When Do Backlinks Show Up?

Every person seeking to build site traffic through link-building should know that it involves a whole lot of waiting. But whether you employ an SEO agency for building backlinks or you do it yourself, you might wonder when you would begin to see results. In this article, we take a look at when backlinks show up.

How Long Does It Take Backlinks to Show up?

There is no one way to answer how long backlinks take to become effective. The duration really depends on several factors, including the type of backlinks, domain authority, anchor text, and so on. Generally, though, backlinks can start showing impact in your rankings 6-12 months after your link-building campaign starts.

Below is a breakdown of what happens with the backlinks during this estimated duration:


This is the first phase in backlinking, where Google indexes the page that has the backlink and adds it to its directory. It takes only a few days, based on the authority, popularity, and age of the website that hosts the link.

New links may wait for some time after they are indexed before any obvious impact in ranking begins to occur. A Moz study showed that one backlink takes 10 weeks on average to move a page a rank higher in Google SERPs. This would mean that several links would simultaneously do more to push the page up the ranks. You can check this post on how to index link faster.

The Leap

What some may call a “big jump” is this phase at 8-9 weeks after a backlink is created where low-ranking pages benefit from a massive upward push through multiple ranks. Whereas, this is not the case with already high-ranking pages that are competing at the top of the SERPs. For these top competing pages, one backlink may take about 22 weeks to make a small improvement.

So, the “leap” or “big jump” is the stage in backlinking where a site moves from rank 90 to 36 faster and easier than another moves from 8 to 3. With Google’s continuous evolvement and intricate algorithm, however, it may not be as straightforward as that. From this point, a backlink’s journey to showing up and impacting rankings may be like climbing up a hill.

The Climb Uphill

On average, the top 10 results on the SERP stay there for 2 – 3 years. A good majority of pages take well over a year in total to get to the top of search results. As an exception, a few take less than a year. Either way, these pages may remain there for longer than it took them to arrive there in the first place.

How to Make Backlinks Show up Faster

Here are a few things you can do to reduce the time you have to wait before your backlinks show up.

1.) Choose quality over quantity

Quality reigns supreme in everything SEO. A few high-quality backlinks (from sites with high domain authority) will outperform a multitude of poor links. So, always aim for sites that have good domain authority.

Quality is also important when leaving your backlinks in guest posts. Guest post content that is of high quality will easily convert readers on the host site to visitors on your site. Also, once this happens, you can become an authority in that specific niche and build continuous organic traffic to impact your rankings.

2.) Eliminate spam

If you have spammy links in your link network, you best take them down. There is a chance that competitors willing to go the extra mile, even though unethical, could sabotage these links.

Low-quality links give them the opportunity to use link schemes in demoting your pages through negative SEO. This would take you all the way to the bottom and you would have to start your climb back up all over again.