How Long Does it Take to Rank a New Website in Google?

You finally registered a new domain for your site.

It took some convincing but now your business is online and your site has a professional design along with some content describing the products or services you offer.

So how long will it take until your site starts ranking?

It depends.

It could take days, weeks, months or even years.

It’s not unheard of for a new website to rank right away but such occurrences are incredibly rare especially with how competitive the digital landscape is. Not to mention that Google is constantly changing its ranking algorithm hundreds of times a year. Depending on the keywords you want to rank for, you are also likely competing against thousands of other sites.

There are hundreds of different factors that are evaluated in the ranking algorithm. But the following are easily the most important in terms of how long it takes to rank in Google.

Domain Age

A newly registered domain has a major disadvantage because it is starting from scratch. It has no previous history with Google so the chances of it ranking right away are slim to none.

In contrast, an older site that has been registered for over 10 years already has a degree of authority. So Google tends to favour older domains. You can see this for yourself by searching for competitive keywords and checking the domain age of each of the top results.

Clean Domain

A “clean” domain simply means that it hasn’t been penalised or banned.

Google may decide to ban certain sites entirely from the search results. For example, sites engaged in any kind of illicit activity are exactly the sites that Google doesn’t want ranking. Similarly, sites that rely on questionable tactics to earn rankings could be penalised in the search results.

If you register a site that has been banned or penalised, you are going to have a hard time ranking it.

Before you purchase a domain, search for it first and browse some of the results or use the Wayback Machine to see what kind of site it was before. Logging into your Google Search Console account can also tell you if your site has a penalty. If the domain is not clean you will have a tough uphill climb ahead of you so it may be best to register a completely new domain.

Target Keywords

What keywords are you targeting?

If you have a law practice in Perth, you would want to target keywords that are relevant to the services you specialise in. You might want to rank for the keyword “lawyers” but the chances of that actually happening are slim without a sizable marketing budget. Ranking for such a competitive keyword can easily take several years or even longer.

A better approach is to target long tail keywords such as “child custody lawyer in Perth” as these tend to be less competitive. These keywords also convert much better than their shorter tail counterparts.

Competition

The level of competition is another important factor. Remember that you are competing against thousands of other businesses online. You can bet that they are doing everything they can to outrank your site for the same keywords you are targeting.

If you are in an extremely competitive industry, it could take months or years to rank on the first page. But if you are in a specialised niche, you may have an easier time of ranking. It all depends on the factors as detailed above.

Conclusion

SEO requires a long term approach.

You cannot simply register a new website and expect to rank for your target keywords the next day. Expect to work on an SEO campaign for at least six months before you start seeing results. Even then it may take longer depending on the keywords you target and the industry you are competing in.

In the meantime, focus your efforts on creating engaging and valuable content for your target audience. Be sure to also build links from relevant sources to improve the visibility of your pages. All these efforts take time but your site will gradually improve in the search results.