Backlinks (SEO newbie)

Hi all

Am I right that, other things being equal, some keywords would take only five or ten quality backlinks to get to the top of the SERP whereas other more competitive keywords would take hundreds or thousands?

Suppose that for particular keywords, a backlinks analysis tool tells me that the top ranking site has only 20 backlinks. Does this mean that, other things being equal, my site could get to the top for these keywords if I build 21 quality links?

Thanks

As dvduval says, it’s a whole lot more complicated.

For a start, a link is not just a link. A good quality link is not just a good quality link. There’s a huge sliding scale, so it isn’t just about getting one more link than another site.

But beyond that, there are umpteen other factors that Google considers. There’s the placement and context of those links, the content and context of your site, your own site structure and navigation, the reputation and longevity of your site, and many more.

It is practically impossible to beat another site in Google simply by adding links - you need to consider so many other things as well to make sure that your site genuinely is offering the best answer to a particular search query, and to give Google enough reason to believe that.

I think the general premise is right, but the google algorithm is much more mature now, and many other factors can play a role. Among those are on page factors, trust rank, link age, site age, pagerank, and google secret sauce.