How Many Backlinks Per Month Can You Build Safely?

Backlinks, or inbound links from other websites pointing to your site, are a crucial ranking factor in search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google use backlinks as signals to gauge the popularity, authority, and relevance of a website. The more high-quality backlinks a site has from reputable sources, the higher it’s likely to rank for its target keywords.

“Backlinks are a crucial signal used by Google’s algorithms. Earning links from reputable sources can result in higher rankings.”

How Many Backlinks Per Month Can You Build Safely

The Risks of Building Backlinks Unsafely

However, building backlinks carelessly or through unethical means can backfire severely. Google has strict webmaster guidelines prohibiting any “link schemes” aimed at manipulating a site’s rankings. Violating these guidelines through tactics like buying links or participating in private blog networks can result in manual actions and ranking penalties from Google.

“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.” – Google Webmaster Guidelines

One notorious example is the Interflora link penalty case, where the company faced severe ranking drops after Google detected an unnatural link-building campaign using advertorials and paid posts.

What Affects Safe Monthly Backlink Limits

What Affects Safe Monthly Backlink Limits

Website Age and Current Backlink Profile

The safe number of backlinks you can build per month depends heavily on your website’s age and existing backlink profile:

New Websites: For brand-new sites with little to no backlink history, it’s advisable to start slowly, aiming for around 10-20 new backlinks per month to establish a natural foundation.

Established Websites: If your site is already well-established with a steady backlink growth history, you can typically build 40-50 new backlinks per month while maintaining a natural trajectory.

The quality and diversity of your current backlinks also play a role. Sites with a healthy, well-distributed backlink profile can likely withstand a slightly higher acquisition rate.

Industry Competition and SERP Landscape

The competitive landscape of your industry or niche impacts how aggressively you’ll need to build backlinks:

High Competition: In highly competitive SERPs where aggressive SEO is common, you may need to pursue a more ambitious, high-quality link-building approach to keep up.

Low Competition: In less saturated niches, more modest link acquisition efforts may suffice, as there’s less immediate pressure to outpace competitors.

How Many Backlinks Per Month Is Safe to Build

How Many Backlinks Per Month Is Safe to Build

General Industry Benchmarks

While there’s no one-size-fits-all number, several SEO experts and case studies suggest some general monthly benchmarks:

New Sites: Around 10-20 new backlinks per month 

Established Sites: Up to 40-50 new backlinks per month 

Highly Competitive Sites: 60+ high-quality backlinks per month

However, these are just rough guidelines. The exact “safe” figure depends on the factors mentioned above.

Ready to kickstart a sustainable, ethical, and penalty-free link-building program for your website? Schedule a meeting with us today!

How to Build Links Strategically

More important than a specific number is maintaining a steady, sustainable, and gradual link growth curve that mimics natural patterns:

Additional Best Practices

Other safe link-building best practices include:

Diversify Link Sources and Types: Pursue a mix of links from different verticals and through varied legitimate tactics (editorial coverage, directories, reviews, etc.).

Use Natural Anchor Text Distribution: An excessive use of exact-match keywords in anchor text is a red flag – aim for a natural, diverse distribution.

Align With Broader Marketing Efforts: Coordinate link-building alongside content marketing, social media, brand-building, and similar initiatives.

How to Acquire Backlinks Safely and Steadily

How to Acquire Backlinks Safely and Steadily

1. Editorial Content-Based Link Building

One of the safest and most effective ways to earn backlinks is to create exceptional content that naturally attracts links and coverage:

Guest Blogging: Contributing authoritative guest posts to high-quality, relevant publications in your niche.

Visual Asset Creation: Creating infographics, charts, visualizations, or other visual assets that digital publishers find valuable enough to cite and embed.

Newsjacking and Brand Mentions: Leveraging current news/trends in your space and earning brand mentions through contributor quotes or interviews.

2. Relationship and Community Building

Building genuine relationships within industry communities also facilitates natural backlink acquisition:

Influencer Outreach and Collaborations: Partnering with influencers and thought leaders to co-produce linkable assets, exchanging cross-promotion.

HARO, Expert Roundups, and Link Insertions: Actively responding to journalist queries, participating in expert roundups, and politely suggesting relevant deep links.

Forum and Community Engagement: Providing value in online communities and forums, earning recognition as an authority worthy of being linked to.

3. Asset-Based and Technical Strategies

Other white-hat tactics centered around creating linkable assets and optimizing site architecture:

Linkable Asset Creation: Building useful tools, in-depth resource guides, original research studies, or comprehensive industry reports.

Skyscraper Technique: Finding competitors’ popular content assets, then creating enhanced versions (“skyscrapers”) that earn links through superior quality.

Internal Linking and Architecture Optimization: Implementing a strategic internal linking structure, URL architecture cleanup, and proper use of redirects.

Final Words

While there’s no single magic number, acquiring backlinks at a safe, sustainable pace is crucial for SEO success without facing penalties. The exact “right” amount depends on your website’s specific factors like age, authority, niche competition, and existing link profile.

Focus on diversifying your link sources, maintaining natural velocity patterns, prioritizing high-quality and relevance, and continually monitoring your portfolio to manage risk.