Every day there are millions of people conducting searches on Google in the United States alone. If you take the global reach of Google into account, there are literally billions of individuals using the search engine to look for products, services, and companies online. Each day, Google is evaluating different websites, blogs, and ecommerce platforms to find the most valuable, relevant information for the people using its search engine.
The sites that land on the first page of Google SERPs (search engine results pages) are those which have an established track record with consumers and are in good standing with Google. They have been determined to provide insight and accurate information based upon the search terms entered by users. No website achieves a first-page rank overnight. This leaves many SEOs and webmasters wondering how long it takes to achieve a good ranking with Google. We’ve set out to answer that question with this post.
Why Do Search Rankings Matter So Much?
If your site doesn’t appear on the first page of Google SERPs, it might as well be invisible. According to GoDigitalMarketing.com, only 8.5% of searchers bother clicking to the second page of SERPs. This means it is critical that your page ranks well, but you also have to realize that it won’t happen within a day of taking your site live.
The Short Answer To How Long It Takes To Rank In Google
The simplest answer to the overall question at hand is that no one really knows (I know, not exactly the answer you were hoping for). Google can’t even tell you in specific terms how long it will take your website to work its way to the front page of search results. Google is constantly crawling through websites to evaluate and reevaluate the content contained within. The result is a constant fluctuation of in the rankings, meaning websites will come and go from the first page.
Quality Affects Success
The quality of the content on your site and the site itself will play a role in how quickly it rises to the first page of Google rankings. Let’s start by looking at your content. If you have content that is deemed irrelevant by Google bots crawling your site or it isn’t updated frequently enough, it will take a long time for your page to move up the rankings on any search engine, especially Google.
If your site has been penalized by Google for SEO infractions, linking issues, or other problems, you face an even longer uphill climb. Before your site can even be listed again by Google, you’ll need to address the issues identified by Google and prove that you’ve cleaned up your site. Once that is done, Google bots will again crawl your page and it will eventually find a place in SERPs again.
Impact of Competition
Even if your page is clean, updated on a consistent basis, and you provide relevant information to consumers and others in your industry, it may be hard to overcome competing brands and sites in your niche. In many cases, you’ll need to overcome the efforts of competitors in your industry in your quest to earn a good ranking on Google. The problem with this is that your competitor is probably not standing still.
Just as you are updating your site content and keeping the navigation structure of your page organized, so too is the competition. This means that you aren’t trying to simply climb over a stationary object, but rather, trying to catch and pass a moving object. The length of time it takes to achieve this task depends on a lot of different factors. For example, if you are new to the industry, the competition has a big head start that will take you months, if not years, to overcome.
Speed Costs Money
If you want to quickly rise up the ranks of Google SERPs and bask in the glow of a first-page ranking, you can always use paid search to propel your website to the top of the heap. However, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. First and foremost, it will cost you a lot of money to achieve this goal. Every time someone clicks on your link, it costs you money. Secondly, Google still evaluates websites based upon content quality and relevance. You may find that you’re fighting an uphill battle that is difficult to win.
For each user that clicks on a link, you pay money and your site rank and visibility improves. But if Google deems your site low quality, you will find yourself stuck in a see-saw battle in which each click takes you up, but Google evaluations take you down.
There is No Start Date or End Date
The worst approach you can use is one that places a timeline on success. From the moment you launch a marketing campaign to improve the visibility of your site and earn a better rank with Google, you are in that battle for the long haul. As we’ve mentioned, site quality and update frequency are critical factors in Google’s evaluation of your site and brand.
This means that you cannot simply set a start date and identify an end date, at which point you will be on the first page of SERPs and your marketing efforts will end. Competing websites and brands will come and go, and consumer trends will ebb and flow. You need to focus on marketing your site on a constant basis to ensure it remains relevant.
A Reliable Timetable
We’ve discussed all the factors that come into play regarding your site’s rank. We’ve also offered some vague ideas of how long this work can take and what it can mean for the visibility of your page. After all this, we really cannot give you a specific statement on the time it takes. However, we can offer you ballpark figures that should help you get an idea for the length of time it takes (assuming proper practices are followed) to rank well with Google.
If your business operates in a low to moderate difficulty industry, you could be on the first page of SERPs within six months. Difficult industries will require at least a year to crack the first page because you will have to overcome a lot of competition along the way. If you operate in a rare, extremely difficult industry, it is possible that you may never reach the first page.
Consistency, patience, and no violations of Google codes is the best path to success. Maintain your focus on these factors and you’ll be on the path to page one within a year.