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How long does it take to get top rankings on Google?

Many people who start a website think that it is possible to get high rankings on Google within a few days. Unfortunately, this is not possible. Competition on the Internet is fierce and there are several factors that influence how long it takes until Google lists your website.

1. How old is your website?

If you have a brand new website then you have to wait. You can submit your website to Google but Google will only index your website if other websites link to your site.

In addition, you have to prove that your website is not spammy. Google has several filters for new websites and you have to earn Google's trust before your website can get lasting high rankings. A new website can get good rankings for less competitive keywords but it usually takes about 6 months to gain the minimum level of trust that is necessary to get high rankings.

2. How optimized was your website before?

If you have an old and established website that was blocking search engine robots due to a broken robots.txt file or a bad website navigation then it can be relatively easy to show up in search engines.

If you remove the factors that keep search engine robots from your web pages then search engines will list your website relatively quickly. Of course, this doesn't work if you have a new site.

3. How many inbound links does your website have?

If you have an old website that has very few links then it will take longer to get high rankings on Google. If your website has many inbound links, then Google will pick up the optimized pages on your website much quicker. The more quality links your website has, the quicker your optimized web pages will show up in Google's results.

4. Which keywords do you target?

This is a very important factor! The more competitive your keyword is, the longer you will have to wait to get high rankings and the more links and optimized pages you need. Start with multiple word keywords that are related to your business and then proceed to the more competitive keywords when your website has good content and inbound links.

5. Who are your competitors?

If the website that are ranked in the top 10 results for your keyword all have thousands of inbound links and more than thousand pages then it's not likely that your website will be able to get in the top 10 results if it has 10 inbound links and 20 pages. You can either wait for along time until you get top 10 rankings for that keywords (i.e. when you have a similar amount of pages and inbound links) or you can start with other keywords.

How many days, weeks or months does it take exactly?

Provided that your website has good inbound links and optimized web pages, you can get high rankings on Google within a few months if you have a brand new site and choose a very specific keyword that consists of several words. Old and established sites usually need some weeks for such a keyword.

If you target industry keywords, which usually consist of two or more words, brand new sites usually need six months to a year to get high rankings. An established site might get the same result within 3 months.

Highly competitive one word keywords usually require thousands of good inbound links. A brand new website can need several years to get high rankings for such a competitive keyword and even established sites can sometimes need more than a year.

High rankings on Google take some time. You have to optimize your web pages and you have to get good inbound links. Without these two factors, it is not possible to get high rankings on Google.

The number of inbound links is a very important factor. If you have optimized web pages but no links, then you have to build these links and you have to wait longer. If your website has a lot of inbound links then you will get high rankings quickly if you optimize your pages.

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February 2009 search engine articles