Marketing 2 min read

Number of Backlinks is Irrelevant to Google Search Algorithm

Simon /

Simon /

According to Google‘s John Mueller, the number of backlinks that’s pointing to a specific website is irrelevant to the search engine.

The debate of backlink quantity versus quality has been around for a while.

Some marketers argue that quality backlinks are all you need to improve search ranking. You don’t need to worry about the number of backlinks as long as they’re from high domain authority sites, they say.

Meanwhile, a few marketers advocate for the number of backlinks.

According to these marketers, the quantity of backlinks you generate is far more vital than the quality. What’s more, these few downplayed the impact of quality backlinks in search ranking.

But which is correct?

In a recent Google Search Central SEO hangout, the question of backlink quality vs. quantity came up again. A site owner wanted to know whether the number of backlinks matters to Google.

The question reads:

“What matters most? The number of unique referring backlink domains or the total number of backlinks?”

Here is Mueller’s response.

Google on Backlinks’ Quality vs. Quantity

Muller advises site owners not to focus on the total number of links that point to their website.

Likewise, the total number of unique referring domains doesn’t matter much to Google. Instead, the search engine focuses on how relevant each link is to the website that it’s pointing to.

According to Mueller, that’s how Google determines how much to weigh individual links.

His response reads:

“We try to understand what is relevant for a website, how much should we weigh these individual links, and the total number of links doesn’t matter at all. “

Mueller pointed out that a site could build millions of links across several domains, and Google could ignore them all. However, a single link from a relevant source could send a stronger signal to the search engine.

He explained:

“Or there could be one really good link from one website out there that is, for us, a really important sign that we should treat this website as something that is relevant because it has that one link.”

Mueller’s response couldn’t be clearer in this matter — Google favors backlink quality over quantity.

Watch the full video here: 

Read More: Google’s Mueller on Whether Tags Impact Search Ranking

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