When working with companies, the same question comes up time and time again: “How long does SEO take?” To see noticeable results, it usually takes about three months, but it can take even longer. For a lot of people, SEO can seem like a bit of a mystery. This past June, Google’s John Mueller tried to shed some light on the topic.
According to Mueller, there is no specific timeframe for how long it will take to get results by utilizing SEO. However, there are ways to make sure that ranking in Google Search won’t get delayed even further.
Mueller breaks down his answer into two key segments of Google search engine optimization: crawl and index.
According to Mueller, SEO indexing can be a somewhat random process. Just the indexing process can take anywhere from several hours to a few weeks. By Mueller’s estimate, good content is usually picked up and indexed within one week. However, Mueller claims that users have a few ways to speed things up and try to make sure that crawling and indexing remain unhindered.
#1: Server Overload
The first tip that Mueller gives is that the servers in use must be able to handle a substantial amount of requests within any given time frame. When a server slows down, search engines will usually slow down as well. A few ways to prevent server overload are to block unwanted traffic by putting up firewalls, as well as designating different servers for different file sizes.
#2: Prominent Internal Links
Linking to other pages within the website has been proven to further optimize the page. If Google can easily recognize what pages the publisher believes are important, it is more likely to prioritize crawling and indexing. A good example is a marketing assistant trying to optimize an ecommerce page. In this situation, it would help to have new products that are linked on the home page. According to Mueller, this makes it easier for Google as they don’t have to crawl through several categories to find the new products.
#3: Avoid Unnecessary URLs on Your Site
Making sure that the website is free of faulty URLs is a must. Search engines already have a lot on their plate, and sifting through faulty URLs just adds time to the optimization process.
#4 Maintain Website Quality
This seems like an obvious tip even if someone isn’t trying to boost their SEO, but having a website with quality content is extremely important. According to Mueller, “the easier it is for Google to recognize a site is critical for users on the web, the better it can prioritize the website for crawling and indexing.”
However, when the dust settles there is no guarantee that a website will be indexed, even if all of these steps are followed. There is a lot of content on the internet that is not indexed, and the content that gets indexed isn’t necessarily shown to users. Effective SEO isn’t a guarantee for everyone, but these steps will skew the odds in the favor of those who use them.
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