How long does it take for a website to rank on google?

The first question that any company asks when making the smart decision to engage in SEO is; “How long until my website ranks on top of Google?” The short answer: Well, there is no short answer. Let us explain.

There are many factors that all contribute to determining how successful and how quickly a website will start to rank. Some of these variables include, website age, it’s established trust with Google, competition from other websites, budget, etc. Some explanations can be quite confusing, but here at Edge, we have decided to pull our knowledge of over 17 years together to provide you with the real answers that you need to know.

How old are the websites that rank at the top of Google?

A recent study took over 2 million randomised keywords and gathered data on the top 10 ranking websites, recording the approx. age of each website (amount of days) as shown in this graph:

As you can see in the graph, the average age of a top 10 ranking website is more than 2 years old. And those websites that rank in number 1 position are more than 3 years old (on average).

Taking a further look you will notice that only 22% of websites that rank in the top 10 are less than 1 year old.

Delving further into these websites that are less than 1 year old, we were interested in seeing what position on the first page each website ranked.

The results clearly show that the newer websites were ranked closer to the bottom of page 1, with the top of the page dominated by the older websites.

How long does it take for a new website to appear on Google?

For any client that we have built a new website for on a new domain, the big question is how long until it appears on Google. With SEO, it can be picked up very quickly. Without SEO it can feel like an eternity.

Here are the results from a recent survey of 2 million new websites which looked at ranking performance after being first seen.

As you can see only 5.7% of all pages tracked ranked in the top 10 of Google results within the first year for 1 keyword.

Websites with a high DR (Domain Ranking) naturally performed way better than those websites with a lower DR. (We suspect these high DR websites, could have an SEO team behind them!)

Looking further into the ‘lucky’ 5.7% of pages that stumbled from nowhere into the top 10 it was seen that the majority of these websites managed to achieve these results between 61 – 182 days.

By looking at this graph, you would be forgiven to think that most websites will rank on the first page within 2 – 6 months. However this data only represents the 5.7% of websites that were fortunate enough to rank on page 1 within the first year. That leaves almost 95% of all other websites lost outside of the top 10.

Going another level deeper, it is important to understand whether these 5.7% of websites are ranking for high quality keywords with lots of traffic, or are they just ranking for poor keywords that almost no one searches for anyway?

From this graph you will see that only 0.3% of websites ranked in the top 10 of Google within the first year for a high quality and high volume keyword.

How to make sense of it all

As you can see from the information provided that there is no definitive answer on how long it will take to rank a website. There are too many variables that all come together.

Different locations even have separate variables. Ranking your website using SEO in Brisbane will have a different timeframe than if you were implementing the SEO for a Gold Coast business.

On your own, within the first year, your website will not rank on the first page for approx. 95% of relevant searches to your business.

With Edge as your SEO partner, we can guarantee that at least 60% of your keywords are ranking within the first year.

At the time of writing this article over 85% of all our client keywords (12 months or older) are ranking of page 1.