How Many Backlinks Do You Need?
It's quite obvious to most people how important links are to your website. But how many is enough?
I can't give you an exact amount, there is no exact amount, this is for the same reason that I try not to offer an exact amount of how many I'll build a client at a sales pitches.
The reason is that it depends on a number of factors. Primarily, how competitive the keywords you have want to rank for are. Start by checking how many inbound links that the sites ranking above you have, using Yahoo Site Explorer to give you an idea of how many links you will need. This could be a handful or it could be thousands.
I'm in a Competitive Market...
In that case, I recommend targeting less competitive keywords to begin with, for which blogging can be a great tool. This post for example is trying to rank for "How Many Backlinks Do You Need?", while my ultimate goal is to keep pushing the Receptional website up for the term "link building". That is a long term goal, one of which we're closer to achieving month-on-month, despite the growing and aggressive competition we face. In the meantime, I am ranking well for niche phrases, attracting visitors to the site and hoping to obtain links in the process. Link building is very much an on-going and multi-faceted undertaking.
How many links is enough?
I believe that you can never have enough links, as the competition is always growing and looking to overtake you. Continuously building quality links is the key.
The answer to the question is that it's hard to determine how many links you need, when a bigger issue is the quality of those links.
You have probably come across many websites with few links ranking higher than those with several. If that comes down to link building and not SEO, then it's about the quality of the links. While it's normal for your site to naturally attain poor quality links, it's the quality ones that ultimately help you rank higher in the SERPs. Quality links are what you should be aiming to build and ideally, yes, there should be lots of them.
What are Quality links?
In terms of building quality links to help your website rank, firstly check that the links you are building are clean. Here's a guide to how to check for clean links. The ideal places you want links from are pages that are ranking where you want to be seen (ie high in the SERPs).
Generally though this will be a case of building a link on your competitor's site, which is an unlikely event. In that case, aim to build links on similar, related and well-ranked websites. Sites that have lots of quality links themselves are able to pass on good link juice.
Good luck with your link building. Please check out my previous articles for help with other areas of link building.