Time is money for all small businesses. Therefore, one of the most common questions I get, understandably so, by business owners is how long does google take to rank a site?
They want to know long does it take until you start to see the results from the SEO activities.
There’s not a clear answer to this. It is not that I can pull out a calculator and come up with an answer. It’s the dreaded, it depends answer.
While there is not a clearly defined answer, a new site will generally take anywhere between 3 months and 12 months to recognize any measurable success.
That’s based on countless clients and experiments in SEO, so it’s not totally baseless. However, it should give you a rough idea of what kind of journey you’re about to embark upon.
Getting Your Site Ready for the Search Engines
First off, Google and other search engine such as Bing need to be able to crawl your site. They don’t magically find it and start indexing it.
You’re newly designed website needs a sitemap. A sitemap is a file that tells the search engines essentially where all of your web pages can be found. Although they are typically human readable, it is not something most humans would use, but instead search engine crawlers.
Once we develop your sitemap, we also have to develop the robots.txt file which gives the search engines the “go ahead” to start crawling your site and indexing it. It also contains information as to which pages you do not want indexed for whatever reason.
Search engine crawlers do not need to adhere to either the sitemap or robots.txt, but generally the big search engines do.
These two files are essential to get your website crawl by search engines. It is not a guarantee that they will crawl them, and they can definitely crawl it without them, but this is a quick way to jumpstart your SEO success.
Once you have these files created, I’ve noticed it takes anywhere between 1 to 4 weeks for Google to start crawling it.
After crawling, now it gets indexed.
Now we’re able to see that the search engines have found your site and are starting to crawl it and scan the pages for your various content. Your site will now get indexed into the search engine result pages (SERPs).
You’ll know all of this because you would have created a Google Search Console account. More on the GSC at a later time, though.
Playing in the Sandbox
Now this is only theory, as nobody knows the exact details of this, but it is suspected that Google puts brand new sites into the sandbox, as it’s called, to determine the worthiness of the site for publication in the SERPs.
This sandbox is almost like a clearinghouse for brand new websites.
Why does Google do this?
There are a whole host of spam sites and malware sites across the internet. These sites pop up regularly and frequently and they typically dissolve or go away just as quick as they went up. One way Google mitigates this risk of indexing such harmful sites is by putting them in the sandbox .
When your business is website is in the sandbox, it is crawled and indexed by Google, but it might not rank on the search engine result pages for several months.
You may notice that certain pages may rank temporarily, but this is just Google collecting data as to how to rank your site.
Most new sites stay in the sandbox for 3 to 6 months. Sometimes they could be out of it a little quicker.
However, once you are out of the sandbox, it is time to start ranking for your keywords.
Ranking on the SERPs
Now your site is crawled, indexed, and out of the sandbox, it is time to start ranking for the keywords you are targeting.
There’s no set time for how fast you can start ranking for keywords.
Seeing a theme in this process? There are no definites.
Keep in mind there is a lot of competition out there trying to do the same thing you are and going after the same keywords you are.
As you continue this journey your rankings will fluctuate. This fluctuation will be daily. One day you’re ranking #1 for a keyword, the next you’re #20. It will eventually level out and stabilize.
Staying on top of your SEO efforts by updating your content, creating new content, developing backlinks, etc, will help you crawl to the top of the search engine result pages and start ranking for keywords that will turn searchers into customers.
The Process is Lengthy
We get it. As a small business owner you want to know how long does google take to rank a site.
They want to start ranking now and getting new customers! However, SEO is a long-game. What you do today will pay dividends months from now and so forth.
Dedicate some time to grow your site and implement some SEO strategies and most of all, stick with it. You’ll be tempted to give up when you’re not getting results. They will come with time!