In this day and age, we all want things right away. Nobody has the patience to wait for anything and getting traffic to new web pages is no exception.
A question asked by nearly all webmasters is: how long will it take for my site to show up in Google?
Many questions like this in the SEO-world do not have a straightforward answer; it always seems to depend. Well, unfortunately, this is also one of those “it depends” situations. Luckily, there are some things we can look at to get a rough idea of how long it will take for your web pages to be indexed and ranked by Google.
The Difference Between Indexing and Ranking
To some, these are thought of as the same thing. They definitely are not the same.
The difference between indexing and ranking the two is simple: Indexing is when Google’s bots recognize your web page and scan it. Ranking is when Google decides your content is worthy enough to be placed in their search engine results pages.
Of course, if your site is on page 20 of the search results, it is technically ranked but it won’t be much use there. When we talk about how long it takes for a site to be ranked, we generally want to know how long it would take to reach the first page, assuming your content is worthy.
Unless your website is brand new, it is likely that Google has indexed it and it is capable of appearing in the search engine results.
A quick way to check to see if your site is indexed is to open up Google and type site:yourdomain.com. If Google’s bots have crawled your website, it will appear in the results for this query.
How Long does it Take for Google to Index a Site?
Indexing is the first part of the equation; if a site is not indexed, the content on it can’t be ranked. Luckily, the indexing part is the fastest.
In most cases, it will only take a matter of a few days for Google to index a brand new website. It can even be done within 24 hours. It is not always consistent, though. Sometimes, my new sites are indexed on the same day. Sometimes, it takes over a week. The key thing to remember is that if you just started a brand new blog, it doesn’t matter. These early stages should be focused on building. Analyzing the trickles of traffic you might get is unnecessary.
There are a few steps you can take to make sure your site is indexed as quickly as possible:
- Create and submit your sitemap to Google
- Request for Google to crawl your URLs
- Make sure there are no errors on your site and all links are working
How Long Does It Take for a Site to Rank on Google?
This one is where the big “it depends” comes into play. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to give an exact timeframe since there are numerous factors at play and each niche is likely to be very different.
For example, a page is able to rank on Google much more quickly if it is targeting keywords with little to no competition. On the other hand, an article in a highly competitive niche on a relatively new website is going to take much longer.
On a similar note, if you are hoping to reach the very top of the search results, you are probably going to have to play the waiting game. A recent study observed the average age for pages in the top 10 ranking spots is 2+ years old and only 22% of the results in the top 10 were less than a year old.
The study linked above also showed that only 5.7% of pages reach the top 10 in Google’s SERPs within one year and the ones that did, made it there in 2-6 months.
Pages on older, higher-authority domains also seem to rank faster than new domains, which makes sense as older domains are more likely to have a stronger link profile than the new ones.
For new sites, a timeframe that many experts state is 6-8 months. This seems to be the average amount of time it takes for a new page on a relatively new domain to reach it’s potential in terms of Google rankings and organic traffic.
How to Make a Page Rank Faster on Google
There are certain black hat methods that could be used to make a page rank more quickly, but they put you at real risk of being hit by penalties so it’s best to avoid them.
While there aren’t a huge number of ways to make Google rank your site more quickly, there are some steps you can take to ensure it is ranked as quickly as it can be:
- Write excellent-quality content
- Improve page speed and user experience
- Target lower competition keywords
- Build good quality links to your website
Out of the above, I would argue that the biggest increase in ranking speed would be likely to come from building a good link profile to your website. A couple of strong backlinks from some guest posts should provide some signals for Google to bump your site up in their rankings.
Final Thought on Google Indexing and Ranking
Building websites is not for people looking for instant gratification and results; patience is key, especially for new site owners. You can’t expect to rank above huge, well-known and trusted websites from day one.
All you can do is concentrate on building the best website you can to increase your chances of ranking as fast and high as possible. In fact, I would suggest using your time to create even more content and doing a bit of link building instead of sitting around and waiting for your current pages to be ranked.