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One of the most frequently asked questions for any webmaster or search specialist is how long it takes for SEO to be effective. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as suggesting a specific time frame, as it’s dependent on the client, their industry, what strategies are used and the starting point for the campaign.
As a rule of thumb, SEO, especially white hat SEO, should be a medium to long term strategy. Achieving overnight success is almost impossible; and those who offer you this will often end up jeopardising your site as a result.
This is a good place to start because the time frame in which you rise up the rankings can vary between agencies and consultants. This is a sure fire way to weed out those who are operating in the murky waters of black hat tactics;because if they’re claiming to be able to get you to number one for your desired keywords, then the only way this is possible is by ‘gaming the system’.
In effect, this will be more damaging to your business, and importantly, to your brand in the long run. So with legitimate, white hat tactics, how long are you looking at? As mentioned, there are a few variables to consider, especially SEO factors, such as indexing and link building, as well as your competition and the amount of money and time you’re looking to invest.
In terms of indexing, this can take a good couple of weeks, especially for a brand new site. The more content you upload and the more frequently you update your site, the quicker the indexing process will become; but this will take time to build. For example, it can take weeks for search engines to find and index a brand new domain with limited inbound links.
Regarding link building, well this is an ongoing process and there really is no time frame. In fact the more time you invest, the better, because it’s important for links to be gained naturally over time. If you suddenly buy 10,000 links and all of a sudden propel up the rankings, Google’s algorithms will detect that something is up, and may choose to penalise your site. Therefore building a steady stream of links overtime will be far more beneficial.
When it comes to your market, this can be a game changer. Industries which are incredibly competitive will take longer to achieve success in, because the keywords which people are targeting will often be incredibly popular. For niche sites and new emerging markets with original and unique keywords, you can gain rankings in a much quicker time frame than competitive keywords.
Other things to consider are the age of the domain, as older sites are preferred over new ones – it’s an issue of trust. When it comes to SEO, the bottom line is that the more money and time you invest, the better your results. However as mentioned, there are a number of factors to consider, as well as the agency or consultant and the effectiveness of their tactics. The important part for any business is to choose an agency or consultant that will only help their site and not harm it. Once they’ve established the right partner, they can hope to expect good results, but only over time.
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Samantha Noble is well known within in the search industry, she even won the UK Search Personality 2016 at the UK Search Awards in November. This year, she continues to make an impact on the industry by judging not only one, but three, prestigious industry awards.