How Long Does it Take to Rank on Google in 2024

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By Tomislav

Key Takeaways

Time Frame for Ranking: Ranking on Google typically takes 4-8 months, influenced by content quality, keyword competition, and site authority.
Factors Influencing Rankings: Key factors include on-page SEO (like content quality and site structure) and off-page SEO (such as backlinks and social media shares).
Achieving Rank #1: Focus on targeting realistic, long-tail keywords and creating high-quality, audience-centric content.
Backlinks in [year]: Backlinks remain a significant ranking factor, with quality content naturally attracting these links.
SEO Changes and Rankings: Refining SEO elements like title tags and meta data can positively affect rankings, though results are not immediate.
Content Updates and Rankings: Regularly updating content can lead to improved rankings, provided the updates are substantial.
Internal Linking: Effective internal linking demonstrates comprehensive topic coverage, enhancing perceived expertise and aiding in rankings.
Content Length and Rankings: While not a direct ranking factor, comprehensive and well-covered topics often result in longer, more detailed content, which can positively impact rankings.

Why It Takes 4-8 Months to Rank on Google

Ranking on Google typically takes 4-8 months, influenced by content quality, keyword competition, and site authority.

Google’s algorithms require time to evaluate and trust new content, gradually incorporating it into search rankings based on relevance and credibility.

Factors impacting rankings include both on-page SEO (like domain, content quality, site structure, and user interaction) and off-page SEO (like backlinks and social media shares).

With over 200 ranking factors in play, the algorithm considers a myriad of aspects, though not all are equally significant.

Considering the 7 million new blog posts published daily, the ranking process demands substantial computational resources, even beyond Google’s vast capabilities.

How Google Discovers New Articles

Google discovers new content through two primary actions: crawling and indexing.

Crawlers are bots that visit and follow links on your site, identifying new or updated pages.

Indexing involves storing the results of crawling in Google’s index, initiating the ranking process.

Using the “NO-index” meta tag, you can choose which pages Google crawls and indexes, useful for content like exclusive premium offerings.

Achieving Rank #1 on Google

Ranking #1 on Google isn’t about magic or “ninja tactics”.

Firstly, target realistic, long-tail keywords rather than broad, highly competitive ones.

For example, instead of “Fitness,” opt for something specific like “20 Minute Exercise Routine for Busy Moms.”

Quality content is key, which means creating articles that provide value to your audience.

Consider their needs and challenges, and craft content that addresses these, like exercise routines tailored for busy moms.

Engaging, valuable content leads to reader interaction and social sharing, which Google rewards with higher rankings.

Over time, this approach boosts your site’s authority, enhancing your chances of achieving top rankings.

Keyword Density and Google Rankings

Keyword density, once a crucial ranking factor, is now less significant.

Google’s algorithms have evolved beyond mere keyword count, focusing more on the organic integration of keywords and overall content quality.

As Google’s algorithms become increasingly human-like in content interpretation, the emphasis shifts towards making content more human-friendly and value-driven rather than solely optimizing for robots.

Do Backlinks Still Work in [year]

Backlinks, which are links from other websites to yours, continue to be a significant ranking factor in [year].

Why are they still relevant? When others link to your content, it signifies to Google that your material is authoritative and high-quality.

The real question is whether you should invest time and energy in backlink building outreach.

Opinions vary: some swear by it, while others don’t bother.

If your website is profitable enough to hire someone for backlink outreach, it’s worth considering.

However, if your site isn’t earning yet, it’s likely due to inadequate monetization or insufficient traffic.

In such cases, focus on improving monetization and content quality before delving into backlink strategies.

Quality content naturally attracts backlinks.

For this website, I’ve chosen to avoid backlink building for at least the first year, reassessing thereafter.

How Long Do Backlinks Take to Influence Google Rankings

Backlinks don’t directly speed up Google’s ranking process.

They do, however, influence your domain authority score, which can slightly accelerate ranking.

In essence, every backlink indirectly contributes to how quickly Google ranks future content on your domain.

More directly, backlinks impact an article’s peak ranking.

Moz’s study indicates that a single backlink can take about two and a half months to improve an article’s Google rank.

This effect is more pronounced for lower-ranking articles and increases with the number of backlinks.

As for the future importance of backlinks, it’s uncertain.

In 2014, Google’s Matt Cutts hinted they might become “a little less important” over time.

While Google may gradually reduce their weight, backlinks are unlikely to lose their significance as a ranking factor in the near future.

Do SEO Changes Help Articles Rank on Google

Tightening SEO (search engine optimization) is key to ranking higher on Google.

Google’s spiders continuously crawl and index website pages, so refining title tags and meta data does positively affect rankings.

However, the importance of titles as a ranking factor seems to be slightly diminishing.

In 2016, Google’s John Mueller suggested that while titles are a ranking factor, over-focusing on them isn’t the best use of time.

Google’s SEO Starter Guide recommends unique and accurate page titles.

Despite a slight decrease in the weight of technical aspects in Google rankings, they shouldn’t be ignored.

Attention to titles, headings, and keywords is crucial, not just for Google, but for enhancing user experience.

A well-structured article considering these elements is inherently more valuable.

How Long Does It Take for SEO Changes to Take Effect

SEO changes don’t yield immediate results.

Typically, effects start to appear 3-6 months after implementing the changes, with continued improvement thereafter.

This assumes that the SEO changes are correctly executed.

Why the delay? It’s similar to why Google takes time for any task.

The algorithm undergoes a comprehensive process to re-evaluate your article, similar to its initial ranking process.

Hence, SEO should be viewed as a long-term investment.

Immediate results are rare, but with proper SEO, the long-term impact on your business can be significant.

Do Content Updates Help Articles Rank Higher on Google

Updating the content of your article can prompt Google to adjust its rankings, just as SEO changes do.

Remember not to change the URL when making updates. If you do, Google might treat it as new content that hasn’t been indexed before.

Content can become outdated quickly.

For example, Pluto’s status in our solar system changed from a planet to a dwarf planet.

This shift made many existing articles about the solar system obsolete.

Inaccurate content risks being down ranked by Google, especially after significant updates in knowledge on the topic.

This is particularly true for sensitive topics like health or finance, where Google is more stringent.

To sum up, both minor adjustments and complete rewrites of articles can improve your Google rankings.

Make sure the changes are substantial; minor edits won’t trick Google or your readers.

How Long Does It Take for Content Updates to Affect Google Rankings

The timeline for seeing the effects of content updates on Google rankings varies from days to months.

This timeframe can vary depending on factors like domain authority.

Updating old articles is worthwhile. Google appreciates it when you enhance your content, and so will your audience.

Adding a note like “Updated for 2024” in your title can make your article more appealing in search results.

However, updates need to be significant. Minor tweaks won’t cut it with Google or your readers.

Finally, while they don’t directly affect the speed of ranking, factors like increasing domain authority can indirectly speed up the process.

As your content ranks higher, your domain gains trust from Google, leading to quicker rankings for your new content.

Does Internal Linking Influence Google Rankings

Internal links connect pages within the same domain and are highly beneficial for Google rankings.

While covering every topic extensively in a single article is impractical, internal links can direct readers to detailed coverage of related topics.

Google values internal links as they show comprehensive coverage of sub-topics, enhancing your perceived expertise on the broader subject.

The more interconnected and thorough your content, the more likely Google is to recommend your site for relevant searches.

Consider this: knowing about guitar strings doesn’t make one a guitar expert. Similarly, demonstrating breadth and depth across related topics establishes your authority in Google’s eyes.

Interestingly, it’s suggested that Google values two internal links roughly as much as one backlink.

This is especially advantageous for new websites striving to build domain authority through well-linked, related content.

Does Website Layout Influence Google Rankings

The layout of your website plays a key role in how easily your audience can access and engage with your content, and Google prioritizes this.

Even top-quality content needs a user-friendly layout to rank well.

Poor layout can lead to a negative user experience, resulting in reduced time spent on your site, which Google tracks.

How Does Google Know Your Layout is Good or Bad?

Google doesn’t have specific preferences for fonts or colors but focuses on user experience.

This includes metrics like bounce rate, pages per session, organic CTR, and dwell time, all of which are influenced by your site’s layout.

As Google’s algorithm evolves, the importance of user experience is only increasing.

A good website layout balances aesthetics and functionality.

Opt for a minimalistic design for faster loading times, which directly affect rankings.

Ensure your content is easy to consume, with readable fonts and an appealing color scheme, particularly for mobile users.

Drawing inspiration from various complementary color schemes can enhance visual appeal.

Does Content Length Influence Google Rankings

Google’s John Mueller was straightforward: “Word count is not a ranking factor. Save yourself the trouble.

He couldn’t be clearer.

However, content comprehensiveness often impacts the length of content.

Content comprehensiveness is indeed a ranking factor.

Google’s SEO Starter Guide emphasizes: “Creating high-quality content requires significant time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill. Content must be factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive.

Comprehensive content often results in longer articles.

This doesn’t mean long articles are always comprehensive, though.

There’s a common confusion between comprehensiveness and word count.

Many cite a study showing “the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words” to argue for longer content.

But focusing on word count alone misses the point.

Examples abound where shorter, yet more comprehensive content ranks higher in Google’s results.

The key takeaway should be: be comprehensive and stay on topic.

Don’t inflate your word count unnecessarily.