How long does it take to rank in Google with a new website?
1 February 2017
Just how long does it take to rank in Google?
According to, the average time required for websites to rank on Google through organic optimisation (SEO) techniques (not PPC) is about three to six months.
Yes, you read that correctly! Getting to the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERPs) usually takes between 90-180 days. This time frame is also very dependant on the competitiveness of your industry and popularity of your keywords. There are several reasons, which I have outlined below, that a high ranking position may take as much as a year in competitive fields.
Your domain age
A web domain less than six months old is considered a “new” site by Google and other search engines. It is viewed by the search engines as being less trustworthy or reliable than an older website that has been thoroughly verified. A domain authority score is awarded by Moz. It scores websites using a points scale from 0 to 100. The higher the domain authority score, the better the site is likely to rank in the SERPs. New sites can still be ranked if they are built well, and the content has been well written and fully optimised. Rankings are more likely to increase significantly after the initial six-month go-live period.
The competition for the keywords you want to rank for in Google
Words or phrases that are often searched are highly competitive. These are known as competitive search terms. The longer the website has been around in your industry, the greater the chance of them ranking highly for popular search terms. If your site is new, it will be easier to build trust and rankings through keywords with lower levels of competition before moving on to more traditional searches. I advise my clients to start with branded keywords, then target local keywords before moving on to regional or broad match keywords, for example:
Step 1 – CEB Creative Website Design
Step 2 – Website Design Brackley, Website Design Banbury, Website Design Bicester, Website Design Buckingham
Step 3 – Website Design Northamptonshire, Website Design Oxfordshire, Website Design Buckinghamshire
Step 4 – Website Design
The quality of your content
The robots search engines (like Google) use to crawl your website are designed to identify certain trends and characteristics. They will look at things like; how often new content is published, is it original (no plagiarism please) as well as is the content naturally written (no keyword stuffing). The overall length and quality of your post or page are also taken into account. To move up in the SERPs, regularly adding new, original, high-quality content to your page is essential. This will keep the search bots looking at your pages and posts which could lead to higher rankings as time passes.
Backlinks are incoming links from external sites to your webpages. When a web page links to any other page, it’s called a backlink. Backlinks have become crucial to good SEO and are now considered to be essential for any website that wishes to rank highly. The type of backlinks you have is also more important than ever before. Search engines are clever and they know if you are using black hat SEO techniques by buying random backlinks to your website. It is important to secure good quality backlinks of various types, for example:
- Directory links
- Resources/References links
- Competitor links
- Peer links
- Industry links
- Social links
HTML page markup
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ensures that your website is visible to Google’s bots and other site indexing programs. This includes things like adding specific H1 titles, keywords, H2, H3 headings, and ALT image tags. There are other ways to increase your on-page SEO by adding things like internal links to other posts and pages on your site as well as images with alt tags. Check out my on-page optimisation infographic here for more help with this one.
I can’t stress enough the importance of staying away from any black hat SEO techniques. Do not be tempted to try and cut out the middleman (the content) to try and speed things up a bit. Google’s algorithms are clever, and they are designed to spot when websites try to cheat the system with tricks like keyword stuffing or buying inbound links. These schemes may work for a while, but when Google catches you out (which they will), your site will be penalised. Your rankings will suffer until you correct the problem, which can be a lengthy and difficult process. It is common for Google to de-index websites for even seemingly minor infringements. This is the worst thing that can happen to your site as it means Google has kicked you out and doesn’t want to see you anymore. You will have quite a few hoops to jump through to get back in Google’s good books.
For a full list of dos and don’ts, check out Google’s Quality Guidelines here.
Keep updating your website with good quality original content that is fully optimised. This is the best way to increase your position in the SERPs. Check out my content writing and SEO services page for more information. If you need help getting your website ranking in the search or would like help targeting new keywords, contact me today.