Securing high quality backlinks both to and from content on your website has quickly become a staple of modern search engine optimisation. By associating your web pages with high authority sources and high quality content produced by third party sites, search engines are more likely to boost your visibility by pushing your content higher up the ranks on Google.
As you might expect, the efficacy of considered link-building efforts is backed by hard data. In fact, a study conducted by Ahrefs found a direct link between the number of backlinks on any given web page and an increase in organic traffic. In short, quality backlinks help search engines to boost good content.
However, integrating link-building into your SEO strategy isn’t quite as simple as identifying high quality sites and acquiring relevant links. Just as search engines need to crawl and index entire web pages before sites can be properly ranked in search engine results, new backlinks must be indexed by Google before they can impact your website’s ranking. The problem? Indexing backlinks can be a long process.
In some cases, it can take up to 10 weeks for Google and other search engines to index your backlinks, delaying any measurable boost to your website’s ranking. However, there are ways to get your backlinks indexed quickly, sometimes even within a single day, provided you’re willing to learn a few clever tricks.
If you’re looking to improve your website’s visibility, and increase the chances of getting your backlinks indexed faster than your competitors, you must understand how search engines view backlink indexing.
Backlinks connect your web pages with content produced by other authoritative websites, through well-placed hyperlinks in things like blog posts and marketing materials. When a reader clicks on a backlink to your website inserted in a blog post on a high authority web page, Google and other search engines will view this as a vote of confidence in your page’s content, improving related search engine rankings and boosting your overall site authority.
The higher the number of backlink URLs pointing to content on your website, the faster your brand will climb up the search engine rankings. However, as search engines understand how to identify relevant backlinks and links from high authority sites, quantity must always be balanced with content relevancy.
Backlink indexing is the process search engines go through to identify, analyse and register all backlink URLs pointing to your site. Search engine bots crawl through viewable web pages, searching for links inserted in all the pages of all the websites registered in their databases. If a link is found, the algorithm will follow it back to its source, analysing the website’s authority to be reflected in search engine results.
With countless backlinks generated by vast numbers of sites each day, the indexing process can often take longer than most website owners would like. However, SEO strategists and marketers may notice that high quality sites typically have their links indexed much faster than the average blog. Is this by design? In a way, but getting your backlinks indexed quickly can be achieved by a website of any size.
While search engines will generally prioritise the number of backlinks pointing to your pages during the indexing process, this isn’t the only factor used to determine backlink indexing speeds. To help search engines highlight quality content, backlink indexing processes will also account for factors such as the authority of the link source, how often pages are updated and the amount of traffic the site generates.
If you want to index backlinks fast, you must make sure to account for the following key factors:
Now that you understand how backlinks are indexed by search engines, you’ll be in a better position to start optimising your content to improve your website’s backlink profile. Taking into account the factors mentioned above, there are a few tried and tested methods to make sure your backlinks get indexed by Google promptly. Consider the following best practices to help improve your backlink indexing strategy.
In order to acquire backlinks from high authority websites to your content, the content you push out must be high quality. So, the more engaging and shareable your content is, the higher the quality of links you’ll receive.
Learning how to make content rank is central to any effective SEO strategy though, as the more visible your content is, the higher the chance is of other sites referencing your content or citing it in blogs they write. If you have older posts on your site that aren’t suitably optimised, it’s worth reviewing your website and revitalising your content.
If you’re the site owner of a domain that’s been running for several years, you’re likely to have amassed a decent number of backlinks. While quantity is viewed as important by indexing tools, any backlinks attached to low-traffic or spam-filled sites may well be negatively affecting your search engine rankings.
To ensure your backlinks get indexed quickly, it’s essential that you audit your backlink profile. What is a backlink profile? Simply put, this just describes the total number of backlinks pointing to your website. SEO specialists can help you filter backlinks by Domain Authority, organic traffic, spam scores, and a host of other metrics, separating high quality sites from those that search engines view poorly, improving overall quality to ensure they index backlinks fast.
Working with high ranking sites relevant to your industry can be a great way to extend the reach of your content to a wider audience, as well as help you generate more backlinks from high authority sites. Creating well-researched and engaging posts to be hosted on respected third party websites and shared on related social media pages, helps you secure backlinks from authoritative sources.
Nurturing mutually beneficial professional relationships with similarly-positioned content creators leads audiences and search engines to view content in a positive light, associating your brand with authority, engagement and relevance. In turn, search engines like Google will notice any increase in stable traffic between your site and your collaborators’ web pages, causing algorithms to index backlinks much faster.
As search engines continue to improve the way that algorithms analyse and detect high quality content, customer reviews and audience sentiment are becoming increasingly important. To ensure your content and your backlink profile is optimised with this in mind, it’s advisable to remember the E-E-A-T strategy:
In other words, your content, backlink profile and web pages should focus on these four principles, with all the marketing materials you produce tailored to address one or more of these points.
In addition to the best practices above, modern brands have access to a wide variety of extra tools and methodologies that can be used to speed up the backlink indexing process. From programs hosted and developed by search engines themselves, to third party indexing services and clever ways to optimise your own web pages, let’s look into a few actionable ways to help you index your backlinks much faster.
Generally speaking, the fastest and most reliable way to ensure your backlink URLs are indexed as soon as possible is to manually submit new backlinks using Google Search Console. Accessing this tool will give you a detailed analysis of the last time your backlinks were crawled and indexed, helping you to identify and address any errors in the indexing process in order to optimise later backlink indexing tasks.
Setting up a Google Search Console account is a fairly easy process, which if done correctly, can result in the search engine indexing your backlinks within 24 hours. However, only the site owner of the page hosting your link can submit a backlink indexing request. This means you either need to own the site in question, or be able to ask the website owner to submit your link to Google Search Console themselves.
To set up a free Google Search Console account, just stick to the following steps:
Aside from Google Search Console, there are a number of third party indexing services available to site owners that can be used to index backlinks with both Google and other search engines. Well-respected and popular SEO sites like Ahrefs, SEMrush and Moz all offer their own link indexing services, meaning if you’re already using tools produced by one of these sites, adopting such a service should be fairly easy.
In terms of functionality, most popular tools will help you to index links in a similar way. Your chosen tool will immediately notify search engines of any changes made to live web pages, prompting each engine to crawl and index all newly generated backlinks as soon as they’re added. This form of direct indexing helps you to index backlinks as soon as they’re made live, but there are a few downsides to take note of.
Unlike Google Search Console, third party services typically require a recurring monthly fee paid to the provider, so you’ll need to factor this cost into your marketing budget. In addition, these indexing tools will need to be integrated into your website and any sites hosting your backlinks. While most providers do simplify this process via readily available plugins, implementation is an extra logistical consideration.
In some cases, brands may have Google Search Console or another third party service set up to index backlinks, but notice no difference in the speed at which backlinks are indexed. The most likely cause of this issue is a problem with the way the linking page is formatted. If the web page hosting your backlink isn’t formatted in line with common link-building standards, search engines may fail to identify your links.
Primarily, you must check that backlinks are registered as “do-follow” links in the host site’s URL. For Google to index backlinks, its algorithms must be able to quickly identify which websites link with each other, this is achieved by flagging backlinks in URLs as either “do-follow” or “no-follow” links. In short, links flagged as “no-follow” won’t be added to Google’s index and will not impact general search results.
To check how your backlinks are classified, either use a URL inspection tool to search for relevant tags in the host’s pages, or perform a manual analysis of your backlinks by following the steps laid out below:
If your URL inspection tool has determined that your link has been improperly classified, fixing the issue is fairly simple, you’ll just need to ask the site owner to remove the “no-follow” text from the HTML code.
Many of the methods used to speed up backlink indexing involve ways to optimise your website in line with common indexing processes. In other words, the easier it is for a search engine to identify, analyse and evaluate your website, the faster your backlinks will be indexed. A simple way to do this is to adjust your XML sitemap to make any changes to your web pages much more obvious to indexing algorithms.
An XML sitemap, or site index, is a file that lists all of your site’s essential pages in a format that’s easily understood by search engines. Optimising this file by labelling pages clearly means that when a search engine comes across your website, its algorithm will know which pages to crawl and index for backlinks.
The most effective way to update your sitemap is to submit changes directly to Google Search Console. Site owners may either use a well-respected third party sitemap generator tool to create an uploadable site index txt file, or use Google’s native Search Console sitemap analyser which can be accessed by:
Similarly to a website’s sitemap, robots.txt files act as a signpost for search engines, highlighting which pages should be crawled and indexed. This plain text file can be found in the domain’s root directory. If a website contains no robots.txt file, indexing will take longer as algorithms will crawl the entire website.
Locating and analysing your robots.txt file may require a little assistance from a programmer, as you’ll need to access and navigate through file managers and similar programs that can differ depending on the domain’s host. If your backlinks are being hosted on a website that you do not own, it might be worth discussing robots.txt files with the owner to ensure their pages are optimised for Google’s index.
Finally, make sure to only enter into backlink outreach agreements with high quality websites, or in other words, any site that a search engine would view as an authoritative source. All link indexing processes prioritise websites with a high Domain Authority score, so if your backlinks are only ever hosted on such domains, they’ll be indexed much faster and your website will likely be ranked higher in search results.
Thankfully, there are plenty of free tools available online that can help you to analyse different website’s authority metrics. The most popular options would be Moz’s Link Explorer and Ahrefs’ Website Authority Checker, both of which allow you to input a website’s URL to be analysed and then issued a 0-100 score.
Before linking to or from another website, make sure to use a URL inspection tool like those mentioned above to speed up the link indexing process. In addition, make sure that the links you choose to include are relevant to the page in which they’re inserted. Natural links anchored using relevant keywords will always be prioritised by Google indexing bots, so sticking to this practice will benefit your SEO efforts.
Now that we’ve covered the most effective ways to get your new backlinks indexed quickly, it’s worth going over a few tangentially related link-building factors that could help to boost your site in terms of search results and rankings. From social media to image link indexing, below are a few helpful insights.
Generally speaking, a website should have around 40-50 backlinks to its homepage and anywhere up to 100 backlinks to each individual page, if the website owner wishes to rank competitively for SEO. While the number of backlinks is important, the quality of said links must also be high to have any measurable impact on search results rankings, so always check Domain Authority scores before acquiring backlinks.
Yes, securing backlinks on social media platforms is a great way to boost your search engine rankings, while also helping you to advertise your content to a wider audience. Alongside improving your reach among consumers, having your content shared on social media will increase the chances that industry experts notice your brand, offering new opportunities to gain backlinks and increase authority metrics.
When you create internal links between self-produced content on your web pages, you help search engines understand the layout of your site. While not as important with regards to authority, engines will consider pages that receive more internal links to be more valuable to your brand, boosting these pages in search results to ensure that this content receives more exposure than pages with fewer internal links.
Images in your content can be indexed by search engines, provided that you’re naming images for SEO. When search engines crawl your site, bots will analyse image file names to determine the context of the content. If images are given descriptive names, they’ll be more likely to show up in Google image search results. Website owners can use a URL inspection tool to view image file names from a search engine’s perspective, adjusting this text to include an SEO image description can help to improve search rankings.
SEO outreach and the collection of high quality backlinks is only part of the puzzle when it comes to search engine optimisation. For a brand owner to maximise their online visibility, multiple ranking factors must be equally considered. For example, is your content optimised in line with SEO localisation? If you want your brand to outrank similarly-positioned companies in your locality, you’ll need to produce well written content targeting area-specific keywords and search terms commonly used by your audience.
Alongside a local SEO audit, brands must ensure that targeted keywords match search intent. In other words, the phrases you target should match common terms that your audience inputs into the Google search bar. Additionally, factors like page loading speeds, engagement metrics, social media shares and organic traffic all affect overall rankings, which is why many brands rely on help from SEO professionals.
Securing authoritative backlinks is central to any effective modern search engine optimisation strategy. However, for acquired backlinks to have any measurable effect on search engine rankings, site owners must understand how to ensure they’re indexed quickly, correctly and frequently by search engine bots.
Brands can increase the likelihood of these outcomes by sticking to a number of backlink indexing best practices, optimising content to help search engines identify new backlinks more efficiently. By working with high Domain Authority sites to secure backlink exchanges, ensuring links and sitemaps are properly formatted and submitting page updates directly to search engines, indexing speeds can be improved.
If you need help securing authoritative backlinks to well-respected websites in your industry, or feel like your link-building strategy would benefit from professional optimisation, contact our SEO experts today.