How Long Does Backlink Indexing Take in 2022

We all know backlinks are the core of Google and other algorithms. Even Google has publically conceded that backlinks make up one of the three TOP ranking signals….while other large-scale studies have unanimously confirmed that links are the number ONE factor to ranking in the SERPS.

But what happens to that link once we send it out into the wilds of the interwebs? How does Google find that link? How long will it take for them to find the link, and more importantly, how long does it take them to add that link to the link profile of your site and thus be considered in the ranking algorithm?

These are the questions we aim at tackling. So buckle up folks, we’re diving in headfirst : )

So What is Backlink Indexing?

Think of a search engine as a massive database of information about web pages on the internet including information about links such as:

  • Link attributes (anchor text, no-follow / follow tags, etc
  • When that link was placed
  • Location of a link on the page
  • Whether or not it was contextual, used as a citation, or otherwise
  • Whether or not the link is dead/broken
  • Where that link points to
  • And much more…

When Google releases the hounds (i.e. the Google bot spiders) that crawl the web, these bots detect new links, links that are no longer live/on the page, and add those changes to their web index/database. These updates are then analyzed by Google’s many algorithms (yes there are many, not just the core algo), the result of which determines where your site/pages occur in the SERPS.

Ok Great, but when Will My Links Get Indexed?

That, my friend, is the million-dollar question. And the fact is, neither we nor anyone else can give you an exact answer. Some links get indexed within minutes, others in days, weeks, or months, and others NEVER get found.

So why even bother with an article about the topic then? Well, there are a number of factors that RELIABLY impact the time to the indexing of your links. And if you stick to these best practices you can often get your links indexed within minutes or hours.

Factors that Affect Indexing

a. The “authority” of the referring page and domain

Generally speaking, the more authoritative the domain/page, the faster your link will be indexed. Google tends to crawl highly ranked, authoritative sites much more regularly than other less popular domains.

But how do you measure the “authority of a domain” you ask? Well, Google certainly isn’t going to tell you, so you have a few options:

  1. Use common sense – any domain ranking in the top 1-5 positions for their primary keywords are likely authoritative domains in Google’s eyes. After all, they ranked them above all other domains in that niche.
  2. Use third-party tools – we’ve found that for “authority” the following are the best at scoring pages and domains (in order from best to worst):
  • Majestic SEO
  • MOZ

P.S. We are not affiliated with any of those services.

b. Domain Age

Domain age is a major factor in today’s SEO game. The older the domain, the more likely that they are an established site/brand with a solid presence online and thus more powerful links.

In fact, as it pertains to ranking, Salterra has noticed a trend:

  • A rank boost at months 3-4
  • Another at months 6-8
  • And again at months 12-14

Thus indicating that “new” sites go into a special “sandbox” of sorts while Google determines if they are here to last or just a “fly by night” operation. This makes sense as Google wouldn’t want to promote a site high in the SERPS only to have it disappear in months or a year from now.

c. Social Following & Popularity

Much of “authority” comes from users’ actually liking and engaging with the site and content. As such, having a strong social presence typically lends to the power a site has in the SERPS (at least to some extent), and tends to correlate well with how fast new links on those pages or sites get indexed.

d. Diverse Link Profile

Failing to diversify your link profile is a major spam signal to Google. As an example, if too large of a percentage of your links come from the same type of source (i.e. blog posts, guest posts, directory links, etc) then your site might get flagged and penalized as spam.

Likewise, the site on which you place a link will have a higher probability of getting crawled faster (and thus too your added backlink) if it has a strong and diverse link profile.

e. Syndication

Think “newsworthy.” Content that is newsworthy is often syndicated, published (in part or in whole), and shared across the internet at a lightning-fast pace.

This generates traffic and sometimes millions of backlinks on thousands of sites, each of which when crawled by Google, will pick up the link to your site.

So How Can I Get My Backlinks Indexed [fast]?

First, there may be some beneficial services out there…but there’s also a lot of snake oil and likely none of them are worth your hard-earned dollars.

And the reality is this: if you are gaining quality backlinks Google will ALWAYS find them. Links on more obscure sites (even if high quality) may take longer, and if you so desire, a little encouragement could be used (read on).

However, in general, Google takes up to 2 weeks to index most links and apply them to the algorithm for your site.

If you wish to give big G some encouragement (and if it really is worth your time and resources), here are a few FREE tactics that you could use to promote the page on which your new backlink(s) currently reside:

  • Use a free press release service to promote the page
  • Use free article submission services to promote the page
  • Spread snippets/content clips of the page to social media
  • Use Web 2.0s such as Blogger to promote your pages with links
  • Ping your links with link pinging services (only moderately effective nowadays)


We’re going to drop some cold hard truth on you now that you may not be ready for…so sit down and crack open a cold one or put on some chamomile tea.

If you are currently having problems getting backlinks to your site indexed by Google then one of three things is going on:

1. Non-Unique / Poor Quality Content

Your links are on sites/pages with content that is NOT unique, is of low quality, or has been deemed spammy by Google.

2. Your Backlinks Just Plain Suck

Hey, we warned you we were going to be harsh here. But seriously, it’s not 1999. In 2018 and beyond backlinks on social profiles, bookmark pages, forum profiles, etc just don’t work. Not only that they’re likely doing you more harm than good anyway.

3. You’re Placing Links on Sites with “no-index” tags

As crazy as it sounds, some sites place “noindex” tags on their pages…typically on new pages that are being updated or for whatever reasoning they have.

To see if a page has the “noindex” tag use the “inspect element” option on Chrome. You’ll be able to find the tag in the head section of the HTML

If none of those apply, then your best bet is to be patient. As hard as that is, be patient. And rest assured that Google is GOOD at what they do. They will find your links, and in a natural pattern that signals to them nice WHITEHAT organic growth.

About Salterra Digital Services

Salterra was started in 2011 by Terry and Elisabeth Samuels; nothing fancy and nothing pretentious. Quality work at a fair price. Starting with a web design focus, they both quickly learned that while having an amazing website to highlight your business is a great start, marketing is intrinsically foundational for our clients. When several clients were not seeing results through the search efforts of other companies, Terry took it to the next level. While digging into SEO and marketing, he found something he was very passionate about. His inner geek pushed him to focus solely on the data and analytics side of the business while Elisabeth built on her creative and visual strength and expanded the design side. In the industry, it is not always common to have both designers and digital marketing so closely connected, but to them it made perfect sense. Salterra’s World Headquarters is in Tempe Arizona

Terry and Elisabeth are the Hosts of Roundtable SEO Mastermind Series and SEO Spring Training Conference.