Top 31 Link Building Statistics & Facts on Backlinks for SEO (2024)

Link building is a challenging yet crucial aspect of SEO, with 52.3% of digital marketers acknowledging its complexity.

Written by
Oskar Mortensen
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April 24, 2024

Despite backlinks no longer being among the top three Google search ranking factors, their importance cannot be understated.

A significant 93.8% of link builders prioritize link quality over quantity. This emphasizes the need to produce high-quality content that earns backlinks from leading websites in your industry.

It's essential to base your SEO strategy on reliable link building statistics, not rumors.

In this list, we provide accurate and current insights for successful link building.

Top 5 Crucial Link Building Statistics

For those seeking the most crucial insights on link building, here are the top five tips and facts.

  • 94% of online content doesn't receive external links, and only 2.2% gets links from multiple sites.
  • Paying for links results in only 2 extra links per month.
  • Content over 3,000 words gets 3.5 times more backlinks than shorter articles.
  • Experienced link builders generate 3.57 times more links than beginners, with 59.4% of agencies having over 5 years of experience.
  • It takes an average of 3.1 months to see link building results, requiring patience.

31 Link Building Statistics & Facts

Dive into these 31 key statistics and facts to enhance your link building strategy.

1. Link Building Is Hard

More than half of digital marketers (52.3%) find link building to be the most challenging aspect of SEO. (Source: Authority Hacker)

2. Less Than 1 Out Of 10 Receive Backlinks

A staggering 94% of online content fails to receive any external links, while only 2.2% of content manages to acquire links from multiple websites. These statistics underscore the difficulty of creating content that attracts linking from others. (Sources: Authority Hacker, Backlinko)

3. Content Is The Way Forward

For 90% of marketers, content pieces are the main strategy for generating more backlinks. (Moz)

4. Wait, You Guys Are Getting Paid?

While earning backlinks can be challenging, there is an alternative approach. Approximately 74.3% of contributors opt to pay for link exchanges.

5. Paying For Links Don't Pay

Paying for links results in only an additional 2 links per month, compared to those who do not engage in paid link building. (Source: Authority Hacker)

6. The Cost Of A Link

On average, companies spend over $1,000 to obtain a high-quality link. Lower quality links cost around $300 each, while high link quality, contextual backlinks range from $700 to $2,000 or more per link. (Source: Siege Media, uSERP State of Link Building, ThriveMyWay)

Authority Hacker survey

7. Paying For Links Is Not Getting Cheaper

Over 60% of SEO professionals report rising costs in link building.

8. How Much Is Spent On Link Building

On average, SEOs dedicate 28% of their SEO budget to link building.

9. Exchanging Links Is Common

Over half of link builders, 51.6%, employ link exchanges as part of their strategy.

10. Use External Links

A staggering 94% of online content could use enhancement as it lacks any external links.

11. How Many Links In 1 Month?

Around 73.5% of link builders generate fewer than 10 links per month, suggesting that purchasing links may not be cost-effective for most companies. Given the high price tag of at least $1,000 per link, many businesses might find it more economical to invest in creating quality content that attracts links by themselves.

12. Content Is Generated With Link Building In Mind

The goal of building links drives content production for 89% of marketers. (Source: Aira)

13. Add Videos In Your Content

Posts with more than three videos draw 55% more backlinks than those without videos. However, creating videos can be resource-intensive, depending on your content creation budget.

14. Too Many Internal Links Is A Thing

While 36% of SEO specialists favor four to five internal links in a blog post, a majority of 51% prefer just two to three.

15. Long-Form Content Is Key

Articles that surpass 3,000 words garner 3.5 times more backlinks compared to standard-length articles.

16. Experience Matters

Experienced link builders generate 3.57 times more links compared to beginners, highlighting the significant advantage agencies can have in this area. Agencies stand out with the highest proportion of experienced link builders, with 59.4% having over 5 years of experience.

17. Most SEOs Outsource Link Building

60% of survey participants are in favor of outsourcing their link building activities.

18. Top Ranking Pages Receive More Links

The top-ranking page on Google typically has an average of 3.8 times more backlinks compared to pages ranking in positions 2-10.

19. The More Traffic, The More Links

There is a clear correlation between the number of backlinks a webpage has and the amount of traffic it receives. This emphasizes the importance of creating high-quality content that has the potential to earn top search engine rankings and attract valuable backlinks.

20. Backlinks Is A Ranking Factor

A majority of SEOs (58.1%) recognize the significant impact of backlinks on search engine rankings.

21. Reaping The Rewards Takes Time

Findings from a survey conducted by Authority Hacker reveal that 46.6% of link builders observe the influence of links on search rankings within 1-3 months. On average, it takes around 3.1 months for the impact of links on search rankings to become evident.

22. The Most Used Tool For Link Building

Ahrefs is the tool of choice for 55.5% of link builders. (Source: Authority Hacker)

23. Sites With Higher Domain Rating Rank Higher

Studies indicate that websites with a higher Domain Rating, as gauged by Ahrefs, Moz, or Semrush, typically secure higher search engine rankings. (Source: Backlinko)

24. Domain Metrics Aren't Used By Everyone

Just over half of experienced link builders, 51.39%, utilize domain metrics such as DR or DA, compared to a mere 28.99% of beginners.

25. DR Is Preferred Over DA

When it comes to assessing link quality, 67% of marketers would focus on domain rating and 42% would prioritize domain authority if they could only choose one metric.

26. Backlinks And Shareable Information Does Not Correlate

While there's a minimal overlap between content that generates backlinks and content that is highly shareable, it's worth noting that widely shared content receives 2-5 times more organic traffic and backlinks.

27. Social Media Still Plays A Role

Link builders leveraging social media for outreach gain an average of 22% more links monthly, with 61.7% incorporating social media channels into their outreach efforts. (Source: Authority Hacker)

28. What Social Media Platform?

For link building outreach and finding contact information, 23.5% of link builders utilize Facebook, while 17.3% turn to LinkedIn.

29. Link Building Is Still Believed To Matter In The Future

Eight out of ten SEOs predict that links will remain a ranking factor a decade from now.

30. Long Tail Might Be The Right Trail

With half of all Google search queries consisting of four or more words, neglecting long-tail keywords could result in missed opportunities.

31. Exact Match Is Not Better

Exact match anchor text backlinks are no more effective at increasing content rankings than non-exact match anchor text (Source: Ahrefs)

Key Takeaways From The Statistics

With numerous statistics to consider, here are some essential interpretations to keep in mind.

The Value of Links Persists

Despite Google's updated Link Spam Guidelines cautioning SEOs against various link building strategies, including guest posting and digital PR, recent statistics reveal a discrepancy between Google's advice and SEO practices. With 28% of SEO budgets allocated to link building, it's clear that many still believe in the effectiveness of links. This belief is further reinforced by the fact that over 78% of SEOs report positive outcomes and ROI from their link building efforts.

This suggests that Google's algorithm continues to rely heavily on links when determining search rankings. Google's primary aim is to present the best results at the top of the SERP. However, an over-reliance on links, which can be manipulated, could compromise their ability to deliver the best results to users.

It's likely for this reason that Google makes such an effort to discourage excessive link building.

Are Links Still A Ranking Factor?

Yes, links remain a crucial ranking factor. The data in this article underscores their importance. For instance, 58.1% of SEOs recognize the significant impact of backlinks on search engine rankings.

Additionally, 89% of marketers produce content with the goal of building links, indicating the perceived value of links in SEO strategy. Furthermore, companies are willing to invest heavily in link building, with SEOs dedicating 28% of their SEO budget to this effort.

However, it's important to remember that while links are vital, they are just one of many factors that Google's algorithm considers when ranking pages.

What strategies are most effective for building high-quality backlinks?

Creating high-quality, engaging content is a key strategy for building high-quality backlinks, with 90% of marketers using this approach.

Long-form articles exceeding 3,000 words attract 3.5 times more backlinks, while posts with more than three videos draw 55% more. Social media can also be an effective tool, with users gaining an average of 22% more links monthly.

Top 31 Link Building Statistics & Facts on Backlinks for SEO (2024)

This is an article written by:

Oskar is highly driven and dedicated to his editorial SEO role. With a passion for AI and SEO, he excels in creating and optimizing content for top rankings, ensuring content excellence at SEO.AI.