How Long Does it Take for Links to Index?

You want your backlinks to start working for you as soon as possible. The faster Google indexes your link, the sooner you can start earning traffic and boosting your online reputation. So, how long does it take for links to index?


The simple answer: anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.


That doesn’t offer enough insight, so let’s dig deeper into how Google indexes links and when you can expect to see results.


What is Backlink Indexing?


Backlink indexing is Google’s way of acknowledging your website, content, or backlink exists. Indexing is the process of exploring your website content and downloading and organizing it in a database. If your content isn’t in this database, Google won’t display it in search results.


Once you create content on your website or a third-party site, you want Google to know it so you can start ranking in organic searches.


Google sends out web crawlers to discover newly published content so it can:


  • Know it exists
  • Understand what the content is about
  • Rank it in relevant search results


Once your link is indexed, your content has the potential to show up in search results.


Google does all of the above automatically. In most cases, there’s nothing extra for you to do once you publish the content.


However, this process can take time. The internet is a big place, and it’s growing every day. Web crawlers have a lot of distance to cover, which is why your link might not be indexed right away.


How Long Does It Take for Links to Index?


According to Google, it can take several days or even weeks to index new content. 


Understanding how Google indexes backlinks can help you predict how long it might take to see results. It takes into account things like:


  • The website’s popularity
  • Content quality
  • Domain authority
  • Domain age
  • Value of the content (according to Google’s best guess)


Take the New York Times, for example. This website publishes content daily and has a strong reputation for quality. It also receives more than 1 billion website visits each month. In this case, Google indexes new content quickly, usually within hours.


A website that doesn’t have worldwide authority might take longer to index. 


This is why it’s essential to consider the source when building backlinks. Backlinks are easy to get if you neglect the quality aspect. But if you’re choosing websites with low domain authority, low traffic, or poor content quality, you have a lower chance of your backlinks working for you.


Does Google Index All Backlinks?


Google does not index every page or backlink. 


Google’s John Mueller says that for large websites, only about 10% of pages get indexed. And on popular websites, about 16% of pages never get indexed.


This can help or harm your backlink strategy, depending on where your link comes from.


Not indexing your backlink immediately means having to wait for any SEO benefits of the backlink. You might not get as much traffic because the page containing your link isn’t getting search traffic. Plus, your backlink won’t appear in your backlink profile, which means you won’t see any benefits to your domain authority or rankings for the target keyword.


But slow or no indexing can also be helpful. Google applies these same rules to all websites, so it can help cut down on competition by ignoring low-quality content or spammy sites.


There are nearly 2 billion websites globally, with about 252,000 new websites created every day. Google’s crawlers stay busy and constantly recrawl websites to find authoritative content. This is a good thing, since Google might not index a page at first but will do so in the future.  


Something to keep in mind when building backlinks is that Google tends to avoid indexing content from spammy or low-quality sites. In fact, all search engines are less likely to index these sites because they don’t want to deliver poor-quality results to searchers.


So if you’ve played the waiting game and still don’t have your backlinks indexed, you may need to intervene and find out why.


4 Ways to Index Backlinks Faster


If patience isn’t your strong suit, you can be proactive in getting your backlinks indexed faster. Let’s look at four solutions so you can start getting as much SEO link juice as possible.


4 Ways to Index Backlinks Faster


1. Reach Out to the Publisher


As the website owner, you have a lot of power in ensuring your content gets crawled and indexed. But when you’re guest posting, you’re at the mercy of the publisher. 


If your link hasn’t been indexed, consider reaching out to the publisher. They may be willing to request Google recrawl their website or submit a sitemap. 


They can also use the URL Inspection Tool to learn why a page hasn’t been indexed. The publisher can decide how to proceed based on this information.


There might also be the rare case that someone successfully requested a URL removal. The website admin can open the URL Removal Tool to see if this is the case and revoke the request.


2. Share the URL on Social Media


Social media sharing can help you speed up the link indexing process.




By driving traffic to the content. 


Traffic is one of Google’s ranking signals. More traffic indicates more interest, which can signal that the content is high quality.


When Google sees people visiting the content, it can make a better indexing decision.


Twitter (now known as X) is arguably the best tool for this. If you Tweet your backlinks, Google will notice them and crawl them, which speeds up indexing.


Bonus points if you can get retweets for your backlinks.


This is one instance where more is more. The more comments and retweets you get, the more likely Google will index your backlinks quickly.


3. Publish a Temporary Link to the Content on Your Own Website


When you guest post on others’ websites and don’t own the content, it’s harder to take control of link indexing. One workaround is to publish a backlink to the content on your own website.


Publish content containing the link to the URL, making sure to follow linking best practices. 


Then, use Google Search Console and enter your URL in the link inspection tool. Request indexing, then let Google work its magic.


You’ve essentially told Google about the content containing your backlink. Voila — faster indexing is yours.


Here’s the crucial last step: Once your backlink has been indexed, remove the link on your own site to avoid potential link exchange penalties.


4. Build Backlinks from Authoritative Sites


Perhaps the most direct way to get your backlinks indexed fast is to build speed into the strategy. 


Choose only high-authority websites for your backlink strategy so you can sit back and trust the process.


Authoritative websites typically have no issue getting indexed by Google. Ultimately, you’ll save time and hassle by making sure the job is done right the first time.


You can use Moz to check the website’s domain authority. DA ranges from 1 to 100, with higher numbers having higher authority.


You can also use Neil Patel’s Website Traffic Checker to estimate traffic for any domain. 


Partnering with a dedicated backlink-building service gives you the best value for your time and money. Services like SEOJet have done the hard work for you by vetting websites for content quality, domain authority, traffic, and other metrics. This way, you only publish guest posts that have the best chance of getting indexed.


How to See if Your Backlink is Indexed


If you’re not sure if your new backlink is indexed, you can find out for yourself in seconds.


Simply copy and paste the entire URL into Google’s search bar. 


If it appears in search results, your link is indexed.


If it doesn’t appear in search results, you can submit a recrawl request if you are the website owner. If your backlink is in a guest post on a third-party website, try one of the options we shared to speed up the process.


Improving Your Backlink Profile with SEOJet


SEOJet gives you turnkey access to link-building opportunities. Our vast network of publishing partners helps you build backlinks that get indexed, so you can start enjoying the benefits of every link faster. 


Our goal is to jet you straight to Google’s Page 1. We find the intersection of authoritative websites, niche expertise, website traffic, content quality, and other metrics that matter to you. We’ll also help you optimize each anchor text so you can play by Google’s guidelines and grow your online presence.


See how SEOJet works!