How Long Does it Take to Get a First Page Google Ranking?

Google search bar open on silver laptop

When you start search engine optimization (SEO), the goal that just about every business owner has is to be ranked on the first page of a Google search. This is certainly possible, but how quickly it will happen is worth a discussion.

As a business owner, you want things to happen quickly. Efficiency is important, as are results. SEO is a long game, and it’s not typically possible to rank on the first page immediately after you begin SEO services. If anyone promises instant results, they’re likely engaging in black hat SEO (vs white hat SEO), and that can have serious, negative consequences to your digital marketing efforts.

Understanding Google Rankings

It’s important to understand what goes into the process of ranking pages in a Google search.

When you create web pages, there are several factors that are considered. Crawlers, called Googlebots, look for these factors to determine how to index each page of your website. These are some of the things the Googlebots consider:

  • SEO: Google wants to make sure all of your web pages have keywords, titles, headings, and alt text on images.
  • Keywords: The keywords you use play a part in your Google ranking. Using more specific keywords and less general ones improves your chances of ranking higher. You might not ever reach the first page for “SEO” but you could rank on page one for “on-site SEO specialist near Chicago”.
  • Website Age: The age of your site also factors into your rankings. Websites that are six months old or younger are considered “new,” and therefore, less trustworthy in the eyes of the Googlebots. The longer your website is in existence, the more authority it gains, and the more trustworthy it becomes.
  • Quality of Content: Nowadays Google is interested in user intent, and it wants to find the content that will best answer a user query. That’s why the days of keyword stuffing are behind us, and now Google prefers more conversational content. It also needs to be original (no duplicate content), and well written.

Word map with digital marketing words like SEO, strategy, internet, keywords, and more

Ranking on Google

According to Search Engine Journal, it takes between nine to 12 months or longer for new websites to rank for competitive keywords, and one to four months or longer for non-competitive keywords.

Although it’s challenging, the best thing to do when it comes to SEO is to have patience. Remember, you’re working with professionals who are well-versed in creating SEO-driven content. So if you trust the process, you will start to see results!