Playing the long game
March 5, 2013
In the information age if something takes longer than the blink of an eye it’s considered slow. I signed up to this website thirty seconds ago but I haven’t got the welcome e-mail. What’s wrong with their mail server? It’s going to take a week to ship on Amazon. What are they doing over there? I optimized my site yesterday but my rankings haven’t changed. What did I do wrong? The answer, to that last question at least, is, probably nothing.
Even though Google can give you a page of results in 30 milliseconds, it takes a lot longer than that to actually generate the tables that those results come from. The internet has almost six hundred and fifty million web sites which equates to billions and billions of webpages. A search engine checks almost every single one, collecting data on content, structure, meta-data, user statistics, link patterns and a laundry list of other factors that only the eggheads at Google know the full extent of. In case you weren’t aware, across the whole of the internet, that adds up to a lot of data. Like, a lot. It’s a little bit ridiculous how much data we are talking about here. Collecting, sifting and tabulating all of that data is a truly herculean task. Seriously, putting humpty dumpty together has got nothing on it. So it takes time, even for the almighty Google. It takes so much time that Google’s robots might only look at a smaller site to collect new data once every three or four weeks.
Even once Google looks at your newly optimized site and sees that it is the shiniest on the block for a particular keyword search it doesn’t just plunk you down on page 1 when someone puts in that search. It wants to know that your page is not only in the top ten shiniest and brightest for that keyword but also that it’s reliable. Google doesn’t want you on the front page unless it’s sure that you will be providing just as good a user experience for people searching that keyword next week as you are this week. So it makes sure that you have a history of relevance and good content before it lets you anywhere near the front page and the only way for it to do that is to let time pass and establish that history with successive checks on your site. An SEO journey from obscurity to the front page is about proving to Google and the other search engines that you’ve got (and will continue to have) what their searchers are looking for. So don’t worry if you seem to be spinning your wheels at the start of your SEO efforts, quality SEO work always pays off, it just pays off in the long run.
– – –
Andrew Martindale is one of the Account Managers at SEOhaus. If you would like to stay up-to-date on all of the latest SEO industry news and tips, you can subscribe to our blog here. Thanks for reading the SEOhaus blog!