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What impact should we expect from links on search engine ranking?

If you’re building links to your website, or you’ve got somebody “doing SEO” who should be building links, how long will it take to have an effect? That’s the subject of a good article How Long Does Link Building Take to Influence Rankings? on the Moz blog.

The two ‘takeaways’ which I got from the article were these. Firstly, 10 weeks is a typical gestation period for a strong inbound link to have an impact on the position of your search result. And secondly, stronger external sites will have a far higher impact, and may do so slightly more quickly.

What do we mean by ‘stronger external sites’? The article refers to ‘DA’, which is ‘domain authority‘. This is a score developed by the Moz website which attempts to rate how well a website is ranking on search engines. You can see the Domain Authority of a site (including your own) using Open Site Explorer.


The author of the article writes: “I generally have a rule that I don’t want to spend any time or money on sites with DAs under 25. This chart shows that they’re not completely devoid of value, but be prepared for a very, very small change in rank with these guys.”

So there you have it: a way to determine sites to target for links, and an idea of when you should be expecting any impact. Don’t be impatient.

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