Gaining Rank on the Search Engines: How Long Does it Take?

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Gaining Rank on the Search Engines: How Long Does it Take?

Starting a website is an exciting time for a business. You get to build on your own little corner of the Internet and open your virtual doors to the thousands of potential customers surfing the web. With websites come possibilities for lead generation, increased sales and business growth.

However, most business owners who’ve recently launched a website find themselves scouring search engines for their rankings. Usually, they’re expecting results right away, so it’s a disappointment when the site you so lovingly created with high hopes doesn’t show up. Unfortunately for new websites, that’s a typical scenario.

Unless you’re willing to pay for SEO services, chances are your new website isn’t going to be popping up on search engines anytime soon. Earning a top spot in search engine rankings takes time, and you’re already competing with the thousands of new websites created on the Internet every day.

Fortunately, it is possible for your site, no matter how small, to earn a top spot on search engines results. It just requires some patience and best SEO practices.

How Long it Takes to Rank

When someone tells a new website owner that it takes time for their site to appear in search results, the first question they ask is, “How long?”

Unfortunately, there is no set answer. Google doesn’t operate in a given timeframe for websites, only awarding those with seniority.

However, extra time on the Internet does seem to work in your website’s favor. According to a study by Ahrefs, the average age of the Top 10-ranked pages that resulted from keyword searches was over two years old. After searching over two million keywords, they found that only 22% of the top ranking sites spent less than a year on the Internet.

Clearly, the longer your site resides online, the better your chances of appearing in a web search.

However, that doesn’t mean you should abandon your SEO practices and wait for your site to age – just the opposite, actually. Although it may take time for your website to rank highly on search engines, there are many other factors to consider when trying to get search bots to find your site.

Factors That Affect How Long it Takes For Your Website to Rank

The age of your website is only one small piece of the search engine ranking puzzle. Google makes no secret of the fact that they take into account over 255 factors in their ranking algorithm (they just don’t tell you precisely what the algorithm is). So, besides giving your website time (which only requires waiting), here are the other factors to keep in mind when trying to get your site to rank higher on search engines.

Age of the Domain

Google wants to promote websites their users can trust, which tends to take time. Having an established site that’s provided knowledgeable and valuable information for years is one of the surest ways to get in a search engine’s good graces.

Clean Domain

While there are SEO practices that are encouraged, some sites may try to take the easy way out with black hat strategies designed to trick bots into ranking their website higher. While those sorts of practices may give you a temporary boost, you will get penalized once found out, which will affect your rankings. Practicing approved SEO practices ensures your website’s standing will remain as a clean domain.

Keyword Competition

Keywords play an important role in SEO, but newer sites may be at a disadvantage. Websites who have been in the game longer may be using the same keyword phrases, putting you in direct competition with sites that already have a leg up. To give yourself a better chance of ranking, focus on using low competition keywords when you first start out creating web content. Over time, as your rankings increase, you can start incorporating the more competitive keywords to give your site an extra boost.


Putting out fresh, valuable content frequently is SEO 101 for website owners. However, it’s not just how often you update your content, but also what you include. Breaking news stories will rank higher than general info, so try to be relevant on topics when updating your blog or web pages.

SEO Optimized Titles

Chances are, you’ve spent hours researching, utilizing and optimizing your website content and blog post for SEO. So don’t throw away that effort by writing a generic title to your content. When it comes to web rankings, your page titles are just as important as any other content and will help you rank higher than if you used non-SEO titles on your site.

Content Length

While Google looks at multiple factors for ranking web pages, their objective remains the same – provide valuable content to their users. For this reason, they tend to favor longer blog posts and articles because there is more value that can be delivered in 1500 words over 400.

Quantity of Content on Website

If you want to establish yourself as an expert, write a blog and consistently add new posts as often as possible. The more pages in your website, the more likely search engine bots will find your content and rank your site higher.

Original Content

In your quest to increase content and web pages, don’t get lazy. Creating your own content will do much more for you than re-sharing information from other websites. While occasional sharing may help emphasize a point or cross-promote another business, turning it into a regular practice could affect your website’s ranking.

Update Frequency

Posting more frequently (around two to three times per week) will increase your chances of ranking higher on Google faster. Continually posting new content will put you on the radar for search bots, so they will be more likely to index your new web page almost immediately after it’s posted. However, if you wait weeks or months between posts, it could take them days to find out about it.

Steps to Speed Up the Process

We get it – waiting for your page to rank can be excruciating. You created a site to generate leads, and now you feel that it could take years before seeing any results. But don’t feel discouraged! There are definitely some steps you can take to speed up the process and generate more traffic to your website in the meantime.

Optimizing Your Site for SEO

Using SEO to optimize your website is one of the best ways to see your search engine rankings increase. While some of the factors above cover a few SEO best practice basics, there’s still more you can do to get the most out of your content. For example, focus on both on-page and off-page SEO methods to help increase your rankings.

– On-Page SEO: On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing the individual web pages on your site. Some common ways to build on-page SEO include using outbound links, writing keyword rich meta descriptions and making your website mobile-friendly.

– Off-Page SEO: Off-page SEO is implementing practices outside of your website that will help improve your rankings. For example, you can guest-post on other high-ranking blogs and backlink to your site.

Keep a Clean Domain

We covered what it means to keep a clean domain above, but it bears repeating. Taking shortcuts when it comes to SEO could penalize your website, which would make any efforts to top the search rankings a waste of time for your domain. Instead, focus on the best SEO practices you can and avoid any black hat strategies to increase your rankings. If you notice a drop in your rankings or traffic, check to make sure that your site is still in good standing with search engines.

Promote Your Site on Other Channels

While search engine rankings may be a significant component of your content marketing strategy, take some time to forget about Google for a while and focus your efforts on other ways to promote your site. Use social media and email marketing campaigns to advertise your new website and drive traffic with your followers. Put your link everywhere you can – on your social media profiles, email signatures and business cards. Following some best practices, you can drive some real results by combining your marketing efforts for your social media profiles and website.

Be Patient

It sounds easy, but this is probably the most challenging advice for excited website owners to follow. Once the site is up, it’s tempting to obsess over ways to drive more traffic. Instead of relying on your Google rankings for results, focus on creating high quality, valuable content for your followers. Consider the time it takes for your website to rank as a blessing. As the results start to trickle in, you’ll have more opportunity to prepare as your online business increases.

Launching a website is a big step for a company, and it may feel disappointing not to see search engine rankings right away. However, a few best practices and some patience goes a long way in getting recognition from search results. As you give your website time to rank, focus on other top methods to get the most out of your site and promote it like crazy.

The time will pass no matter if your site is ranking in the top search engines or not. In the meantime, you can still work on other ways to get the most marketing mileage out of your site.

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