It is one of the most common questions when building a website or providing SEO on an existing site.
“How long until Google ranks me?”
And the answer is, it depends, but before we get there, let’s take a look at the history of search.
Before searching on the internet, some of our older readers (me included) may remember the yellow pages. Companies would call themselves A1 “insert service” because listings were in alphabetical order.
This was, in its basic form, a way to ensure you were seen at top of the listings.
We soon moved to searching the internet using search engines such as Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and from 1996 onwards, Google.
Marketers started to work out what could be done to make sure their websites got to the top of the search engines. During the early 2000’s it was pretty simple. You added your keywords into the page title and description, sprinkled them into your page copy and as easy as taking candy from a baby, you were in the top 10 within a week or 2.
However, as the number of websites grew, not everyone could be in the top 10, so there had to be additional signals used for ranking websites. This is where off-page signals such as links started to take hold.
SEO became 50% putting in your keywords and 50% generating backlinks.
But fast forward a few years, and the web was awash with spammy link creating services, and you could pay to have links created all over the web pointing to your website, so the clever search engines such as Google started adjusting their algorithm.
In fact, in 2018, they made nearly 9 adjustments every single day! That’s a whopping 3285 algorithm changes in just one year.
In 2021 Google is getting even smarter so the days of quick fixes for ranking your content are long gone.
So back to the original question.
If I had to answer, I would say a year. But that is based on a high performing website meeting all of Google’s key algorithm factors such as great content & fast loading (read more about SEO in 2021 here)
A study last year by MOZ stated that only 5% of pages in the top ten Google Search results were under a year old, with the majority in position 1 being over 3 years old.
Now, this isn’t to say you can’t get pages ranked in under a year. If you have a well-optimised website that has been online for a few years and its main pages are already in Google’s index, with some excellent copy and well-presented pages, you can see these pages ranking within 6 months.
If you want to rank highly in a Google Search, you need to put in the leg work. SEO is not a short term marketing strategy, it’s a process that should be completed every month. It takes time to research keywords, generate content and build links, but your hard work will pay off when you show up online ahead of your competition.