Marketing 2 min read

How Long it Takes for Links to Affect Search Rankings

Arthimedes | Shutterstock.com

Arthimedes | Shutterstock.com

In a recent Webmaster Central hangout, Google's John Mueller has discussed link algorithms, and how long it takes for links to affect search rankings.

Google releases core algorithm updates every few months or so.

The search giant uses the core updates to make significant and broad changes to its search engine algorithms. Besides improving the search experience, the updates enable relevant and useful search results.

However, a site owner wondered whether Google incorporates some form of linking algorithm into core updates. So, the individual decided to ask Google’s John Mueller about it.

The question reads:

“I was wondering about when these big announced core updates happen, are there some parts of the linking algorithm updated as well?”

In response, Mueller provided a useful insight into the relationship between links and core algorithm updates.

Before answering the question, he first described the Google core algorithm. Mueller explained that a core update isn’t “one piece of machinery.” Instead, it consists of several other algorithms that work together.

The Google advocate then pointed out that Google doesn’t always make changes to link algorithm during a core update. Although both updates may coincide, link algorithm changes can happen at any time.

Finally, he circled back to address another question.

How Long Does it Take for Links to Affect Search Rankings?

SEOs have never reached a consensus on how long it takes for a link to impact search rankings. Several reports claim that it could take between a few days to a few months for a link to have an effect.

However, Mueller’s answers suggest otherwise. According to him, Google is continually processing links.

He explained:

“So, it’s not that we have to wait for a specific time frame to see the new effect of the links. But rather when we see links on the web, we can take them into account essentially immediately.”

Mueller’s confirmation that links can have an immediate effect on search rankings may seem surprising. However, some experts believe that there’s more to the explanation.

An article from Search Engine Land reads:

“That may be that it takes weeks or months to see an effect on rankings because it may take more than just one or five or ten links to see an effect in rankings.”

Whatever the case may be, Mueller’s answer provides a better understanding of how Google handles links.

Watch the full video here:

Read More: Mueller Explains Why Google Rewrites Meta Descriptions

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