How Long Do Backlinks Take to Work?

How long do backlinks take to work

With two decades of experience in link building, Marketix Digital has established a robust track record in enhancing client websites through strategic backlink acquisition.


Over the years, we have successfully implemented thousands of backlinks across a diverse range of industries, significantly boosting online visibility and search engine credibility for our clients.


Despite the evolving online competition, backlinks continue to play an important role in search engine optimisation (SEO) in 2024. They remain a big factor in assessing a website's authority, credibility, and relevance.


Today, the emphasis has shifted towards the quality rather than the quantity of backlinks, aligning with the latest best practices in SEO. This strategic focus ensures that our backlinking efforts yield substantial, long-lasting results in competitive search rankings.


Many websites continue to integrate backlink building into their overall SEO strategies. However, one common question arises: How Long Do Backlinks Take to Work?


Short Answer: Backlinks can start to affect search rankings from a few weeks to several months, depending on various influencing factors.


For a comprehensive answer, continue to the following section where we explore these factors in depth.

When Do Backlinks Start Working

When Do Backlinks Start Working?


In SEO, backlinks from well-known, authoritative websites like the BBC or Sydney Morning Herald can sometimes make an immediate difference. These high-profile links quickly tell search engines that your site is trustworthy and relevant.


As Brian Dean, an SEO expert, puts it: “The impact of a backlink doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It’s highly dependent on various factors, including the site’s authority and the relevance of the content.”


The exact time it takes for backlinks to improve your website's search rankings can vary. A few key factors influence this:



  • Where the Link Comes From: Links from highly reputable websites or websites with over a million traffic can significantly improve your search ranking swiftly. For instance, a backlink from a globally recognised news outlet such as Herald Sun or The News Daily or a leading industry authority carries more weight and can accelerate your SEO performance more than links from lesser-known sites.
  • How Relevant the Link Is: The effectiveness of a backlink also depends on its relevance to your business area. Links from websites that are closely aligned with your industry or niche are likely to have a stronger impact.

    For example, if you operate a home improvement business, a backlink from a well-regarded home improvement blog that frequently discusses topics related to renovation and DIY projects will be more beneficial than a link from a generic lifestyle blog. This specific alignment not only boosts SEO but also directs relevant traffic to your site.
  • Link Quality: The trustworthiness and SEO strength of the linking site are crucial. High-quality links are those that come from sites with a solid reputation and strong SEO metrics. Search engines tend to value these links higher, reflecting positively on your site’s credibility.
  • Your Website's Current Standing: The existing search engine standing of your website influences how quickly new backlinks can affect your ranking. Websites with already established credibility and a higher SEO ranking are likely to see quicker improvements from new backlinks compared to those with lower rankings.


For businesses in sectors like healthcare, technology, or professional services, getting backlinks from leading sources in their industry can lead to faster SEO improvements. For instance, a healthcare provider linked by a top healthcare journal, or a tech company mentioned by a well-known tech news site, might see quicker results.


To illustrate this, let's look at two cases: noticed improvements in their search rankings as little as two weeks after starting a backlink campaign from a fresh domain, showcasing the power of well-strategised backlinks.



Catwheel Referring Domains in 1 Year


Catwheel Organic Keywords


On the other hand, saw a more gradual improvement, with significant results coming in after eight months where they overtook the Yellow Pages. 


These two examples show that the impact of backlinks can differ a lot. Some businesses might see fast changes, while others might need to wait longer for big results. This is important for businesses to understand when they're planning how to grow their presence over time.


australianbusinessdirectory referring domains in 2 years
australianbusinessdirectory in over 8 months


In our experience, more competitive & regulated industries, especially those that fit under the YMYL categories, can take longer to kick in and make an impact.

Real-World Case Studies

Real-World Backlink Building Case Studies


These case studies by Marketix Digital not only illustrate the importance of backlink strategies in SEO but also provide real-world examples of how such strategies, when effectively implemented, can lead to significant business growth and a stronger business profile.


Case Study - Circles Life Australia: In the competitive telecommunications sector, Circles Life Australia faced challenges like low search engine rankings and intense competition from established companies. Marketix Digital’s strategy for Circles Life Australia included keyword optimisation, website restructuring, and an aggressive backlink acquisition campaign.


The results were impressive: achieving the #1 ranking for target keywords within four months and securing Page 1 rankings for several competitive keywords, which led to increased online sales and reduced PPC advertising reliance.


Case Study - Pro-Fit Insulation Contractors: In the highly competitive insulation industry, Pro-Fit Insulation Contractors aimed to expand their customer base and market share on the Gold Coast. Their challenges included low search engine rankings and a need for effective lead generation.


Marketix Digital’s solution included a comprehensive SEO strategy with on-page and off-page optimisation and a strategic link-building campaign to improve domain authority. This approach led to Pro-Fit achieving #1 rankings for highly competitive keywords, generating over 100 hot enquiries per month, and establishing search marketing as their primary growth method


For companies working on their SEO, understanding backlink indexing helps in planning their marketing and content strategies more effectively. Knowing that it takes time for new backlinks to be recognised allows for more realistic expectations regarding the impact of SEO efforts.

Infographic on How Long Do Backlinks Take to Work

Understanding the Time Factor of Backlink Indexing


Backlink indexing is key for businesses wanting to improve their presence on the internet. It's about how search engines like Google notice and add new links to your website.


In simple terms, this process is how search engines track links to your site. When a site links to yours, search engines need to find and recognise these links for them to help your website's search rankings.


The time it takes for search engines to find your backlinks varies. Danny Sullivan, a respected authority in SEO, explains, “Search engines need time to process and recognise new links. This delay is normal and varies depending on many factors.” It can be fast, just a few days, or take weeks. This is important for growing businesses because it affects how soon they might see better search rankings.


Factors That Affect Indexing Speed:


To help your business get noticed online, it's important to understand how quickly search engines find links to your website. Here are the main things that affect this speed:


  • Website Popularity: If a famous website links to you, search engines will likely notice it faster. So, getting a link from a big name in your industry can help speed this up.
  • New Content: Search engines focus more on fresh, latest content. So, if a well-known site talks about your new product, the link to your website might get recognised quickly.
  • Different Types of Links: Having a variety of links is good. Search engines prefer when your website gets new links over time from different places, rather than many links all at once.


Knowing these points can help your business be seen more online. Try to get links from popular sites, keep your content updated, and aim for a range of different links to make search engines notice you faster and improve your online presence.


How To Evaluate if My Current Link Building Campaign Is Working or Not Working


Evaluating the effectiveness of a link-building campaign is essential to determine whether your SEO efforts are paying off. Here’s how you can assess if your link-building strategy is successful:


1. Monitoring Search Engine Rankings: The most direct indicator of a successful link-building campaign is an improvement in search engine rankings for targeted keywords. Regularly check your rankings and note any positive changes or trends.


2. Analyse Traffic Sources: Use analytics tools to monitor the traffic coming to your website. An increase in referral traffic from the sites linking back to you can be a strong sign that those backlinks are valuable.


3. Check Backlink Quality: Not all backlinks are created equal. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz can help you analyse the quality of the backlinks you've gained. Focus on metrics like domain authority and the relevance of the linking site to your industry.


4. Evaluate Link Growth: Sustainable SEO strategies should show a gradual increase in the number of backlinks over time. A sudden spike may indicate low-quality or spammy link acquisition tactics, which can be penalised by search engines.


5. Assess Keyword Relevance: Ensure that the anchor text used in backlinks is relevant to the keywords you aim to rank for. Irrelevant anchor texts can dilute your SEO efforts and may not contribute to your ranking objectives.


6. Conversion Rates: Ultimately, the goal of increased traffic from backlinks is to boost conversions. Whether it's signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or filling out a contact form, tracking conversions can help you understand the real value of your backlinks.


7. Competitor Comparison: Regularly compare your backlink profile with that of your competitors. This will give you insights into where you stand in your industry and whether you need to modify your strategy.


By consistently monitoring these factors, you can effectively gauge the success of your link-building campaign and make informed decisions to enhance your SEO strategy.

Our Final Thoughts


In SEO, it's important to know that backlinks don't work instantly. They are key for helping your website rank better in search engine results, but the results take time to show. How long? Echoing the sentiments of many SEO experts, Matt Cutts, formerly of Google, advises, “Focus on quality, not just quantity, and be patient. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.”


Well, sometimes you might see changes in a few weeks, but often it can take several months or more to see the full effect. This timing can vary based on factors like the quality of the backlinks and how competitive your field is. So, it's a slow process and part of a long-term plan to improve your website's visibility online.


If you’re looking to improve your website's SEO, Marketix Digital, an SEO Agency in Sydney, can help. We focus on creating strong backlink strategies that make a real difference in the long run. Our team is here to help your business, big or small, improve its online presence through smart SEO.


Contact Marketix Digital to start improving your website's SEO with our expert backlink strategies. We’re ready to help you make your website more visible in search engine results and attract more customers. Let’s work together to boost your online success.