Sam Rose - Head of Content

Sam Rose

13th October 2017

When Will My Website Rank At The Top of Google?

One of the most common questions we are asked by new clients is “How long will it take to get me to the top of Google?” The top spot in Google’s search results is a coveted seat, but it can take longer to achieve than many people think.

A study by Ahrefs in February has shed a little light on the subject, with the data they uncovered going some way to explaining how long it takes for a webpage to appear on the first page of Google. The article is well worth a read, but we have summed up the main points here:

  • The average page appearing on the first page of Google is over two years old
  • The average page in the top position is nearly three years old
  • Only 22% of pages on the first page of Google were created within a year
  • Only around 1% of pages in the top spot are less than a year old

During the study, Ahrefs investigated two million pages that were first crawled one year ago, and found that only 5.7% were on the first page of Google within a year for at least one keyword. Of that 5.7%, most pages took just 2-6 months to get into the top ten. However, bear in mind that the other 95% of pages studied didn’t make it onto the first page within a year of being crawled.

Keyword search volume is one factor that can affect how long it takes to rank highly. The study found that pages in the 5.7% took almost a year to rank in the top ten for high volume keywords, but took an average of 2-4 months to rank for low volume keywords. Only 0.3% of pages took less than a year to rank in the top ten for a high volume keyword.

What does all this mean?

The study therefore suggests that it can take over two years to get onto the first page of search results, and up to three years to get to the number one position. But of course, in reality lots of factors come into play and every website is different – some might not take this long, while others will take longer. Unfortunately, it isn’t a case of creating your website and waiting for Google to discover you and launch you up to the top spot. The 5.7% of pages that got into the top ten within a year didn’t get there by pure luck. This achievement requires a well-designed website with optimised architecture, valuable content, and high quality links. And all of that requires time and hard work.

How long might it take to get to the top with SilverDisc?

To help further demonstrate how long it could take to reach the top of the search results, we can also draw on our own experience at SilverDisc.

For example, one of our clients was at the bottom of page 5 for a low volume keyword, and is now in position three on the first page of results 21 months later. Another client started on page four for a high volume keyword and is now near the bottom of the first page, which has taken 16 months. A third client started on page three for a low volume keyword and took eleven months to get to the top position – which they have held for twelve months.

Client

Keyword

Starting Position

New Position

Time Taken

Client 1

Low volume keyword

Bottom of page 5

Position 3 on page 1

21 months

Client 2

High volume keyword

Page 4

Position 9 on page 1

16 months

Client 3

Low volume keyword

Page 3

Top position

11 months

These are just three examples and as you can see, the time it takes does vary and it depends on a number of factors. For example, we never know what our competitors are going to do, or how Google's algorithms are going to change. However, with hard work and a little patience, it is possible to improve your website’s rankings – and the increased visibility, traffic and conversions you could get will be worth the wait.

If your website is struggling to climb up the rankings and you’d like a helping hand, we are happy to assist you. Contact us online or call 01536 316100.

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