When I present my SEO support services, a question comes up regularly “How long does it take to be listed in Google?”. If there is no exact answer, I will try to provide answers regarding the indexing and positioning times.
Google’s indexing delay
Before even asking the question of how long to be on the first page of Google. it may be useful to go over some basics of natural referencing. It should be understood in fact that this one works in several phases and that it requires to be (very) patient.
The first step is the crawl of the site. Google’s robots will then read the HTML codes by going from one URL to another. Then there is the indexing part where the search engine will check if the page is indeed valid to deserve to be in its database.
There is no standard time frame for indexing a page on Google. However, we usually notice times ranging from a few days to several weeks for a new website. If it is a question of indexing a page on a site existing for a certain time and regularly updated, the indexing time will be much faster, that is to say the history of a few hours (sometimes less).
Several factors can make it easier to index a page:
- The sitemap is entered in the Search Console
- The site has some history
- The pages are correctly linked together
- The site benefits from external links (backlinks)
- The site is regularly updated
If you notice that after a certain time your page is still not indexed, you can then go to Google Search Console and then go to the “URL Inspection” tab to then request indexing.
Once a page is indexed, the third step in SEO is positioning.
The well-positioned pages in Google are selected in the index according to their adequacy with the request made by the Internet user. There is no exact formula for getting your website to the top of a Google search. However, the following factors play a key role in the ranking process:
- Have a domain name of your own: Google’s algorithm is designed to spot websites that try to trick the system with tricks like keyword stuffing or buying inbound links. These ploys can work for a while. However, if Google notices this, your site will be penalized and your ranking will suffer.
- Age of the domain name: A web domain less than six months old is considered a “new” site in the eyes of Google. It is then considered to be less credible than an older website that has been thoroughly verified by Google’s algorithm.
- Keyword Competition: The keywords or phrases searched are often very competitive, and the more established sites in your industry have a head start on popular searches. If your site is recent, it will be less complicated to try to position yourself on low-competitive queries before moving on to more popular expressions.
- The quality of content: Googlebots are designed to identify characteristics such as the frequency of posting new content, the originality of the content, and the length and overall quality of your texts. Adding unique and good quality content will lead to better ranking over time.
- Inbound links: Whether internal links (internal mesh) or external links (backlinks), the latter have always had considerable weight in Google’s algorithm. It is preferable to obtain contextual links from credible sites and in a theme close to yours to maximize your chances of being well referenced.
How long does it take to be positioned on Google?
Let’s take a look at two concrete cases to analyze the positioning time for a new domain name and an expired domain name.
For a new site
If you are starting from scratch with a new domain name, for example with your brand name, you will have to be patient before acquiring natural traffic on Google. Generally, there is a delay ranging from 6 months to 1 year before starting to position on competitive keywords.
For a site with an already existing history
If you are lucky enough to have a site that has a certain history, a few SEO optimizations and the addition of quality content will allow your pages to rank in just a few months .
In this example, a niche site was built from an expired domain name that had a certain history and thematic links. This made it possible to position the site quickly on competitive requests.
Study on positioning time in computer graphics
Ahrefs conducted a study on “how long does it take to rank in Google”. If this study unfortunately does not give an exact answer, it at least has the merit of showing that nearly 95% of newly published pages do not reach the Top 10 in one year. Most of the “lucky ones” who only get there between 2 and 6 months