“How long does it take to start ranking on Google?” is a question that most clients will often ask you whether you are a newbie or a professional in the field of content writing. Well, the query can be a tricky one to answer and can prove to be a hurdle in making a successful pitch to the client. The answer is not simple because there isn’t any specific model or formula that can work it out for you. It actually depends on various factors such as budget, competition, type of content and domain performance, etc. All these should factor into your SEO Strategy.
Factors include content quality, links, titles, tags, URLs, and multimedia. Moreover, if the rank of a specific webpage is higher, it will get a chance to be featured on various Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This is one of the main reasons many content creators are using On-page SEO & Off-page SEO to increase their blog ranking.
What exactly do you need to show up in Google search, and how much time would you need to rank in the top positions? As mentioned above, there isn’t a guaranteed answer or magical formula for website ranking and also no fixed time frame. This is why we always suggest to do a SEO audit. According to several studies, a website published now would take at least 12-16 weeks to get even the initial traffic from Google. This time frame is only for ‘to get found on Google’; getting to top 5 or top 10 positions need even longer time, usually a year. Google claims that it uses 255 factors in its ranking algorithms, with backlinks factoring a big part of it, sounds complicated? Empirical studies have highlighted some factors that are more important than others. The following text discusses those factors so you can understand them better. Let’s take a look at each of them.
The first thing to look at is the website itself. Along with the right keywords and creative content, it’s imperative to consider the technical aspects as well. A website that is not mobile-friendly takes a long time to load, has technical errors, or has no quality back-links will not make it to the top. Google fines sites for engaging in practices against its webmaster guidelines. Such fines or penalties will cause a significant drop in rankings. A clean domain (a website that has not been issued a warning or penalty by Google) would add to the authenticity of the site and aid the ranking process. You can use Google webmaster tools and Google analytics to check for manual or algorithmic penalties.
Another critical factor is the size of the website and the type of content it offers. Bigger websites with many back-links will rank faster. Similarly, content related to news will rank much quicker than general content. For example, a story about a celebrity’s accidental death or president Trump’s latest tweet would reach the first page faster than an article on plastic pollution. The title of the web page is also of prime importance. An SEO optimized title would rank more swiftly than a non-optimized one. At times good quality content can suffer because of a vague title. The point to understand here is that it’s a combination of factors that help rank the site and not a single one. A strong website can list at a reasonable speed even with a non-optimized title, but it is, of course, better to give some thought to the title.
An indirect but significant effect comes from the content’s length and its originality. A detailed article on food allergies has a much higher chance of reaching the first page than a shorter one on the same topic. Why? Because a detailed article is more likely to be accessed or referred by other bloggers and netizens. It will have back-links, citations, likes, or shares on social media; hence, the resultant hype gives it the required boost to reach the top. Remember that you cannot expect plagiarized or spun content to rank on any search engine. Adding new and improved content at a regular pace has merit, and it paves your way to better rankings.
The next factor is time; provided quality content, a general rule is that an old website is likely to rank higher than a new one. But, as said before, there is no fixed time frame. Websites can take any time from 6 months to two years to rank on top 10 positions. You can read an in-depth study done by Ahrefs on the topic of how long does it take to rank on Google here.
Active sites with relevant material usually start getting at least some level of recognition by search engines within six months. Next comes Keyword competition, do know that you have to decide on a trade-off here. A popular keyword also means a robust competition. Hence, if you try and go for a popular keyword thinking that it will help you rank faster, there is a strong chance that it won’t. So it is advised to go for keywords that have low volume / low competition and build ranking for your site first and then go for popular keywords. You can find how to use Google Trends here.
Along with the techniques mentioned above, you must also remember that you need to be patient. In the Online world, being patient is an important characteristic to have. Complicated google algorithms and massive competition run the world of Big Data, so it will take some time to create your demand. Keep updating your site with good quality original content. Focus on Google E-A-T. Do not forget basic ethics; like do not go on buying links or attempt other such shortcuts. Perseverance will surely get you results.
According to data-based studies, about 95% of web pages do not appear in the Top 10 before one year. Despite all the information presented above, there is no definite answer to how long it takes to rank on Google. Know that patience is a virtue. Be patient, believe that good things come to those who wait; it does take time to get good rankings on Google. You must keep on going and not give up in those initial months where you feel that things are not turning out the way you want them. Keep trying, use the above tips, and your website will soon get the recognition it deserves.