How long does it take to start ranking in Google?

One question that every small business owner wants to know when they start doing SEO is how long it takes to start ranking in Google.

Here’s a hint: it won’t happen overnight for the vast majority of small businesses. The average time that it takes to rank in Google can vary massively depending on the term and it’s competitiveness, but most authorities agree that it usually takes between three to six months to start ranking well.

If you are a new business with a brand new web presence ranking in a competitive space, it can take up to a year to see any results. This news can be hugely frustrating for website owners. After all, you’ve invested so much money into building your web presence and hiring an SEO company, you want immediate results.

But instant results don’t happen in Google’s organic listings. The only way to get quick results is to cheat the system. But that will ruin your digital presence in the long term.

Below we’ll discuss how Google works and why it takes as long as it does to rank.


How Google finds your page

Google uses bots or spiders to crawl through billions of webpages every single day, collecting data and cataloging all of the information ti can find. All of this data is added to Google’s ongoing index of the internet. It’s this index that Google uses to rank websites and form its search results.

If you want your website to appear in Google, the first step is making sure that Google can find and crawl your website. If you have Google Console set up, you can actually submit your website to the index to make sure that it is crawled. Google will continue to crawl your site organically over time to make sure that its index remains relevant.


How Google ranks websites

Every time you search, Google serves up personalized results from their index in a way that it feels best matches your query. No one knows the exact formula that Google uses to rank websites, but we do know that it is based on a huge number of factors like the number of backlinks a site has, the page’s content, it’s age, and the searcher’s location and history.

How well your website ranks in Google will depend on things like:


Your SEO

You can optimize your website so that Google is more likely to find it, able to crawl it better, and thinks it is more valuable. This includes optimizing pages for certain keywords.


Your site’s age

Older websites are given more authority. New websites are considered less trustworthy, simply because they haven’t been around as long. You can still rank if you have a new website, but you should see improvements after six months.


The competitiveness of keywords

Some search phrases are harder to rank for than others. It might not be possible for small businesses to rank for keywords that are targeted by national companies. It may be better to go after localized terms first, before targeting national phrases.


The quality of your content

It’s hard to rank if you don’t have much content on your website. That’s because you aren’t giving Google enough content to decide what your page is about. The websites on the first page of Google tend to have in excess of 1000 words on their page.



Backlinks are a big sign of authority for Google. The more website linking back to yours, the more authoritative your website looks. That’s why it’s important to get backlinks even if you are a small business.