How Long Does it take to Rank in Google?

There are a lot of factors that affect keyword ranking in Google: age of the website, onsite and offsite optimization, age of incoming links, your choice of keywords, the keyword phrases you are targeting, your page rank and any penalties your site may have from search engines.

Google is a lot faster at indexing content than it used to be. On a quality website that is well established, more than 2-3 years old, well optimized for search engines, has adequate links, etc., Google can pick up changes to your website within a few minutes. However it may take a week or longer before you notice a change in rank for your keywords because the Googlebot that indexes content is not the same one that affects ranking on websites.

If your domain is new it may take Google longer to index the new pages and much longer to affect the ranking of your website because domain age and age of links pointing at your site are big ranking factors. Your competitors may have much older websites than yours depending on the keywords you are targeting.

You can speed up indexing by submitting your site in Google's Search Console. However just getting indexed doesn't always effect ranking. Sometimes Google will give a new website a boost so it ranks well for a few months but then drop it if it doesn't attract enough attention or links, so make sure your website is top quality when you launch it.

Tracking The Cache Date of your Website

You can figure out how long it takes for Google to index your pages after it indexes your pages. After you launch a page, search for one of your keywords in Google, or the full url of the page, and when your site appears, click on the little green down arrow by your search results and then choose "cached" in the pop up box (see red circle in image below):

google's search result for CSS borders

When you click on the arrow it will bring up Google's last cache of your page and also relay the last date your page was cached at the top of the page.

Do this again several days in a row. When the cache date changes, then you can tell how long it takes for Google to index that particular page. Check the cache date several times a year. If the time increases to several weeks it may indicate a problem with your page, or website, being indexed, and possibly a Penguin penalty.

How to Improve Keyword Ranking in Google

If your website ranking doesn't improve within a few months you may want to reconsider your most prized keywords. They may be over-optimized, in which case use semantic words instead. You may also need to focus on long tail keywords that have less competition instead of just 2-3 phrases, as they might provide you some traffic until your website has a change to age. Check your Google Search Console to see what long tail keywords people are using to find your site and increase the rank for those words. Once you are ranking for those then focus on shorter keywords.

If nothing seems to improve your ranking your website might have a problem that is preventing ranking. In that case you might want to consider a SEO Analysis:

order an In-Depth SEO Analysis Report

See the Keyword Ranking Strategy page for more information.

Lori Eldridge
Copyright © 5-30-14 - Updated 11-04-20
All Rights Reserved

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