How Long it Will Take to Rank on the First Page of Google

Google First

I’m pleased to say that Inbound Storm is off to a great start.  I’ve already received a number of inquiries asking for help.  The most common one so far: “Matt, how long until I start ranking on the first page of Google?”

Part of being a good internet marketer is answering the questions your potential customers have.  They serve as a great inspiration for a blog.  I’m glad to see the small community I’ve already built understands Google is the place to be.  It’s the Michigan Avenue of internet shoppers.  After all, Google commands 65% of all searches on the internet.  And of that 65%, 94% of the clicks go to those who rank on the first page.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a straight shooter.  What I’m going to say may disappoint you.  I have no clue how long it will take!  Huh? 

Stay with me here

I’m a numbers guy. My friends usually ask me at dinner to figure out the tip.  I do my own investing (although my former broker still argues with me he can do better – we have a lot of fun).  I helped tutor stats a little bit in college and  I memorized the Chicago street grid just so I can direct cab drivers.  But I don’t hold a candle to the geniuses over at Google.  Legend has it you need an IQ of 150 just to sweep the floors at that joint.

There are gazillion factors that go into Google’s search algorithm.  It’s constantly changing.  And it’s a very heavily guarded secret.  I think if you work at Google you must take an omerta (for you Goodfellas and Godfather fans).  The truth is nobody can give you a precise answer.  There are just too many changing variables.

There are, however, established best practices you should follow.  Many of them I already outlined in a recent post where I talked about how to dominate your online competition in six months or less.  If there is one takeaway from that post, it’s that you have to start producing a boatload of content on your website.  I don’t care how boring you might think your business is to others.  Even skydiving becomes tiresome if you do it everyday.  If your business is interesting enough for you to show up for work each day, and there’s someone on the planet looking for your product or service, you need to start blogging --NOW!

Much of my motivation for starting Inbound Storm stemmed from my years of frustration dealing with geeky SEO companies at my basement waterproofing company.  My head would spin for hours after each time I spoke with them.  They also cost me an arm and a leg and produced very limited results.  SEO is dead now.  Content is king!

Times have changed

Google’s secret formula used to be heavily weighted on technical factors -- factors that businesspeople like you and I would not be inclined nor take the time to understand.  But the game has changed.  Web searchers got tired of getting spammy results.  As social media started to explode, people turned in hoards to platforms like Facebook to find out what’s the “best thin crust pizza in Chicago.”  (You might want to check out LaMadia, one of my personal favorites).

That made Google nervous.  Very nervous.  Especially as Facebook rose to become the most trafficked website in the world.  So what did Google do?  They changed their algorithms to reward those who provided the most educational and valuable content and banished those who dared try to game them.  I’d say it fared well for them so far, especially if you look at both company’s recent stock prices.

Google at its very core is just a broker of information.  Facebook is just a place to hang out and socialize online; it will never be the source of all information.  Don’t believe me?  Try asking your network of friends to describe “how does drain tile work?” and see what kind of answers you get (let’s assume we’re not friends).  Then, try Googling that and see who shows up on top.

So let’s get back to your original question.  How long will it take?  I can tell you it took U.S. Waterproofing about two to three months to see measurable results after we started embracing the principles of Inbound Marketing.  We’re now in month seven. Our website traffic has now skyrocketed by 500%.  We currently rank on the first page of Google for 142 of our targeted keywords (84 of those falls within the desirable first three positions).  And we got a bunch of free press along the way.

This compares to 5-10% annual growth over the prior five years when I was using traditional SEO internet marketing companies (and during that period I also had a PR firm on a monthly retainer).

Can you achieve similar results?  I’ll be happy to give you an honest assessment, so get in touch.  Or put your question is the comment box below so the community can benefit.  Or both!  There is one thing I can leave with you – Inbound Marketing is the future of advertising.  The sooner you start, the better your chances.