Link Profile Signals: How Important Backlink Quality is Over Quantity?

Building quality backlinks over quantity has always been the most debated point for digital marketers. Many claimed that as long as you build quality links from authoritative sources, you don’t need to worry about ranking. The other side of this argument claims that the quantity of backlinks has far more value than the quality.

But do these claims have any truth? If so, what’s more important: quality of links or quantity? Let’s find out. But first, let’s understand the importance of link building.

Link building is a process to acquire backlinks that act as a vote of confidence for search engines to rank your content.

Google, in particular, relies on the backlinks to determine a website’s rank-worthiness. They are the oldest and most trusted ranking factor for Google to position content on its SERP. Also, the same can be proven by this well-researched infographic by Ronkot.

Generally, it’s perceived that the more backlinks you build the higher chances your website has to rank at the top. In the initial days when links were introduced as a ranking factor, webmasters built as many links as possible.

They even used spammy ways like blog comments, link submission on directories, and others. Even though most of these links were from irrelevant or low authority domains, it helped webmasters to manipulate rankings.

But today, search engines have grown to understand the relative importance of backlinks & can easily recognize unnatural or unrelated links. Thus, acquiring links from such sources even if they have high domain ratings may impact negatively on your rankings.

Then what’s the best way?

While the quantity of links still matters, however, the source or relevancy of that link is a huge ranking signal. A study by Ahrefs revealed that pages without backlinks from high-authority sites have higher chances to get organic traffic than those with links from low-authority sites.

As per backlinko study, a site’s overall link authority strongly correlates with a higher ranking.

If this is true, what is an ideal number of links one should build?

The same study by Backlinko found that the #1 result in Google has an average of 3.8x more backlinks than pages that rank on #2 to #10.

The best thing to do here is to analyze the link profile of your competitors who rank at the top and try to build a similar profile with additional backlinks. In essence, more backlinks you can get from the quality and relevant sources will help you rank at the top of Google.


There’s no finite value, but surely the number of backlinks you acquire matters a lot for ranking at the top. However, the source of those links also matters equally if not more. So, it’s always a good practice to earn as many links as possible from quality, authoritative, and relevant sources.

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