Backlink building ranking timeline?

Aug 27, 2018
Hi Everyone,

I was trying to find some more literature on this but except for a moz blog post I could only find anecdotes. What I am talking about is keyword volatility after you build a backlink and how long it takes to stabalize. Lets forget about onsite seo and imagine we have everything taken care of well.

I have been tackling this one keyword now for 2 months and have had trouble getting it past the top 10-7. My highest rank was #7 for a day then it bounced back to 20. Most of the other keywords I target are pretty stable other than this one. All onsite best practices relevance, interlinking, onsite, duplicating top results structures, but its still bouncing around like crazy.
I got to thinking I have been building links consistently every week for two months, perhaps my links are causing it to bounce like this dropping down as the algorithm tries to confuse me and if i hold steady I should reach top positioning? Been using all DA30 links from a reputable vendor.

Orange is plural version of the keyword- blue, is singular

The moz study I alluded to said that for some lower quality links you first drop in rank for the first few weeks before your rank jumps up. Has anyone seen any more updated research on this. The following picture puts into light this effect, looks like for domains under 25 da your going to see a drop the first 2 months. With Da over that youll only see slight changes in first 2 months than the boost will come after that.

Keep in mind this photo from their article is 3 years old and there have been a ton of google updates since then, was wondering if anyone had anything more updated or done some experimenting


reference :


Keyword Sheeter - The Bestest Keyword Tool
BuSo Pro
Jan 29, 2015
Speed of link impact appears to correlate with some kind of crawl priority association.

Google plays different games based on the various classification indexes they've placed your site and the related keywords you're targeting in.

You can't generalize like this and get much actionable information.

If you really want to take a shot at it, you need to look at the volatility in the serp cluster over time. Serp Woo is a pretty decent public tool you can use for this.

In my experience even though you can zero in on whats required given your components and your targets its almost never worth doing this kind of analysis. You get dialed in and they proceed to reweigh things.

You could have spent just as much effort on better content and moar sites.


Staff member
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Sep 3, 2014
Your links will absolutely cause some bouncing if they're powerful enough. I think it's the amount of page rank that triggers it. We talk about this a lot. You can do a search for rank transition and find tons of info about the randomization of effects after getting links or tweaking on-page. This can last up to 90 days until you have stability. Sometimes less, sometimes immediate.

But that's not counting things like throttling, aging, branding, other authority or trust metrics, internal page rank flow, etc.

I don't think there's any way to really give a framework beyond the above. I know @CCarter once crunched a bunch of SERPWoo data and determined the average age of the #1 or the top 10 spots. That doesn't give you a timeline or even a clear indicator of "it takes X days" but what it does do is show you how rare it is for a page to rank in the top spots under that average age.