Google Says Total Number Of Links Is Completely Irrelevant For SEO

For approximately the three thousand and forty-seventh time, Google have said that counting the links coming into your website is pointless. The total number It’s a question, and answer, we’ll over twenty years old… so why are people still asking about this?

Well, because it matters – and because the answer that Google gives doesn’t make complete sense.

Here’s a recent quote from Google’s John Mueller

“I don’t think we differentiate like that in our systems. From my point of view, I would tend not to focus on the total number of links to your site, or the total number of domain links to your website, because we look at links in a very different way.”

So it’s quality over quantity… until it isn’t

Rule one of back-linking is that quality matters more than quantity. A fistful of links from low quality sites won’t make as much difference (or even any difference) to your site when compared to one good link from a reputable, relevant site.

“We try to understand what is relevant for a website, how much should we weigh these individual links, and the total number of links doesn’t matter at all. Because you could go off and create millions of links across millions of websites if you wanted to, and we could just ignore them all.”

So, what’s the problem? Well, some SEOs are working on trying to get sites their first eleven back-links. Some SEOs are working with sites that have large backlink profiles and this would seem to be where this answer breaks down. At this stage, assuming the links are generally of good quality, the individual quality of any single link becomes irrelevant unless it is so massively good or bad it can “bury the needle” on the average link quality you are receiving. Many SEOs believe that the law of averages comes into play here and that and having more good quality links than your competitors is undoubtedly a “good thing”.

So, what should I do? Should I stop building backlinks?

Ultimately, Google’s answer on this isn’t helpful at all unless you don’t have many links and just want to feel better about that. Ultimately, links drives traffic to your site, raise your brand profile, and help your search engine optimisation. Build good links, then build more good links, then have a cup of tea, then build some more good links. Your site will thank you for it.

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