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Is Link Building Speed ​​a Ranking Factor?

Is your site penalized for a dramatic increase in backlinks?Find out if this theory is really a Google ranking factor.

Getting tons of links quickly from other sites sounds like it should be a good thing for any website.

But does it really hurt rather than help your rankings?

Or is Link Velocity not important to Google at all?In fact, is it just some made-up SEO term?

Read on as we investigate the origins of link speed and whether it's something you need to really focus on in SEO.

Disclaimer: Building Link Speed ​​as a Ranking Factor

Link speed refers to the theory that the speed at which a website gets links has the potential to positively or negatively affect rankings.

link speed = Good

A few years ago, having high link speeds for a short period of time was seen by some as a good thing in the SEO industry, which could have a positive effect on your Google rankings.

Link speed is mentioned during articles and conferences – because in those days, link building was more about quantity than quality.

Want to get page rank fast?Quickly build a whole bunch of links to it.

However, the idea of ​​quantity over quality changed after Google introduced the Penguin algorithm..

link speed = Bad

The belief here is that acquiring links too quickly can result in a website being penalized or demoted in search results.

It's based on the idea that Google will interpret the rapid increase in inbound links as a sign that the site is trying to manipulate its search rankings.

Understandably, the concept of link speed is worrisome for everyone who doesn't want to be unintentionally penalized for acquiring links.

The growth of the website link profile is largely out of its control.

For example, if one website publishes a great piece of content, many other websites may cite it in a short period of time, resulting in many links at the same time.

If link speed works as SEO experts claim, the site in the example above could be penalized for not getting an influx of inbound links through no fault of its own.

Evidence: Building Link Speed ​​as a Ranking Factor

The origins of link speed in the SEO community can be traced back to the discovery of a Google patent filed in 2003.

The patent "Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data" includes ideas on how search engines should treat websites based on the growth of their link profiles.

In particular, the concept of link speed can be traced back to this passage:

"Although the number of backlinksRapid growthmay be a factor used by search engines 125 to rate documents, but it may also indicate an attempt tosend spam.Therefore, in this case, the search engine 125 may actually lower the score of the document to reduce the impact of spam.

Search Engine Magazine's Roger Montti singled out SEO experts' interpretations of the patent, noting how they overlooked parts of the patent that refuted their own theories.

For example, the patent goes on to define what "peak growth rate" is and how it can be a defining characteristic of unnatural link building.

The patent is not intended to penalize sites that see a rapid increase in inbound links.

This is about demoting sites that exhibit unusual spike patterns in inbound links over an extended period of time.

According to Monty:

"What this patent is really talking about is a flat natural growth rate versus peak and unnatural growth rates.

Over the course of a few months, there may be a spike in growth rates.This is very different from the link speed idea, which proposes that getting a lot of links in a short period of time will result in penalties.

The evidence doesn't match up with what experts say about link speed.

Link Speed ​​as a Ranking Factor: Our Verdict

There's no evidence that Google uses a signal called link speed that could negatively impact rankings.

Link speed is not an officially recognized term by Google.

When asked about it, a Google Search representative said that a site's links are evaluated on its own merit, not how many links it gets over a long period of time.

Here's an example of Google's John Mueller's response:

"It's not so much a question of how many links you get in what time period.It's really just...If these links are unnatural, or questionable from our perspective, then they are questionable.Like how many times or when it doesn't matter.

Google's Gary Illyes called it link speed more bluntly in a Reddit AMA.

Whether links are acquired quickly or slowly, what really matters is the quality of the individual links and how they are acquired (natural or unnatural).

Extended reading:

First Link Prioritization: Is It a Google Ranking Factor?

Are .gov Links a Google ranking factor?

URL as a Google Ranking Factor: What You Need to Know

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