We all have the right to ask ourselves real existential questions and if there is one that interests many webmasters, it is this: how long will it take me to properly reference a site? Why does SEO take so long? Why am I getting so few visitors from Google when my new site has been around for a few weeks now?
The reality quickly imposes itself: referencing a new site is a real challenge of patience ! Bloggers are also confronted with it, often going through a long period of dead calm when launching their blog. How to occupy this waiting period intelligently and how long will it last? Answers in this article!
Indexing a new site
When you create a blog or a site, you must learn to distinguish between two things:
- Indexing , that is to say the fact that the site appears in Google results (it can be on the first page but also on the 50th page!).
- The positioning , that is to say the place occupied by your site in these results.
There is no standard time frame for Google to index a site . The first pages are generally listed within a week of being online. It can be very fast (less than an hour sometimes!), it can also take several weeks. To find out if your site is indexed, just type site:addressofyoursite.tld on Google: the search engine will then tell you the number of pages it has indexed.
If this instruction returns no results, it means that Google has not yet indexed your site. There could be several explanations:
- A site still too young.
- A site that Google is unable to index because you are preventing search engine crawlers from accessing it, because there is a server problem preventing access to the site, etc.
To help Google index your site , you have several methods at your disposal. They do not guarantee that Google will index the site, or even that it will do so quickly… but let’s say that you put the odds on your side to make it easier for them.
Submit site address to Google
You can submit the address directly or through the free Google Search Console tool if you have created an account there.
Go to the “Exploration > Explore like Google” section, click on “Explore”. In the table, Google then offers to send the site for indexing. Just check the box “Explore this URL and its direct links”.
Search Console can also notify you of any problems that Google encounters on the site (access impossible, etc.). Personally, I never use the submission of a site to Google because the engine is now sufficiently “mature” to detect new web pages itself.
Submit a sitemap to Google
Then send the address of the xml file obtained to Google via Google Search Console, section Exploration > Sitemaps, by clicking on the red button “Add/Test a sitemap”. ex: https://easy-tutorials.com/sitemap.xml
Positioning a new site
This is a second aspect of the problem because even if Google knows your site, that does not mean that it will give it a place on the first page in a few days!
When you have just launched a new site or created a blog, I can understand that it is a little frustrating to wait (without traffic) for Google to deign to give its verdict! You can use this time to perform a few actions that will benefit your site .
Feed the site with content
Even if it’s frustrating at first to have the feeling of writing in a vacuum, without being read by anyone, I advise you to write regularly. Text is the raw material that the search engine uses to assess the relevance of your pages . Publish articles with text (avoid posts containing only images or videos).
- Unique articles (no copying !).
- Optimized articles (for which you write a title and a meta description , place subtitles, appropriate markup ).
- Regular articles : publishing twice a week for example will not allow you to be better positioned but it will encourage Google to return regularly to the site. The volume of content on the site will also grow faster, which can ultimately accelerate your development.
Create links to the site
Search engines use links to move from one web page to another… but also to assess the popularity of each site . It is partly for this reason that when a brand (or the government) launches a new site with a major communication campaign around it, the site is quickly very well placed on Google: Internet users talk about it, multiplying the links to the site.
Of course, an ordinary blogger or a small business that creates its blog or its site does not have this kind of communication budget, but remember this principle: links play a role in the rate of growth of your site .
- A blogger can for example publish guest articles on already influential third-party sites, indicating the link of his new blog.
- Create accounts on social networks and indicate the link of the site there.
- Possibly post some relevant comments on sites related to your theme.
Keep in mind that the links must come from sites relevant to your subject and from sites that already have a good reputation and are recognized for their quality. On the other hand, avoid multiplying the links on any type of site: too rapid growth in the volume of links can be considered suspicious by Google.
Obtaining links through guest blogging , for example, can be a good boost for a young site, which will help it to become known to search engines more quickly.
Check the site for errors
A few things to check on your checklist:
- Can we access your site without there being delays , server errors?
- Does your site have 404 pages (pages deleted and not redirected to an alternative page)? If so, consider correcting these errors.
- Have you blocked access to the site for robots ? Sometimes you inadvertently checked a “noindex” box in the settings of a plugin that blocks the indexing of the site… or you forgot to uncheck the box “Ask search engines not to index this site” in the WordPress settings. If so, correct the problem.
- Are you using too many redirects ? You had chosen a first domain name, you finally changed and then opted for a different extension… Sometimes, a site has too many redirections and the search engine gets lost, not to mention that the loading time is longer for the visitor , which must go from A to B, then from B to C…
- Are some pages accessible from several different addresses ? I have already seen a trader have 1400 different addresses listed on Google… for a site that actually had only 300 pages: each page was accessible via several addresses, diluting its effectiveness in terms of SEO.
In addition, look at how the site is designed: can you easily access all the pages or is navigation difficult (no menu, pages difficult to access, etc.)?
Referencing a new site, variable timing
It results from these different parameters mentioned that the referencing of a new site takes a variable time , which depends a lot on your investment to supply the site with content, optimize it in terms of code or even make it known through links of quality.
I often notice that Google begins by assigning an “initial” position to the pages according to the state of the site at a given time: does it receive links, does the article seem rich in information, is the site well structured? Then, between 1 and 3 months later, he re-evaluates this position and this is where you can often take quite a big jump in results.
For example, my article “How to know the traffic of a website”, published at the end of October 2015, received around 150-200 visitors/month the first two months, it then stagnated on the second page of Google. Its positioning was then reassessed upwards and it now attracts around 1,000 visitors per month.
The age of the domain name also plays a role:
- A very young domain name, which has no history, will take longer to evolve than a domain name that is at least one year old. Symbolically, it’s a bit as if Google needed time to “trust” a site it doesn’t know.
- But on the other hand, some old names have a negative history: they have been penalized for spam, for example… I had the case of a reader of No Tuxedo who was systematically filtered by antispams because the domain name she had chosen for his blog had in the past been used by hackers to send spam. Before buying a domain name, it is always useful to do a search on it to check that the history is “clean”.
And of course, the degree of competition of your theme is also important. If the competition is low, it will be easier to get on the first page quickly, while if you are embarking on a very competitive niche, you will take more time because the competition will often be made up of sites that are already well established, known, old. and popular.