Link Planning


Link planning is calculating how many links you should build to your important pages to rank for your targeted keywords. The planning report is based on analysis of competitors that already rank for the chosen keywords. This is a good approach because they already rank, so they must be doing it right. 

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Link planning can help you to optimally distribute your links over your pages. This way you can achieve the best results for your overall SEO campaign.

  • Avoid a penalty from Google by staying in line with everyone else
  • Don’t waste money on links you don’t need
  • You know how many links you need, so you won’t get too few Link
  • A Simple way of ordering and verifying links

Target Keyword

Arguably one of the most difficult phrases in the industry, the target keyword for this analysis is “sports betting”. We assume for the purpose of this discussion that the page we are targeting is “”. We want to know how many links we need to rank.


The link planning process has 5 steps that are explained in this document. If you want to have a look at the final plan first, skip to step 5:

  • Step 1 – Overview
  • Step 2 – Link Quantity
  • Step 3 – Link Quality
  • Step 4 – Anchor Text
  • Step 5 – Link Plan 

Step 1 – Overview

To start, we learn the context of our analysis by having a look at the top 9 sites that rank for the target keyword (“sports betting”) on The following table shows metrics for both the landing page and the root domain of that page.

Ranking pageTrust Flow to pageReferring Domains to pageTrust Flow Root domainCitation Flow Root DomainReferring domains to root domainOrganic traffic domain

Step 2 – Link quantity

Now the big picture is established, we analyse how many referring every of the top 10 search results has acquired over the last 2 years. We then estimate the ‘sweet spot’, which is slightly higher than completion, yet not so high that you will be in Google’s radar for a penalty. The chart has 2 black lines which show the outcome of two proprietary alternative algorithms for determining the ‘sweet spot’.

Linkplanning step 2


In this case, the ideal amount seems to be 60. The number 69 is an alternative algorithm that should be used if many sites are new. But based on the visual estimation, it appears that the lower of the two is just right.

Step 3 – Link quality

Now that we know how many links we need (note that every link should be from a different domain), we can identify the quality we need. A well designed quality distribution will keep your link profile look natural and enable you to rank well and avoid Google’s penalties.

We use Trust Flow as the metric and take the average distribution in Trust Flow for the 10 search results that we have been analysis so far. This is displayed in the diagram below. The x axis consists of 10 bars, each 10 Trust Flow points wide. (first bar is 0-10, second 11-20, etc.).

Linkplanning step 3


The first blue bar (0 to 10 Trust Flow) is not taken into account, because the links are considered junk that add little or no value to rankings. Thus we can reduce the required number of links by that amount.

This leaves us with the following Link distribution:

Trust FlowPercentageNr of Links
0 to 1040%24
10 to 1922%13
20 to 2917%10
30 to 399%5
40 to 496%4
50 to 593%2
60 to 692%1
70 to 791%1
80 to 890%0
90 to 1000%0
Total (excluding 0 to 10)60%36

Step 5 – Link plan

Finally, based on our analysis, we create a link plan that is useful for linkbuilders. It acts as a shopping list. A shopping list that has been well analysed for the best performance of your search results.

Target URLSubdomain Trust FlowAnchor textDate live to 19other to 19phrase to 19brand phrase to 19brand phrase to 19broad to 19brand phrase to 19phrase to 19brand url to 19brand to 19brand url to 19brand phrase to 19brand phrase to 19phrase to 29brand phrase to 29other to 29brand url to 29brand phrase to 29phrase to 29brand to 29brand url to 29broad to 29broad to 29broad to 39other to 39brand to 39other to 39broad to 39brand url to 49exact to 49broad to 49broad to 49brand phrase to 59phrase to 59brand phrase to 69phrase


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