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It can take hours, days or weeks for a website to rank on Google, depending on many factors. While it can seem like an extremely long period of time, it is often only a temporary inconvenience. Your rankings are determined by many different factors, and Google does not disclose how this specifically affect your website’s ability to rank in search.

How Long Does it take for a Website to Rank on Google?

Assuming we’re taking about a brand new website, freshly designed, with a new, never-before-used domain name. This is the situation that will almost always take the longest to begin appearing in search results.

Here’s some of the reasons why:

  • The domain name is new – Domain names are how website are identified. For a brand new domain name, a website isn’t properly known to Google. The search engine is aware of the domain name, as you’ll have undoubtedly submitted the new site in Search Console. But, you can’t expect Google to hurl it up the ranks straight away. Search engines need to see that the site is legitimate, useful and trustworthy, which takes time to demonstrate.
  • The industry and site topic is unknown – Aside from the initial crawl of the website by Googlebot, there is no history of updates and modifications to the website. It may be clear what the site is about to look at, but a steady history of relevant addition of content and updates is needed to show consistency in the topic.
  • The website has no backlinks – Backlinks, or links to your site from other websites demonstrate trust. If the domain name is new, there’s every chance that there are no links pointing to your website. Backlinks act as a kind of referral, or ‘vote’ for your site. Building a steady backlink profile over time, from reputable websites, shows that your site is trustworthy and a useful source of information.

Can a New Website Rank Quickly in Organic Search?

Generally speaking, no. It does however depend on the competition on your chosen and relevant keywords, and what preparation you have done in the form of an SEO strategy.

If you’ve optimised your new website fully; thinking about keywords, navigation, quality content, page loading performance, internal linking, and many more factors; your website will find a place in the organic search rankings quicker than a site with no optimisation.

If you find yourself in a low competition niche, it’s possible to achieve rankings early on, although this is very unusual.

It’s reasonable to allow up to 6 months to achieve initial rankings in organic search results. This requires regular work to build up the content of the website, and authority through backlinks.

What if the Website or Domain has been used before?

If the website and domain are your own, for this website in a previous form, you have a significant advantage when it comes to ranking in search engines.

If the content is known to Google, and just the domain name is changed, then through proper SEO and permanent redirects (301), you can minimise disruption and rank reasonably quickly.

The domain alone, being used for a new website on the same subject, may also have a ranking advantage. If the domain has an established history within the chosen industry or topic. The chances are, this domain will have relevant backlinks. And, if the domain is reused correctly, mapping redirects to pass on the link authority, and replicating the old site and structure as close as possible, there’s an advantage to be gained here too.

Conclusion – How Long Does it take for a Website to Rank on Google?

To summarise, there’s no shortcuts when it comes to ranking a new website on Google or any other search engine.

You will probably find your website ranking in some form, whether that’s lower down the search pages, or in Google images, within a couple of weeks. But, a long term strategy is essential for significant results.

Search engine algorithms are advanced enough to know an established website or business. It makes no sense to serve results that are unknown and untested for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

It’s important to focus on the quality of the website and the overall user experience. This, in time will generate higher rankings in organic search.

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