How Long Does it Take for SEO to Work?

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In this post, we will answer the question: How long does it take for SEO to work.

Let’s be honest.

If anyone is going to adopt content creating as a growth strategy, they’d want to see SEO results. They’d love to notice more visitors coming to their sites before they can invest further in the process.

But to get there, they must wait for months to pass without seeing a single change. And that’s enough to make most want to people quit.

You might be in that place right now. 

You might even be wondering:

How long does it take for SEO to work? Why is my content taking so long to rank? And how much time does it take for a page to rank first on Google?

In this post, we’ll answer all those questions and more.

Let’s get started.

How Long Does it Take to Rank on Google?

Before we answer this question, let’s agree on one thing first:

We’re not talking about getting to the first spot in the SERPs here. 

That’s a whole different question, and it requires a different perspective to be answered.

Instead, this is more about the duration your content takes to get indexed on Google.

And the best answer we can give you for that is:

It depends.

There’s no precise duration that all websites must wait to appear on the result pages. 

Google has always been secretive about such things, and they’re right to do that. If this information gets out, marketers will shift their focus from creating value towards rankings only.

But, don’t worry…

We’ll give you a good rule of thumb to follow. 

The main factor we know of when it comes to ranking duration is domain age.

The older your website is, the more search engines trust it. Google will index your site more quickly. And your results will be shown much earlier to search users.

For websites in their first year, it may take from six months up to a year before you see any results on your articles. During this period, you’re unlikely to receive any substantial organic traffic.

Websites that are a few years old take four to six months only to get pages indexed.

However, well-established authority websites only take less than four months. In fact, sometimes, their content is indexed within two to three days or even hours or minutes when it comes to news sites.

free seo scorecard

Why Does it Take Long for SEO to Work?

When you launch a new website, search engines will have a hard time trusting your content. The algorithms will find it challenging to evaluate what you’re creating.

You’re a new fish in the pond.

Google doesn’t want to risk its reputation by putting content from an unknown source at the top. It needs to trust you first and be sure about how well you’re doing your job.

For that reason…

Search engines do a lot of user testing. 

They’ll show your articles to lots of different users, at different times, for different queries. After that, they’ll gather all the data and decide on what to do with your web pages.

If your content is preferable to organic visitors, Google will love your website. 

After that, your content will appear for search users faster. And you’ll get organic visitors to your site more quickly.

How Long Does it Take to Rank First on Google?

This is an entirely different question, but the answer is quite the same…

It depends.

Getting to the top of the search results can take only a few months or many years. So, it depends on many ranking factors and the competition in your field.

For instance, the more competitive your market is, the longer it takes you to get to the top. SEO optimization, website speed, and design, and backlinks are also taken into consideration. 

The quality of your content is also a huge determining factor. 

If you produce thin content that’s unlikely to give any value to readers, your pages will never get to the top — no matter how long you wait.


So, how long does it take for SEO to work? Domain age and site authority are the main factors to determine how quickly your pages are going to rank. Some websites get their pages indexed within a few weeks. Others may have to wait up to a year to start ranking and getting traffic.

But that isn’t really what matters…

If you create good content, you know it’s going to be indexed and rank high one day. It’s a matter of quality and applying the best SEO practices instead of duration. 

So, do your best with your content and provide helpful answers as much as you can. Search engines will surely reward you for that when the time comes.

If you’re struggling with your content marketing and SEO, we’re here for you! 

Check out our content marketing services. We’ll help you craft your best content, optimize it for SEO, and eventually grow your business. 

Jeramy Gordon is the founder and Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company. He has been creating successful content strategies for almost two decades and believes in the power of high-quality content. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

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