The word “viral” has received a lot of attention over the last few years and is applied to different types of content to describe how quickly it has spread and gained popularity. Many times, you’ll hear people speak about their idea and how fast it will spread while assuming that it will “go viral”, but they never seem to understand how they’re going to make it go viral.
At SEOjury, we see this line of thinking all the time and really want the chance to give our clients a dose of reality in how quickly something is going to catch on. It can take much longer than people think for a website to rank and the traffic to start pouring in.
Part of this is a problem with how society today is structured to want a near-instant improvement, but another part of it is that people don’t understand how SEO really works. No matter how great or relevant your website is, it will take time for Google’s bot to assess it and start moving it up in the rankings.
It has become standard for people to expect an instant change in something. We are all looking for the “one quick fix” that will help us to get rich or ripped or awesome at something within 30 days, but that’s not how life works. The expectation of instant success on the Internet can be cured by managing expectations and realizing that everything good takes time.
Good SEO will help and decrease the amount of time it takes to get your page to rank, but on average it will take 3.39 months for a page to reach its top position. This information was gathered by examining 20,000 newly published pages in 2016. The general timeline is between two and six months before good rankings are received, and up to 12 months before a top ranking is given.
SEO is a long-term effort and a measure of consistency as well as quality. You can’t just count on the fact that your content is good once, you need to be putting out high-quality content on a consistent basis and continually the SEO aspects of your website.
The other thing about expecting your content to go viral is that it is wrong to assume it will ever achieve popularity. Only 5.7% of all newly published pages will get Google top 10 results within a year. And this makes sense. There are only so many things that can be searched in the world, and the Internet is already packed with great content. To get a top ranking, you must bump someone else from that position, and that is hard to do.
There is always going to be a first mover advantage. The person who was there first has more expertise and a following. Being newer isn’t better, but providing more value is. You need to find a way to outrank them in terms that Google’s bots will understand. This is the only way to climb in the rankings and achieve any success.
The Internet is a wild place for many reasons, but the most prominent is that things are always changing. To get a top ranking, you have to take advantage of this change and continually adapt your website. Over a long period, you will be able to achieve a higher level of traffic just by being perceived better by the Google bot. This will start to pay dividends over time as your value is captured and rankings improve.