How Many Backlinks Per Day Or Month Is It Safe To Build?

This is a difficult question. One that nobody but the execs at Google’s Search Central can categorically answer.

And getting a direct answer from Google’s Search Central has historically been difficult. So, if you ask me, a day-in and day-out link builder, the answer is:

There is no specific number.  

Safe answer? I suppose so. 

But there are simply too many factors at play to put a specific number on this. So rather than convince you that you may or may not build x amount of backlinks to your website each month, let’s discuss why Google might decide to penalize you for the backlinks you’ve built and what the implications of such a penalty might be.

We’ll also look at how to check the quality of your links and how they can affect your website.

But first…

Why Build Backlinks?

Well, backlinks have always played a dual role in search engine optimization.

First, they tell search engine algorithms that other pages like your content and that it’s worth pushing your page higher up in the search engine result rankings. 

It’s a nod of approval, an endorsement, a hey, you can trust this site.

The more backlinks, the stronger the signal to Seartch Central that your page matters. The algorithm takes notice of this, and your website is featured higher in search results for a given search phrase.

The second reason for you to build backlinks to your website pages is that each link can direct a customer to your website. Unlike other forms of advertising (that’s you, pay-per-click), backlinks help a website funnel organic traffic to your pages. 

In other words, backlinks help direct people to your site in a natural way, whether through a direct search result or by following a hyperlink. This means that you aren’t buying an ad that will disappear when you cancel your advertising debit order.

A site that has enough relevant backlinks will continue to grow and draw organic visitors. These visitors click, buy, view, sample, download, and sign up… whatever action you need them to. 

This exposure is invaluable for any business, big or small—it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Why Search Engines Penalize Backlinks

Well, to understand why anyone would want to penalize a business for gaining exposure, you need to understand the basics of why search engines exist in the first place and how they operate.

Initially conceived as a tool for scientific collaboration, the Internet, once known as Mesh, has evolved into the globally influential World Wide Web. It now serves as a dynamic platform for instantaneous sharing of ideas, media, and valuable information.

The internet’s impact has vastly expanded our knowledge compared to six decades ago, largely due to its role in providing instant access to information. However, this power necessitates responsibility. Given the open nature of online content creation, search engines must ensure the content they present is not only beneficial but also safe and legal. 

Thus, each search engine has the responsibility to only display search results that will truly add value to the internet. And, as we said earlier, backlinks act as a signal that our content is worth the click.

However, some website owners started buying meaningless links to try to fool Google’s algorithm into thinking that their websites were more relevant than they actually were.

Initially, this method worked. Substandard websites were sitting in the first place of search results simply because they had hundreds of no-value websites pointing back at them.

Thankfully, Google picked up on this and, over time, rolled out what is now commonly known as the Penguin update. This update targeted sites that had spammy links and penalized them for it.

Like a football player receiving a yellow card, these sites were put on ice or taken out of the game, so to speak. Some never returned to the top of search results. 

Since then, Google has periodically released guidelines through a core update that dictates what they’re looking for in a website. This ensures a level playing field, with websites needing to play fair to reach the top.

Another reason search engines penalize websites is when their backlink profile appears unnatural. 

In other words, there is no gradual growth. When a website’s number of backlinks doubles or even triples overnight, search engines realize that this was done in an attempt to climb search engine rankings, not because the website of origin is genuinely interested in the ‘linked-to’ site.

Build High-Quality Backlinks

So now that you understand why you need links, you need to figure out how to build only good ones. 

That’s right. Not all links are good ones, and telling the good from the bad is harder than you might think. A bad link might send a warning signal to Google, indicating that your site has tried to cheat the system by building a black hat backlink…

So, how do you tell the good from the bad?

You could use SEO tools to see as much behind-the-scenes information as possible about the site that is linking back to you. We generally use a tool called Ahrefs to check this. The platform gives us a good breakdown of a site’s number of backlinks, traffic, and traffic value. 

Each one of these metrics adds to the overall strength or domain rating of a website.

But more than simply basing your decision on numbers on a screen, you need to look at the physical website and ask yourself some of these questions:

Q1—Does this website look like it is simply selling links to random people? If so, do I really just want to be another person linked to? 

You can tell if a website is a link farm if it has a new article each day, covering a whole array of topics, from food prices to SAAS products, world peace, and fishing lures. A site like this won’t give you any real visitors to your pages.

Related: How to Identify Site Quality for Link Building?

Q2—Does the owner of this site seem to take pride in what he publishes on the web? 

In other words, is there a general theme that he sticks to and does he have a certain editorial standard that all his articles adhere to? And is his theme in any way connected to your theme?

If so, and if the metrics seem to add up, this will be a safe link to build. If not, then you might want to reconsider building even one link a month from a site like this.

Tag, You’re It

Google has also created HTML ‘tags’ that website owners can attach to hyperlinks within the script. These tags act as an indicator of why the link has been placed in the article, helping Google to better understand why the hyperlink exists.

We’ve spoken about the different attributes and importance of dofollow and nofollow links previously when covering some of the most common link-building mistakes.

But in essence, dofollow links are the most sought-after links. That’s because they allow Google crawling bots to follow the path to your site, thus passing along link equity or link juice from the host site to yours. This, in turn, will add value to your site and help you gain strength over time. 

HTML links that have the no follow attribute tell Google crawling bots not to follow from one page to another and not distribute any link equity. These links have no impact on your website’s strength in the long run.

But they still play an important role by allowing internet users to pass from one page to the next.

Consider The Geographic Location of Link Sources

Another important thing to consider is the geographic area of the search results. This is an important factor that many people don’t seem to grasp.

Building a link from a site that has 500k organic visitors per month sounds amazing. And the chance of those people browsing the pages of your online store might sound hugely profitable. But the reality is often far from it.

Imagine, for example, you had an e-commerce site selling saunas. 500k visitors from a country like Oman or Saudi Arabia wouldn’t help much, would it? Not implying that people from these areas don’t sauna 🙂 But it’s unlikely that someone who lives in a hot or humid climate would be interested in your product.

So always check that the site linking back to your page generates traffic in the correct geographical region – Iceland or Estonia is probably a more sought-after region in this case.

Links From Established Sites Are Always Better

Lastly, a good indicator of whether a backlink is coming from a bad site is to check the organic visitors of the target site over time. A site that has been in existence for several years and has grown steadily over a long period will have a gradual increase over time. 

A bad website will often spring up overnight, going from zero to hero within a day or two. 

These sites gain traction because of underhanded SEO practices. But the problem is that they will lose their organic visitors as fast as they’ve gained them, as Google’s core updates will sandbox these sites. If you’re not careful, those penalties will be passed onto your site.

Final thoughts

I remember watching a training video once by a famous SEO expert and affiliate marketer. In it, he explained the importance of backlinks. It was a lengthy video; I’ve forgotten most of what he said. 

But one thing I do remember was ‘do what looks natural.’

In other words, if the backlink to your page looks unnatural, as though the links were placed in the text as an afterthought, or even worse, if your article appears on a website that it has absolutely nothing to do with, Google will pick up on it – and ultimately penalize you for it.

So, suppose you gain backlinks at a rate that appears natural, as though the sites have legitimately picked up on your site with no interference from you whatsoever and have decided to add the link on their site by themselves. In that case, it is unlikely that you’ll get penalized for it.

So perhaps that is the answer to our question.

Q: How many backlinks per month is it safe to build?
A: As many as seem natural.

So stop trying too hard, and build backlinks that matter – naturally.

PS—Batlinks is a link-building agency specializing in building backlinks for companies that truly move the needle. If you’re interested in our link insert, guest post, or HARO link-building service, please reach out, and we’ll be happy to schedule a call at a time that is convenient for you.