How long does it take to rank in Google? Ask any SEO expert this question, and the answer will be: it depends. This is because there are simply too many variables to take into account, such as existing domain authority, competition, on-site ranking factors, off-site ranking factors, and so on. Fortunately, thanks to a study carried out by Ahrefs, we can give you a more concrete answer after all.
After Ahrefs took 2 million random keywords and pulled data on the Top 10 ranking pages for each of them, they determined that the average Top 10 ranking page was 2+ years old, while the ones that rank at position #1 were almost 3 years old on average
To calculate how long it takes for a page to rank in Google, Ahrefs randomly selected 2 million pages that were first seen by their crawler a year ago. They then tracked the position history of each page for any keyword it’s ranked for. When the Ahrefs team looked at what percentage of pages at each ranking position were less than 1 year old, it turned out that only 5.7% of all pages analyzed in the study ranked in the Top 10 search results within 1 year for at least 1 keyword
The study also showed that pages from websites with a high Domain Rating (DR) performed way better than those with a low DR. When the study zoomed in on that 5.7 % of pages to see how long it took them to climb their way to the top, it turned out that the majority of these “lucky” pages made it to the Top 10 in approximately 61 to 182 days
When Ahrefs re-calculated the numbers based on monthly search volume of keywords, it turned out that only 0.3% of pages ranked in the Top 10 for a high-volume keyword in less than a year. As the study demonstrated, you can rank for low-volume keywords in a very short time, but getting into the Top 10 with high-volume keywords can take up to a year
However, keep in mind that this data only applies to 5.7% of the so-called “lucky” pages that ranked in the Top 10 within a year. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of pages don’t perform as well. In fact, 95% of all the pages studied by Ahrefs didn’t make it to the Top 10 within this timeframe
In fact, it’s maybe best to avoid the term “lucky” in this context. The real reason why that 5.7 % of pages got to the Top 10 in a year has less to do with luck and far more with existing domain authority, hard work, and excellent knowledge of SEO
While the Ahrefs study didn’t give a 100% definite answer to the question of how long it takes to rank in Google, it showed that the vast majority of newly published pages don’t get to the Top 10 within a year, while most of the “lucky” ones manage to do so in about 2–6 months
Check out the infographic below by The Website Group for a more comprehensive breakdown of the Ahrefs study on how long it takes to rank in Google.
What do you think of this infographic? How long did it take you to rank in Google? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.