One question I am frequently asked by clients after we have finished developing a new website for them is, “How long will it take for my new site to be fully ranked by Google?” It’s a good question, and one that I will break down for you here.
When a new website is launched, there is an automatic waiting period that each and every new site must endure before they can effectively rank properly in the eyes of Google. Google calls this “the sandbox” and it can last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months. As frustrating as that may sound, it is actually a safety measure that benefits everyone that uses Google. It is set in place to try and reduce the amount of “spammy,” pop up over-night websites that will undoubtedly clutter the search results with pages and pages of useless information.
Once you have made it past the sandbox period, your site will begin to see some progress in the search results and some might even appear as a result on the first page for what will mostly be low search, non-competitive keywords. At this point, you can breathe a little easier knowing that Google has determined that your site isn’t spam.
The next period, about five months later, is where you should notice some improvement. Assuming you have been regularly updating your site and doing some link building, by working with your partners or through a press release distribution program like Marketwire, you will have a better chance at ranking for some medium difficulty keywords.
After one year, your site will begin looking established to Google and you will find that ranking for some of the more difficult keywords is possible. Some of the very highly coveted keywords out there will still be out of reach at this time.
Over the next couple years, your job will get easier, but isn’t done. You will find that as your site grows and you improve your content, your rankings and competitiveness for highly sought after keywords will improve. However, it isn’t until your web site is four years and older that Google will finally consider you a card carrying member. Add in social media and some link building and your site just may be a permanent fixture on the first page of the Google search index. But for now… just give it time.