The realm of link building in SEO is indeed a fascinating one. Throughout the years,…
16. How long does SEO take?
17. SEO vs PPC
In SME forums across the country, business owners and managers in the UK are seeking the assistance of marketing agencies and SEO professionals to quickly boost their rankings on Google. They often ask, “How long does SEO take?” Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous individuals who claim to deliver top Google rankings within two weeks, taking advantage of business owners who are eager for quick results and a fast payday.
However, most reputable SEO agencies are honest about the fact that SEO is a marathon rather than a sprint. There are no instant fixes, and the time it takes for SEO to impact search engine rankings depends on several factors.
Firstly, let’s consider how long Google takes to index web pages. Google’s “bots” crawl the entire Internet, discovering and understanding the content of each page. This process is called indexing. Google analyses the content, catalogues images and videos embedded on the page, and stores this data in its massive index, which consists of a vast database spread across numerous computers.
When a user performs a Google search, the search engine strives to provide the most relevant answer based on multiple factors. These factors include content quality, website design, keywords used, and the business’s location. Google also takes into account negative aspects such as attempts to manipulate its algorithm using “black hat” techniques like keyword stuffing, cloaking, and paid-for links.
John Mueller, a well-known representative of Google’s search relations, recently admitted that it can take “several hours to several weeks” for Google to index new or updated content. Sometimes, it may take even longer due to technical issues with the website or if Googlebot has a significant amount of indexing work to carry out.
Therefore, regardless of how quickly a marketing agency works, the speed of Google’s operations remains a limiting factor. Moreover, even if a website or web page is indexed, it does not guarantee immediate ranking success.
Competition also plays a significant role in SEO. Ranking higher is easier if you offer a unique product or service, while commonly sold products are more challenging to rank for, especially when competing against well-established businesses.
Location is another factor affecting competition. For instance, if someone searches for “Chinese food near me” in central Manchester—an inland, cosmopolitan city with its own “China town”—there will be intense competition for search engine rankings. On the other hand, if the same search is performed in Mevagissey—a small village and fishing port on the south coast of Cornwall—there will be a less crowded space where seafood restaurants and port-side pubs are more prevalent.
Inbound links also impact SEO. While acquiring high-quality links is beneficial for Google rankings, the speed at which you acquire them matters in ways you may not expect. Google looks for organic and authentic inbound links. Therefore, a sudden influx of high-quality links may make Google suspicious, considering them potentially paid-for links rather than genuine indicators of a high-quality site. Building inbound links takes time because it’s not just about the number of links but also the rate at which they are obtained.
On the other hand, content creation is an area where progress can be made relatively quickly. There is no reason to hold back on publishing great quality, keyword-rich copy if you have it. However, it’s essential to remember that Google operates at its own pace in terms of crawling and indexing. Sharing content on social media can also provide social signals and generate organic traffic.
When considering Google rankings, it’s crucial to have realistic expectations and targets. Assessing all aspects of your business, including competition, location, content quality, and your current situation, is necessary. This doesn’t mean that small and medium-sized businesses should consider SEO as a long-term project they can’t afford. SEO can be affordable for businesses of all sizes.
For more information about SEO for SMEs, feel free to get in touch with DigiBubbble, an approachable and knowledgeable marketing and SEO agency based in Surrey, UK, specializing in working with SMEs.