a role in SEO — it's why Google became Google in the first place. But my own belief (and prediction) is that brands will dominate the search results in the future. And therefore, backlinks will become less critical.

If you search for Nike.com, it doesn't matter how many backlinks the website has. Google will return Nike.com.
Head of content at INEVO
Steven Macdonald
Natalie Alleblas
SEO Consultant
Backlinks will still be crucial, but search engines are becoming smarter at detecting helpful content, so backlinks to helpful content will be rewarded more so than backlinks to unhelpful content.
Joseph S. Kahn
President and Director of Marketing at Hum JAM
I think backlinks will continue to impact SERP results, but I also believe that social media engagement algorithms will come into play in the EAT framework that will carry just as much weight to the rankings.
Ravi Davda
Director at Rockstar Marketing
Yes. Even though SEO is getting harder, backlinks will be one of, if not the most important, aspects of ranking in the SERPs. If anything, they will be even more important as they'll separate out websites that will actually get ranked and those that won't.
Aquif Shaikh
Owner and SEO manager at Blogging Ocean
I firmly believe that Google is taking other search engines' route of dropping backlinks as a ranking factor. And you can see this from the investments Google has made in the last few years.

Most of the investments were made to reduce Google's reliance on Backlinks. BERT and MUM made sure Google understood the content better. RankBrain made sure Google understood how a specific result was performing at a particular position and then reshuffled the SERP to get the best user results. All these investments help Google reduce its reliance on Backlinks as a ranking factor.
70.5% of respondents believe link building will have the same impact on search engines in the near future.
I strongly believe that external link building is still essential for SEOs to conduct in 2022. I think you would be hard-pressed to find many new technology startups not building links using similar anchors to the top keywords they are ranking for. Everyone from Monday.com and Hive through to Todoist and Proofhub is building backlinks using anchors for the terms they want to rank first for.
Marketing Specialist at Logit
Eleanor Bennett
Ravi Davda
Director at Rockstar Marketing
The question of whether link building is still relevant in 2023 is an easy one to answer: yes, it is. I think it's even more relevant today than it was 10 years ago. Depending on the search query, Google will have tons of highly authoritative websites to show in the SERPs, so if you want to compete against these, you need to make sure that your website has authority too. Otherwise, the chances of ranking on page 1 are meager. It doesn't matter how good your content is. It's still unlikely that Google will show your website unless there isn't anything relevant to offer. But in 2022, this is unlikely.
Eico Schweins
Founder at Visionary Online Marketing
Currently, it seems they have too much of an effect. It almost seems like the Penguin lost its teeth. I think Google will react to the noticeable increase in link building offers and agencies out there and cut them down again, like ~10 years ago. The question is: when does it happen, and how? Right now, content still is king, but links have become queen. Let's see how long this queen will rule.
Branko Kral
Founder & Content Director at Chosen Data
Backlinks will have an effect in the future. Maybe not the same, but similar. Google doesn't want to be seen that way, but it is a popularity contest. If it doesn't add to your popularity score even when other popular or authoritative websites link to you, it won't be a great search engine anymore.
Regarding long-term impact, 44.3% suppose that it will stay the same in 5 years, 31.1% will decrease, and 24.6% will increase.

And what about the particular link building results? According to data, typically, it takes 1-3 months to see the impact of the link building. Next up is 3-6 months with 27.9%, and less than a month with 16.4%.
It takes 1-3 months for most links to see the results. However, the results can be seen even under a month for some high authority links.
Owner and SEO manager at Blogging Ocean
Aquif Shaikh
Itamar Blauer
SEO Consultant
The answer to this question depends more on competition within the website's niche. It's tough to determine exactly how long it will take to achieve such results.
Andy Crestodina
Co-founder / CMO at Orbit Media Studios
The most effective link attraction techniques take much longer.
If you create research and repeat it year after year, it gets much easier. Awareness of your report will grow. A popular annual report will attract multiple high-value weekly links with zero effort or outreach. I've seen it many times.

How Does Link Building Work In B2B Companies?

Those who identified as employees of B2B companies were asked the following questions. 16.2% of respondents fell into this category.

General data

Most respondents work in global companies, namely 66.8%. Talking about companies' size 50% characterized their company as mid-size — 50%, small – 45%, and enterprise — 5%.

The industries of the companies are pretty diverse. The largest number of respondents were employees of IT companies.
Expanded data about B2B respondents

How are the teams organized?

57.1% state that they work in teams of 4 to 10 employees. Among other answers, the results were divided evenly.

Talking about the composition of the teams, it should be noted that most often, the participants have content marketers and SEO specialists. Yet, only 14% of respondents have link builders in their staff. The least common is the position of a visual designer.

Besides, we asked respondents to clarify which specialists are directly involved in the link building process. They often mentioned SEO specialists, content marketers, and outreach specialists.

Also, 55.6% mentioned using agencies' services, while others do everything in-house.
Marketing teams' organization in B2B

Link building strategy in B2B

All surveyed B2B company representatives use link building to increase SEO performance. However, 14.3% don't have a strategy for working with links.

The plan's effectiveness is rated highly by 66.6% of respondents, who give it a score between 8 and 10.

Some responders provided information on their top priorities for link building in 2022. The most common goal is to get more links, improve quality, and increase the site's ranking. Additionally, a few respondents identified the primary focus of their efforts as organic mentions.
link building in B2B

Budgeting

Now let's talk about the financial component. I am sure it is of interest to many.

52.8% of respondents spend $1,000 - $5,000 per month on link building, followed by 22.1% with $0 – $1,000, and 19.2% – $5,000 – $10,000.

We also asked the respondents whether their budget for link building tasks has changed since the previous year. 55.6% of respondents said that the budget for such duties has increased, and 33.3% – said that it has not changed.

The importance of link building can be emphasized because 66.7% of participants are convinced that the cost of link building will increase soon. Other 33.3% believe that the situation will not change.
Expenses on link building in B2B

Link Building In B2C

Those who identified as employees of B2С companies were asked the following questions. 19.8% of respondents fell into this category.

General data

72.7% of respondents work for multinational businesses. When asked about their company's size, 45.5% described it as small — 50%, enterprise — 36.4%, and mid-size — 18.2%.

Among the respondents, the most significant number is educational sector representatives (24.2%), followed by those from e-commerce (21.4%), marketing (14.4%), and IT (14.4%). Among other industries: healthcare / pharmaceuticals, real estate, insurance, sports or tourism, pets and animals.
Expanded data about B2C respondents

Teams’ data

71.4% of respondents work in groups of 1-3 people. The remaining 28.6% perform their work in teams consisting of at least 11 people.

Additionally, we asked our respondents about the composition of their teams. Most of them have SEO specialists and digital marketers on their staff. Only 12.9% of teams have a link building specialist.

More than half of respondents stated that they do not involve third-party specialists. 18.2% use the services of freelancers, and 9.1% — agencies for link building.
Marketing teams' organization in B2C

Link building process

85.7% use link building in their SEO. Besides, 42.9% of respondents said they do not have a link building strategy.

However, 75% of those with a strategy rated it highly, with 8-10 points of effectiveness. As a result, it is clear that using a plan still often gives the desired results.
link building in B2C

Expenses on link building

The question arises: how much do B2C companies invest in link building?

54.5% of our respondents shared that their link building budget is less than $1,000, 16.4% – from $1,000-$5,000, 5.7% – $5,000-$10,000, 5.2% – more than $10,000.

Additionally, we questioned respondents regarding any changes in their link building budget from the previous year. 36.4% of respondents started spending more on obtaining backlinks, while 45.5% claimed that the funding for such duties had remained the same. None of the respondents reported that spending on link building had decreased.

However, 27.3% are confident that the expenses on link building will drop soon.
Expenses on link building in B2C

Agencies And Freelancers In Link Building

Among our respondents, 63.6% are agency representatives and freelancers.

General data

If we remove freelancers, most respondents work in national companies – 31.2%, and the most popular company size is medium.

Since agencies and freelancers work for various clients, we asked them to choose several areas where they work to build links. The most popular topic was health and beauty.

We also asked to evaluate which of the proposed areas is the most difficult to get links. According to the questions' results, it turned out that the most difficult to work with is the direction of science and technology, and the easiest – are pets and animals.
Agencies and freelancers expanded data
We also asked to evaluate which of the proposed areas is the most difficult to get links. According to the questions' results, it turned out that the most difficult to work with is the direction of science and technology, and the easiest – are pets and animals.
The most difficult areas for link building

Link building budgets

50.2% of our respondents shared that their client's link building budget is less than $1,000, 25.2% said that it is between $1,000-$5,000, 10.2% – $5,000-$10,000.

Additionally, we questioned respondents regarding any changes in their link building budget from the previous year. 55.9% of respondents started spending more on obtaining backlinks, while 33.9% claimed that the funding for such duties had remained the same.
 Link buildings' budget

Link building tactics

All respondents were asked this question to find more information about the approach to link building.

Firstly, we would like to know whether it is popular to use automation in link building like outreach automation, media tools, etc. 55.4% of our respondents shared that they don’t use any techniques. Meanwhile, 37.9% shared that they use such tools on regular bases.
In terms of automation and link building, there are distinctions between the tasks that AI tries to accomplish.
The first automation we do is run "indexing" on it to make sure Google finds the backlink. If you don't do this, it could take Google months to find the link you just got. We queue automation to see the link and make sure Google knows it's there.
The second automation we use is running backlink reports to find opportunities we can queue up for our specialists to inquire about. Robots are not obtaining the link but finding them and pointing out which ones are the best and topically relevant.
President and Director of Marketing at Hum JAM
Joseph S. Kahn
Andy Crestodina
Co-founder / CMO at Orbit Media Studios
Automation works, but it's inefficient. Success rates are low, and you look like a spammer. So they're not good for your brand, business, or personal.
If you take the time to build a network of like-minded, topically-focused editors and influencers, you can win links and mentions more reliably, with less effort and more fun. Then when you have something worthy: links or shares, your friends will be happy to help. They'll do it in minutes, then ask what else they can do for you.
Natalie Alleblas
SEO Consultant
There's a place for link building automation tools, especially media tools, to help you find more link building opportunities. But some automation tools can also hinder the process, especially with outreach marketing. A more personalized approach that doesn't just rely on outreach tools can get a better response rate. For outreach marketing, I take a more personal approach by reaching out to those already in my network first, as I have a solid understanding of their business and how we can assist each other before I try a "cold calling" approach.
Steven Macdonald
Head of content at INEVO
I don't use automation for link-building. From the data I've seen, it generally performs quite poorly. Some of the best link-builders I know talk about 1-2% response rates being a success! I'd rather focus on a manual approach, target specific sites, and then build a relationship with the editor/ SEO. That way, I only need to send 10-15 emails to land 8-10 links, as opposed to more than 1,000.
Itamar Blauer
SEO Consultant
I've tried link building automation tools in the past. While I think they can be helpful, nothing beats an excellent ol' manual approach where you can build proper relationships with webmasters.
Eico Schweins
Founder at Visionary Online Marketing
Tools & techniques for link building automation can quickly help find great sources for backlinks. They can also be helpful to speed up the actual process of getting in contact and acquiring backlinks, but in a minimal fashion and on a low to mediocre quality level. For backlinks of high-quality link sources, it's much harder to work with automation, though. For those, personal contact, classic PR work, and networking are still much more relevant and needed - which is much harder to automate.
Sara Taher
SEO Manager at Assembly Global
I do not use link building automation tools at work or for my clients' consultations. I prefer manual outreach or services that do manual outreach on your behalf. This also allows more control over the quality of links and the type of content. This becomes even more important when you work with a brand with guidelines on where they want their brand placed.
Gabriella Sannino
SEO consultant at Level343
As a marketing manager or link builder, your role is critical to the success of any organization. You are responsible for driving traffic and generating leads. And while there are many ways to do this, many experts believe that automation is key. Guest posting is a wonderful organic way to do any outreach, link reclamation, and regain missing backlinks. Regardless of the method, it's time-consuming but well worth the effort!
We asked them to share examples of automation from their experience. Based on the answers, we created the following list:
  • Rewriting tools
  • Mailing lists automation
  • Trend monitoring
  • Mentions monitoring
  • Influencers & media outreach
  • SEO tools

As well we asked respondents about the platforms where they find resources to place links. The following answers were received:
  • Q&A platforms
  • SEO tools
  • UGC platforms
  • Topical forums
  • Social medias
  • Manual search

We also decided to enquire what link building tactics bring the most results. The clear winner was content marketing with 22.9%. The second place was guest posting with 15.2%, followed by HARO / expert roundups with 12.4%.
There's no doubt that content marketing is the best way to earn backlinks. If you can produce unique content backed by original research, you will earn 10-100X more backlinks than you would from a targeted link-building campaign.

Content marketing has helped me land links from Harvard Business Review, TechCrunch, and Forbes. You can't achieve those links through automation.
Head of content at INEVO
Steven Macdonald
Natalie Alleblas
SEO Consultant
It's not surprising that the most popular link building techniques involve content creation and marketing since this is what most people have skills in and can easily master. With Google's recent "helpful content" algorithm update and its push to reward valuable content, it makes sense to focus more on link building strategies involving content. The least popular methods are those that Google and the SEO industry have discussed as not being directly linked to SEO success.
Aquif Shaikh
Owner and SEO manager at Blogging Ocean
For me, HARO works the best. Apart from the high-quality niche-specific backlinks, HARO also helps you to emerge as a thought leader in your niche, thus boosting your E-A-T.
Andy Crestodina
Co-founder / CMO at Orbit Media Studios
Content marketing is the obvious winner because it aligns with the reason for links. Why do most links exist? Because a writer or editor felt that some content out there supports the piece they're creating. A lot of these other techniques are spam.
Ravi Davda
Director at Rockstar Marketing
In terms of the least popular, I would agree with these. Forum links aren't really that valuable, and the same goes for directory link building. Paid links or link insertions can sometimes be fine, but the issue you have is that if you're able to pay for a link on that website, so are millions of other websites.
I would put HARO/ expert roundups higher than this, though. This is our primary link building source and has worked extremely well to date.

Branko Kral
Founder & Content Director at Chosen Data
The impact of links in round-ups isn't always worthwhile. Many round-ups have too many links per article, and I think the technique is more popular because of how easy it is than how impactful it is.
Eico Schweins
Founder at Visionary Online Marketing
Directory link building, forum links, and redirecting domains are dead for all but low-quality websites or to create some backdrop noise.

High-quality content marketing, guest posting, and HARO are the way to go now, with overlapping to paid links.

Link insertions, Link exchange, and broken link building have their use but are very limited in their scalability and efficiency.
Gabriella Sannino
SEO consultant at Level343
Content marketing can be a great way to connect with your audience and promote your brand. However, it can also be difficult to implement, especially if you're not used to thinking about marketing in terms of content.
As well, experts shared their favorite link building tactics.
My favorite link building technique is using Serpstat to perform audits on sites in my client's network of connections to find broken links on the website that can potentially be replaced with links to my client's content. I check the websites of businesses my client is already connected with via social media, especially those with a larger audience, to make the outreach process easier and for a higher success rate.
SEO Consultant
Natalie Alleblas
Steven Macdonald
Head of content at INEVO
Publishing original research is my favorite link-building technique. It's the only way to create 100% unique content at scale.
The barrier to entry is higher when producing original content, but the value is worth 10X that of copycat content.
Paul Lovell
SEO Consultant at Always Evolving SEO
Many people throw money around on different platforms to buy links, but it has no effect. But when you create link-worthy content, links will come naturally, and there is nothing like waking up and checking reports to see a national paper has picked up your content
Attract links by creating new original research in collaboration with influencers who publish content. Now you have the two key ingredients in place: link-worthy content (research) and awareness of that content (relationships).
Co-founder / CMO at Orbit Media Studios
Andy Crestodina
Sara Taher
SEO Manager at Assembly Global
Content marketing is definitely my favorite. Because it's what you should generally be doing, writing awesome content that helps the users. If it's that good, it should naturally attract backlinks.
Pavithra Sekar
Senior Outreach Marketing Specialist at Kissflow
Over the past 3.5 years, I have tried and tested many link-building strategies. But my favorites are creating assets that could add value in the long run and establishing a genuine connection with the bloggers and editors in the industry. I strongly believe setting a good base is essential to building any links.
Regarding complexity, the easiest technique was the redirecting domain, and the most difficult was content marketing.
Content marketing is challenging because you need to understand your audience's pain points and show how to ease the pain without being a sales page. As I always say, you gain more by giving information away.
SEO Consultant at Always Evolving SEO
Paul Lovell
Aquif Shaikh
Owner and SEO manager at Blogging Ocean
I agree with the results here. Content Marketing is indeed a tough nut to crack, which is, in many cases, beyond your capabilities as it depends on your luck in finding a blogger or webmaster who'd link back to you without asking for money.
Ravi Davda
Director at Rockstar Marketing
I wouldn't say directory link building is this difficult to implement – some tools can do this for you. I also don't think that guest posting is more than double the difficulty of link insertions – apart from writing the content. They're both very similar. In terms of HARO / expert roundups, I would say these are easier to implement than some of the others. All you essentially need is a HARO account, which is free, and you're good to go.
It's always true, isn't it? The most difficult things are also the most effective. Don't take shortcuts. They take too long!
Co-founder / CMO at Orbit Media Studios
Andy Crestodina
Joseph S. Kahn
President and Director of Marketing at Hum JAM
The most difficult ones are the ones that require significant content outlay. This goes without saying that creating great content isn't cheap or easy. I would agree with this chart.
Steven Macdonald
Head of content at INEVO
While content marketing is the best link-building technique, it's also the most difficult.

Most writers link to the number one spot because it's the easiest thing to do. Once in position 1, you will passively earn hundreds, or even thousands, of backlinks.
Natalie Alleblas
SEO Consultant
Content marketing and guest posting involve a lot of time and effort, but if the business is strategic in its approach, it can be more rewarding than other link building strategies. The difficulty in content marketing and guest posting is not having great content, to begin with, and not correctly reaching the suitable types of people. Writing content on a saturated topic or in a way that's already been done many times before isn't appealing, nor is using "cold outreach" methods. A better approach is to build an online relationship with other business owners and reach out once rapport and trust have been made, which takes time. Writing content with a unique angle or on a new topic is more likely to be linked to something previously written.
Sara Taher
SEO Manager at Assembly Global
In my opinion, a press release is the most difficult technique to implement. You need to keep up with ongoing trends and know how to jump on them as they happen, or it requires some creativity to find an angle to a topic not covered before.

One of my favorite campaigns I happened to come across is the "millennials do not know how to cook" campaign. It was so successful that it brought in links, and the data was featured on TV.
Eico Schweins
Founder at Visionary Online Marketing
I would say that HARO is much more difficult than the participants. It's not easy to be at the right time at the right place with the correct info available quickly to help out a journalist.
We offer you to compare their responses to choose your favorite one!
Comparison of link building techniques
We also asked how long it takes to land a single link. 27.9% of respondents agreed that they need less than an hour for such a task, next up 1-2 hours per link with 14.8%, and 3-5 hours per link with 13.1%.
Link building tactics
Placing backlinks takes more time when the strategy used is content marketing and guest posting because of the outreach required. But as experience builds, it takes less time when you know who and how to outreach. Links that take less time to place would be for strategies such as directory backlinks, redirects, and forum links. It would be interesting to see whether the respondents who took over 10 hours per link used cold outreach methods.
SEO Consultant
Natalie Alleblas
Andy Crestodina
Co-founder / CMO at Orbit Media Studios
For me, it's either 5 minutes (ask a friend for help) or 5 hours (write an article for another website). There isn't much middle ground.
Eleanor Bennett
Marketing Specialist at Logit
It depends on the domain. If a backlink from the Financial Times is to an editorial article, it will take more than 6 hours, but hundreds of lower-quality links can be generated in less than an hour.
I'm not sure the time spent matters because quality is much more important. If I wanted to pay for backlinks and had the budget, I could implement 100 backlinks within a few hours.
For quality backlinks, it takes longer. But yes, the time spent does reduce with experience.
Director at Rockstar Marketing
Ravi Davda
Itamar Blauer
SEO Consultant
I think it's all very relative. For example, if you contact someone and exchange emails with them, it can vary in how often they respond and what follow-up questions they might have.
Sara Taher
SEO Manager at Assembly Global
I'd be skeptical of the value a backlink created in under one hour can bring. Of course, experience plays a role in how long you need to acquire a link, but if you're doing manual outreach, for example, it can take between 1-5 hours, depending on how long it takes you to prepare the content. But there's also plenty of waiting period that should be considered.
Branko Kral
Founder & Content Director at Chosen Data
It largely depends on the technique. We're in the niche of writing technical articles for MarTech companies, and here's what we have experienced.

A new guest blog post takes us about 20 hours to complete and generates three backlinks. An article for own blog also takes about 20 hours. When it starts ranking high and provided we distribute it well across channels, there's no ceiling to the number of links the article will generate. So this is pricy at first, but it may be the best backlink investment in the long run.

Other techniques are less time-consuming.

Link Building Performance Measurement

We wondered how link building specialists determine a site's relevance to publishing links. The results are the following: 20.7% pay attention to the topic of the domain, 20.2% focus on the topic of the page, and only 11.6% rate the text surrounding the link.
Link building performance measurement
I try to look at domain rating and link velocity:
- How strong is their website?
- How many new links are they acquiring?
A strong website earning 100s of new backlinks per month will more likely see traffic increase faster than a website with a low DA and isn't earning many backlinks.
Head of content at INEVO
Steven Macdonald
Natalie Alleblas
SEO Consultant
There needs to be a strong connection between the themes of both websites. That's not to say that both websites need to be in the same industry, but they must complement each other, and the website page being linked to must have some benefit to the donor site's audience. Search engines' preference for helpful content dictates this.
Andy Crestodina
Co-founder / CMO at Orbit Media Studios
It should be topically aligned, of course. After that, the only factor is the authority of the website generally and the page specifically.
To a certain extent, I believe that all types of KPIs for any business should be around what makes money. Many people get wrapped up in vanity metrics like ranking for a specific query, but the question is, does that query play a part in the users' discovery of your brand or your product in the buying cycle, whether eCommerce or service types?
SEO Consultant at Always Evolving SEO
Paul Lovell
Sara Taher
SEO Manager at Assembly Global
My attention is focused on the domain theme and website traffic. I want to ensure this is an actual website, not just a "link farm."
Pavithra Sekar
Senior Outreach Marketing Specialist at Kissflow
Backlinks tend to significantly affect ranking, but that shouldn't be the only KPI to look at, even though it's the ultimate goal. Sometimes we have excellent links, but still, the blog will rank differently than expected. So, I always turn back to domain relevancy and a combination of other metrics.
Want to find a quality website for link placement? Serpstat will help you.
Click the button below, sign up and get a free 7-day trial!
The experts also highlighted the metrics they use to determine the quality of links. Among them:
  • Domain Authority
  • Domain Rating
  • Page Authority
  • Traffic
  • Context
  • URL Rating

We also enquire respondents how they measure the effect of link building campaigns. The most common answer was ranking with 21.8 %.
I don't think link building campaigns should focus on rankings that are brought, since there are way too many factors that are combined to achieve good rankings. I think that traffic and performance around the topic of what the link was built for is a much more realistic way to evaluate the effectiveness of the link building campaign.
SEO Consultant
Itamar Blauer
Steven Macdonald
Head of content at INEVO
Backlinks have one goal — increase rankings. Therefore, backlinks should influence overall traffic, organic traffic, and search impressions. But the most critical KPI that I define for link-building activities is rankings.
Joseph S. Kahn
President and Director of Marketing at Hum JAM
Yes, I would put the ranking at the top and the mentions at the bottom. Everyone on this list is super important, but it is rated perfectly in terms of popularity.
Conversions are ultimately the most crucial measure of website success, but conversion happens due to an excellent product/service presented in the best way through the correct use of copy and UX principles. I agree that conversion is not a good indicator of a link building campaign's effectiveness. Rankings and overall traffic to a website would be a better measure of link building success. However, ranking and traffic improvements would be due to many factors, not just link building. Direct traffic generated via links built is an important measurement. However, not all backlinks bring in much referral traffic. A combination of ranking, overall traffic, and direct traffic generated would build a better picture of link building effectiveness.
SEO Consultant
Natalie Alleblas
It's important to remember that traffic is not a KPI metric. If we're talking about actual KPIs, it has to be about dollar signs. So leads or sales. Not just traffic. Traffic is a stepping stone metric. Something that will make it possible to generate leads but not what will make the CFO sign off on your budget.
Founder & Content Director at Chosen Data
Branko Kral
Definitely, I wouldn't recommend using all mentioned "volume ..." metrics since it favors quantity over quality - which is a terrible idea for long-term success. Better to rely on conversions, ranking, visibility in search results, and website SEO traffic.
Founder at Visionary Online Marketing
Eico Schweins
Do SEO specialists include nofollow links in their strategy? The data evidence that 62.3% of specialists count such links as well.

The following picture shows the ratio of links of different types that respondents consider optimal link profiles.
Nofollow links in SEO strategy
We also raised a few questions about brand mentions. 57.4% of participants shared that they report brand mentions resulting from link building activities.
Brand mentions as link building result
Brands winning the SERPs in the long run. More brand mentions is a strong signal to Google that you have a brand and people will ultimately search for it.
Head of content at INEVO
Steven Macdonald
Natalie Alleblas
SEO Consultant
Building links from an authoritative website can improve brand mentions, but I don't think link building alone improves brand mentions. It's easier to build links from websites that have mentioned your brand due to other marketing activities.
Joseph S. Kahn
President and Director of Marketing at Hum JAM
Yes, because Google considers it in their EAT equations.
An unlinked brand mention is not a link. I am skeptical that it has any SEO value.
Co-founder / CMO at Orbit Media Studios
Andy Crestodina
Pavithra Sekar
Senior Outreach Marketing Specialist at Kissflow
It's a little difficult to attribute brand mentions to link building efforts. But I believe it has some rippling effects.

I'll share an example - a few years back, we focused a lot on building quality links, and as a result, many of our blogs performed well in the SERP (mostly at positions 1 to 3). We were a multi-product company back then, and that particular module was new to the niche with many popular competitors. However, our popularity over the SERP has helped drive more brand mentions. We saw a massive spike in mentions after that. So, indirect links help to win credibility.
85.2% assume that brand mentions influence organic search rankings.

Conclusion

It is clear from the study's findings that link building is still important. Moreover, a lot of specialists think that its significance won't decrease over the following few years. Thus don't leave out this approach from your SEO strategy.

We sincerely hope that this research will assist you in creating an effective plan and getting great results from your link building!

Speed up your search marketing growth with Serpstat!

Keyword and backlink opportunities, competitors' online strategy, daily rankings and SEO-related issues.

A pack of tools for reducing your time on SEO tasks.

Get free 7-day trial
The opinion of the guest post authors may not coincide with the opinion of the Serpstat editorial staff and specialists.

Rate the article on a five-point scale

The article has already been rated by 4 people on average 5 out of 5
Found an error? Select it and press Ctrl + Enter to tell us

Share this article with your friends

Are you sure?

Introducing Serpstat

Find out about the main features of the service in a convenient way for you!

Please send a request, and our specialist will offer you education options: a personal demonstration, a trial period, or materials for self-study and increasing expertise — everything for a comfortable start to work with Serpstat.

Name

Email

Phone

We are glad of your comment
I agree to Serpstat`s Privacy Policy.

Thank you, we have saved your new mailing settings.

Report a bug

Cancel
Open support chat