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Backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors for SEO success. But how you build links and the types of links you acquire make all the difference.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore over 100+ insightful link building statistics that will help shape data-driven backlink acquisition strategies in 2023 as well as will help you to plan link building efforts for 2024.

Defining Link Building

Link building refers to the process of acquiring backlinks from external websites to your own website. These backlinks act as votes of confidence which help search engines like Google determine the authority and trustworthiness of a page.

The more high-quality backlinks your content accrues, the higher it will rank in search results. But low-quality or spammy links can actually hurt your rankings.

Let’s delve into the key link building stats marketers need to know.

Impact of NoFollow Links

According to a LinkedIn poll published on 26th January 2024 asking SEO experts whether Nofollow links directly help in improving website rank on Google search or not:

  • 56% of experts think Nofollow directly helps improve website rank on search
  • 44% of SEO experts consider nofollow as not helpful for improving ranks.

Link Building Importance and Impact

  • Domains linking to a page strongly correlate with higher Google rankings (Backlinko)
  • 58.1% of SEOs say links substantially influence search rankings (Spiralytics)
  • 53% believe links will remain important in future, 41% say less so (BrightLocal)
  • 92% think links will still be key in 5 years (BrightEdge)
  • 41% say link building is the biggest SEO challenge (BrightEdge)
  • 13% believe link building is the most valuable SEO tactic today (BrightEdge)

Link Quantity and Quality

  • Pages ranking #1 on Google have 3.8x more links than #2-10 results (Backlinko)
  • Just 5% of sites online have backlinks (Spiralytics)
  • 2.2% of content produces more than one backlink (Orbit Media)
  • 93.8% prioritize link quality over quantity (Authority Hacker)
  • High domain authority correlates with link quality (Moz)

Most Effective Link Building Tactics

  • Content marketing used by 90% of marketers for links (Orbit Media)
  • Guest posting used by 11.7% for links (BrightLocal)
  • Link exchanges used by 10.9% for links (BrightLocal)
  • Long-form content (3,000+ words) gets 77% more links (Fractl)
  • List posts have the most links on average (OptinMonster)
  • Competitor backlink analysis nets high-quality links

Link Building Tools and Metrics

  • Top tools are Google Search Console (45.3%), BuzzStream (14.8%), Ahrefs (8.5%) (BrightLocal)
  • Key metrics are domain authority (65%), domain rating (48%), page authority (36%) (BrightLocal)

Link Building Strategies and Attributes

  • 34% focus more on external links, 24% on internal, 42% on both (BrightEdge)
  • Include 2-3 internal links per post (51% of SEOs) (BrightEdge)
  • Dofollow links preferred but 48% use nofollow too (Orbit Media)
  • Anchor text diversification recommended but 52% use brand anchors (Fractl)

Link Building Outreach

  • 8.5% cold email response rate (QuickSprout)
  • 10-15% average connect rate for cold calls (CloserIQ)
  • 7 attempts needed to reach executives (Merrill Associates)
  • Personalized, insight-driven outreach converts better

Emerging Link Building Trends

  • Original research content attracts more links
  • Nofollow links and brand mentions becoming more valuable
  • Link quality and costs rising amid more competition
  • AI and automation enhancing link prospecting

Link Building Costs

  • 25% of SEO budget allocated to links on average (Ignite Visibility)
  • 46% spend $10,000+ annually on links (BrightLocal)
  • $150-$500+ cost per link depending on authority (AudienceGain)
  • Businesses spending $2,000-$2,500 per month per link builder (Gong)

Link Building Benchmarks

  • 7.2 new referring domains per month for top results (Ahrefs)
  • 5-15% link growth from new domains monthly (Authority Hacker)
  • 15+ new links weekly for active outreach (Advertisement)
  • Links can take 1-3 months to impact rankings (BrightLocal)

Bringing It All Together

The data shows that intelligent link building remains crucial for SEO success in 2024. To build an effective link acquisition strategy:

  • Set targets for monthly link growth
  • Prioritize securing links from high-authority domains
  • Leverage both internal links and external links
  • Develop robust outreach processes and optimization
  • Combine links with strong on-page SEO and content
  • Track link building KPIs like referring domains

With the right strategies and commitment to execution, your link building efforts can drive tangible improvements in search rankings and organic traffic.

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