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How Long to Rank on Google

We all read here stories from others who talk about their ability to rank quickly on G. I have always read the claims with a skeptical eye, never having been able to quickly rank anything on my end. I just read an interesting study of 2,000,000 keywords and it seems it is virtually impossible to rank for a competitive keyword in a short amount of time. In fact, to get a #1 position required an average of 950 days.

I share this because it is something that I think many aren't aware of. Most people think of seo in terms of days/weeks, rather than years. 

A while back I started building PBN's with the thought that I wanted something with long-term value. I really think being in a long term mind-set is the best way to do seo. Tweek and experiment along the way but always knowing it takes a lot of effort and patience to compete. Of course this doesn't apply to low volume KW's or long tail KW's, but then again there isn't a lot of upside to winning those battles.

Interested to hear if anyone out there really is able to grab a KW ranking in short order, or is this article spot on. At the very least, maybe knowing the timeline for ranking can help take the pressure off and help to avoid making careless risky mistakes. Good luck everyone.


  • shaunshaun
    I saw that a few days ago, it has defo slowed right down and Google are much better at detecting this type of stuff now. I have been a believer in the sandbox for new domains for a long time now too.

    I have taken hit after hit, being hit with both rollouts in Feb too, I have pretty much taken the majority of this week off away from IM and in all honesty I am looking to just try white hat based stuff from now on building massive authority sites with over 500,000 words of content, build them up and then sell them on.

    My life goals are changing too, rather than wanting the standard western life I am looking more towards trying the digital nomad thing and traveling as much as possible, I have been looking into travel vlogging and stuff recently and might try that route while building my authority sites in the background.

    One thing I will say though, I see a bunch of people trying C&B on web 2.0s (I did it back in the day too) but most of them create a fresh subdomain. From my tests this essentially sets you back to zero, I currently have a few parasites on leeching their domain power and they are responding very well so far but I am expecting them to crash soon :p.
  • @shaun Couldn't agree more with you. My main income comes from a branded ms for a brand I own. To scale up I need to be more direct to consumer. This is the reason I fiddle about with seo. To rank my own products against major retailers is not as easy as it sounds, and the generic kw's for my products are super competitive. For me, I can't do deep dives with content on my ms, so I build out PBN's for that purpose. It works, but takes a long time. Like you I have taken the last week off to re-evaluate my thinking about seo. I am leaning more toward social media activity, but am just a newbie in that arena and not sure I want to spend a lot of time in learning mode.

    Agreed on the 2.0 comment. I think that ship has sailed. I think G has stepped up their game and am surprised it took them this long to zero in on 2.0's. IMO it is better these days to just use SER with a diversified blend of activity.

    Good luck with your new nomadic lifestyle! As a million-miler on two separate airlines I think seeing the world is a great thing to do and highly recommend it. Especially if you can make money while traveling. I have learned a lot from you reading your posts. Thanks and safe travels.
  • I've done a lot of testing lately and still no further forward in terms of knowing. I guess it's a mixture of factors instead of one or 2 with the main one being links.

    When people say content is key, worst line ever it means nothing imo. I have a multinche full of relevant content and was doing well. I then made another multiniche with some of the same niches and a lot less content, the 2nd one is ranking faster and better than the older one which is full of content.

    I had a multiniche back in my peaktime and everytime I added a new niche that would rank in a week, no shit.
    Now I look back and realise with SER I had gotten that DA to 57 or something on my own, it had a social presence and had traffic from everywhere and natural shares across different networks.

    I sit on here all day everyday and lately I've just got so stressed, so now I'm not on as much because it's too much. I don't give stuff time to actually run it's course and see results because when nothing is happening I change what I'm doing which is bad.
    So now I'm just letting stuff happen and see where it goes.

    I think when we do trial and error. If something works, it doesn't mean it will work for another site everything is different it's weird!
  • shaunshaun
    viking  cheers mate, I cant remember who I was telling about a friend and his mass planner accounts but he is making a few hundred dollars per day from thousands of social accounts with around 1000-2000 followers each so I have been thinking of going social too.

    Anth20  Yea I am the same, Penguin 4 killed most my stuff, the Feb 1st rollout hit some of my new sites and the one about a week later had knocked the rest out. Something has changed with my PBN site too, havent touched it in months then all of a suddent it just drops. I have seen a few threads on BHW on how Google are working towards PBNs now too.

    My current plan it to just throw a bunch of content up on a few sites and leave it to age, nothing stopping me from making it go blackhat in the future but there seems to be more and more people using this kind of thing and just focusing on picking up extreme long tails rather than aiming for top 3 for main keywords.

    One of my friends who used SER moved to PBNs but now he buys links. He has shown me his rank trackers and analytics and it is crazy how effective it seems. Thing is a single link costs $800-$1000 with a money back guarentee of only 30 days from the broker and he has said its a total numbers game, around half stick but the domains delete the other half for whatever reason so I am weary of trying that.
  • It's like a tennis match with G and all of us, we will figure it out and I ain't stopping till I do. Sometimes part of me says fuck this, to give up. But I never will there is too much money to be made, just gotta get it right.

    Probably gonna buy a few more test sites, let one age and do nothing, 2.0's only for t1, ser directly to t1 and see where they all end up. Thing is with me is patience, slowly starting to lose it.

    Can't be fucked on waiting months only to realise it was a waste of time, sick of it.
  • @shaunmarrs I think a mixture of everything is always good - unfortunately, like you alluded to, this is fairly costly. I'm doing PBNs on their own, and I know it's not good enough but it's easy and relatively cheap the way I do it, and admittedly Article Forge is the weak link here and some of those PBNs have been devalued not deindexed. This has had a slight knock on effect on money sites.

    However, as a test I ranked a site very highly with just PBNs (100) and then removed all of the links. This was a test of indexing, caching, and recrawling. 

    That site lost 'some' of the rankings (top tens are now #20-35) but with only PBNs and no other link-building it's still there. Why?

    Legacy power from once having good links? 

    Google is slow to recrawl (I don't check crawl rate on PBNs so can't judge)

    It'll eventually drop the site I'm sure but when is a key factor for me.

    I have another site that I ran mega sape (quite safe links in the end), huge links (huffpo etc), huge link building, PBNs, lots of legit WH links, infographics, the lot. Not much social but it's not really a social industry I don't think. I removed  the sape links as they were expensive, but saw a drop after a few days. Still this is in finance and would make me easy £1000 per day but I've struggled to get it into the top 10 (some were but only 170pm searches). Conversion rate was 12% but often would only get 40-50 hits a day. It's given me lots of insight into stuff, as I basically threw everything I could think of at it. With some more investment I'm sure I could hit my goal and a redesign of the site as it looks shit. Currently planning a revamp for it.

    I sold some sites recently, the guy bought them early December, and from a HTML simple site, copied the look and added some decent content (10 pages) and put it on a WP theme. Looks good, moved hosting (something that I think I struggle with so I'm moving all my sites to separate hosting accounts) and on Jan 1st he hit #1 for a keyword that I'd struggled to get past #8. He's making £100 per day from it now, I sold it to him for £400 when it was making £30pm, so I'm a little pissed. He is a web designer and has no idea about SEO. Again, as a case study it's fascinating and has given me plenty to work on. 

    Google is like a crazy girlfriend. You hate her when she's crazy, she bites and tries to stab you in the d***, but you still want to f*** her all day long, and when she lets you, it's amazing! I'm married by the way, so I can only assume this still happens to people ;))
  • @JudderMan thanks for the info. It gives me a lot to think about outside the box that I put myself in. Just hate building castles on sand. I am going to sit back at this point and let the month of February go by before making any decisions on my next moves.

    Do you think the low level sape packages are worth the $$?

    100% LOL on your last paragraph :-) 
  • My personal opinion is that you get credit for most of the value of a link the first time it's crawled. I have good and fairly recent data to back this up :)

    However, you're usually many links away from making serious progress in the SERPs, and most people add links steadily over a longish period of time. For those doing tiered link building, the value of the link is built through the lower tiers, which also takes time.

    To pull these ideas together, I agree that it's usually months/years instead of days/weeks, but mostly because of the way we build up our link juice.

    @viking - I wouldn't use sape directly to a branded ms. That said, it's still effective pushing it through T1 buffers depending on the difficulty of your keyword. And you need to get on Instagram ;)

    @JudderMan - the effect you're describing got some coverage / discussion a few years back:

    Did you figure out why the site you sold went from $30/mo to $100/day? I'd be extremely interested to know :)
  • @redrays exactly my thinking. The time it takes depends on how were building the juice. If were making brand new fresh 2.0's with say RX or SERE. Then it's gonna be ages before they have juice to pass onto MS.

    That's why lately I've been testing all the engines which have good url auth already linking directly to MS also with SERE building over time.

    People using PBN see better results cause they already have the auth/juice there and then, so upon a recrawl that juice is passed.

    Whereas fresh articles, fresh 2.0 etc is a fucking joke to wait for xD
  • redraysredrays Las Vegas
    edited February 2017
    @Anth20 - well said :)

    This is old but still one of my favorite seo articles:

    Edit: shared a link for an image in the article and not the article
  • edited February 2017
    @redrays not 100% sure why but this kinda shows the effect


    Not a big niche, it is for a women's clothing item and top brand keyword gets 3kpm searches and he's now #1. I can only assume my hosting (Godaddy for that one) was crap and his revamp to WordPress from what was a 1-pager for a long time (it was a test site that earned money so I let it run) and then 6 months ago I added 10 pages of BS content but had no effect on traffic/keyword rankings or earnings. I had it for 4 years so it was kinda cool just adding to the Amazon earnings with zero work.

    @viking no mate I wouldn't go with any old Sape links, I've tried so many. The only ones that worked for me were from cool.dude.123 from bhw. I'll dig out his skype and send the details as I don't think his site is live atm (I think he moves it about a lot due to big G) but they're expensive. 

    With regards to tiering, the most powerful thing I saw was to boost already super-powerful links - ie. sape on huffpo link. You have never seen rankings go north so fast. Never ever. I just didn't get high enough to make ROI so I pulled them after a few months. Like I said this was a huge finance bunch of keywords and was so close. I basically spent £2500 on links and £400pm ongoing but the site wasn't really good enough in the grand scheme of things but did convert. Gonna try it again but have so much other stuff going on right now.
  • @JudderMan - crazy stuff. Btw, can you pm me the details for the sape links as well? I've always bought my own, but I have a couple projects where it might make sense to spend for someone who really knows how to pick them.
  • @JudderMan thanks for that. Sape is out of my depth any way. To me it's like using a fire hose to water the flowers. Used the wrong way will be a disaster. I have had enough of those lately :-)

    @Anth20 agreed. We have to use patience and keep testing. There is a way to crack it. Just have to find the way and also to remember that as one seo window closes, another opens, so we have to remain active and change with G's updates.

    @RedRays IG?? Are you cashing in there? Do you have a tool to use? Or more a technique?

    I have been doing a deep dive into what may have happened Feb 7th with the G update. It looks like it was on-site and related to two things; content quality and user engagement. Could have actually been anything, who knows, but I mention this because it perfectly lines up with my hits. The pages that got slammed on my side were thin and old content, so that makes sense. I have re-written a few of the product pages and made sure the content was 100% unique. The other metric of user engagement, I was fooling around with a traffic bot a few months back and stopped using it because the user base was too small. While I was using it, the traffic metrics were incredible. Game changing. So it makes sense that G saw the metric drop off the table and said 'no way you belong on Page 1, buh bye' and shoved me down 50 positions. So I am going to re-activate the traffic-bot and bring that metric back up. I will watch over the coming weeks to see if this recovers the pages and if the re-written content makes a difference.

  • @viking - still in the testing phase, but Mass Planner and follow / unfollow. I'll pm you some interesting threads to read on bhw and mpsocial.
  • 1linklist1linklist FREE TRIAL Linklists - VPM of 150+ -
    Not to get to into the convo here, as some of our properties were effected to; but guys if your not using an aged or dropped domain as your money-site your putting yourself through all kinds of unnessecary pain.

    Seriously, go grab one of those "Dropped PBN" domains from BHW - and set it up as a money site instead. They get away with murder; we had three new ones hit the first page just this weekend.

    Nothing fancy in our profiles - Social signals, a decent T1, and SER.
  • @1linklist - how dare you intrude like that :P

    I've tried this before and didn't have much success, but it's probably because I leaned too much toward niche relevancy and not enough toward raw authority. Do you have a recommendation for a decent vendor or two?
  • 1linklist1linklist FREE TRIAL Linklists - VPM of 150+ -
    TBH we scrape our own, but look for one of the guys selling dropped domains with authority links. There are a couples of sellers in the BST over there.

    If you really want a solid money-site, ask for one that's still in the index. Its one out of a thousand sites, but sometimes a dropped-deleted domain will still be in there - which means virtually no waiting time to get your campaign rolling, and is a pretty good indicator of the kind of authority / trust it has flowing to it.

    One of my buddys says good things about "Nargils expired & premium domains", but I cant vouch for him personally as I've never tried it out.
  • @1linklist - thanks for the tips, I'll try out a few different sellers there. Have you found it helpful to buy domains from a close-ish niche?
  • @1linklist I agree 100% with that, we wait so long now because we're building the authority ourselves which is a pain in the ass.

    Looks like that will be the way, when making new sites just buy deleted ones, I'm impatient though if I want a domain I cba to go through auctions or bidding etc. Thanks
  • @1linklist I've tried it a few times with PBN domains as money sites but every one has been penalised. Changed to a fresh domain (new) and rankings soar.....must be doing something wrong...

  • 2Take22Take2 UK
    edited February 2017
    Interesting thread guys. Still ranking fresh domains here with pure spam. Not much has changed really as far as that goes, pretty much the same as last year, and the year before.

    If I look at the data I've collected from several hundred recent C&B projects, then it normally seems to take 1 - 3 months to rank somewhere decent on page1. Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. It depends on the competition really, but I only really churn and burn profitable low / medium comp keyword sets though, as the ROI can be insane.

    With non churn and burn projects going after hard keywords using pbn etc. then probably 6 months plus has been more the norm for decent rankings for pages a new domain (once the domain was aged, new pages were ranking fast though), at least from my own experience. I've been having some issues with pbn links since last December though.
  • @2Take2 - interesting. When you say pure spam do you mean just links from ser?
  • @redrays - Normally just automated spam links using SER, but occasionally in combination with SAPE, depending on the project.
  • shaunshaun
    @2Take2 Pyramids or just single tier one blasting?
  • @shaun I just use a fairly simple 2 tier approach mate - nothing too fancy.
  • shaunshaun
    @2Take2 is everything contextual in it?
  • @shaun - Yea, all contextual.
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