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How Long Does It Take to See Results from Link Building?

Mar 19, 2024

Written by Casey Bjorkdahl

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Casey Bjorkdahl is one of the pioneering thought leaders in the SEO community. In 2010, Casey co-founded Vazoola after working for a Digital Marketing Agency for five years in New York City. Vazoola is now one of the fastest growing and most widely recognized SEO marketing firms in the country.

How Long Does It Take to See Results from Link Building?

Link building is and always has been a key part of improving SEO for websites. However, it's not always clear what impact any particular backlink is having on your website's SEO performance, and when. 

At Vazoola, we’re experts at not only building the backlinks, but also ensuring that each backlink will provide maximum as quickly as possible performance through understanding the “behind the scenes” as it relates to link building.

what is link indexing

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t expect instant gratification when it comes to link building. The value of links tends to get stronger over time.

  • The time it takes for a backlink to be indexed is a key factor on when it will have an impact.

  • There are several key factors that impact the timeline for results such as backlink quality, your SEO competition, and your own domain authority

  • Expect to wait 3-12 months to see an impact from quality backlinks built to your site.

Table of Contents

Understanding Indexing and its Role

factors influencing link indexing

Understanding link indexing from a technical standpoint is really important. In simple terms, it’s the process by which search engines discover, analyze, and store new web pages and links. 

If a link is not indexed, it will not provide any value to your SEO because the search engines have not added it to their list of “approved” pages.


Because of this, the faster a link gets indexed, the faster you’ll receive SEO benefits from it. The site that is linking to you will have an impact on how fast the backlink will influence your own site. 

For example, the site’s authority and the quality of the content on it are very important. The higher the better, in both cases.

High quality websites tend to be crawled more often by Google and other search engines, meaning their pages (and the backlinks on those pages) get indexed faster. 

Pro Tip:

Backlink tiered approach

Build backlinks not only to your main content but also to the pages that link to your content. This tiered approach helps to distribute page authority throughout your site and can enhance the overall SEO impact of your backlinks.

The Interplay of Site Quality and Link Impact

Backlink quality is a key component of successful SEO efforts.

We have a great post on what makes a backlink high quality, but we'll give a quick recap below. 

A high quality backlink will originate from a reputable and authoritative website within your niche. These links are indexed faster, and they are prioritized within search algorithms. 

High-quality backlinks also send a strong endorsement, demonstrating your site’s relevance and overall credibility. These qualities then go on to boost search engine ranking. 

While high-quality backlinks boost search ranking, backlinks from low-quality sites that are filled with spam and irrelevant content can harm a site’s visibility within SERPs. 

Low-quality backlinks are indexed more slowly – if at all. If search engines determine the backlinks are untrustworthy or manipulative, they can further harm your SEO. 

To avoid this predicament, be sure to prioritize high-quality backlinks to achieve long-term SEO success. 

Pro Tip:

link relevance pro tip

While the number of backlinks is important, each link’s relevance plays a critical role in its efficacy. Prioritize backlinks from sites that are closely related to your niche or industry. 

Realistic Timeframes for Link Building Results

How long does it take for backlinks to get indexed?

Achieving link building success requires patience. You also must recognize the steps involved in link indexing. 

Once a backlink is placed, search engines must crawl and index it before evaluating its value and relevance to your site. The process doesn’t happen overnight. 

More than half of SEO professionals agree it takes 3 to 12 months before they observe noticeable improvements in search rankings and traffic after obtaining a backlink. Specifically, they say it takes an average of 10 weeks for a single rank jump, according to Moz.

Why is the timeframe for link building results so widely varied? A variety of factors come into play, including backlink quality, niche competitiveness and a site’s existing authority.  

timeframes for link building results



Additional Factors Influencing Timelines

Still other factors influence the speed at which you notice link building results. 

How competitive is your niche? The level of competition within your industry significantly affects link building timelines since highly-competitive markets will require a more extensive link building campaign sustained over a longer period. 

More factors influencing link indexing time frames

Likewise, a website’s existing authority plays a role link building speed. Those boasting established credibility and a solid backlink profile can experience faster gains than competitors with a less robust profile. 

The specific tactics – guest posts, influencer collaborations, etc. – employed in a link building strategy can affect the timeline for results.

Link building strategies that involve direct engagement with your audience and high-quality content creation generally yield results faster and carry greater SEO benefits. 

Pro Tip:

competitor backlink profile

Conduct a thorough analysis of your competitors' backlink profiles to uncover their link-building strategies. Tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush provide insights into where their backlinks are coming from. 

How Long Does Link Building Take to Influence Rankings?

You need to develop a strategic mindset if you hope for a successful link building campaign. You also need a deep understanding of SEO processes so you can steer your strategy in the right direction.

Search engines must index links to recognize and value them. The quality of those links affects both the speed and magnitude of any SEO improvements. 


Remember, link building is a long term investment not a quick fix. You therefore must set realistic expectations as you wait for sustainable link building results. 

Remember, it takes consistent, quality link-building efforts to increase search ranking over time, solidifying your website’s authority and visibility. 

Pro Tip: 

maximize the impact of link building

To maximize the impact of your link building efforts, remember to regularly monitor and analyze your own backlink profile. A variety of powerful SEO tools can help identify potentially harmful links and promptly take corrective action.


Related Posts

Internal Linking: The Secret Weapon for SEO

Mastering Backlink Monitoring: A Strategic Guide for SEO Success

Outbound Links and Their Impact on SEO

How to Use Linkable Assets for Link Building

What Is Contextual Link Building for SEO?

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