During the course of every initial discussion about search engine optimization we have with new clients or potential clients is the subject of expectations. Usually the question is simple, when can I expect to see my site show up? The answer is a bit more complicated.
Several factors go into how a search engine will react to a site that has been properly optimized. One of the major factors, especially as it relates to Google, is how old the site is. New sites can take 6 to 9 months to show up for their main keywords in Google, why? The accepted reason in the SEO field is what’s called the Google “Sandbox”. Without getting into a discussion about the Sandbox Theory, simply put, this is a filter put in place to help prevent spamming. So what’s a site owner to do if his site won’t be in Google for 6-9 months? Well first, don’t panic! There is another little engine called Yahoo and a couple of others called MSN & Ask Jeeves that you can get in. In fact we’ve seen sites get listed and ranked in MSN in as little as 72 hours. If you could obtain significant traffic, front page rankings and sales without a significant listing in Google would you take it? Yes, I thought so.
So when can you expect your site to show up? To begin obtaining good rankings in most of the engines a new site that has been properly optimized should start “showing up” within 2-4 weeks. For established sites it should be much quicker but again all of this is dependent on numerous factors and certainly is site specific.