Unlike pay-per-click (PPC) advertising that may literally drive traffic to your site overnight, search engine optimization (SEO) strategies take time to pay off. That’s important to understand so you don’t become frustrated or discouraged and abandon your SEO efforts while you are on the brink of success.
In the last article in my SEO series, we’ll explore four important time-related SEO factors: the age of your domain, the age of your site, the age of your content the age of inbound links. Understanding these issues will help you stay patient while you wait for the reward.
How Old is Your Domain Name?
Domain registration age is important to your SEO efforts. That’s because spammers tend to have new websites with new domain names. When an ISP shuts one site down, they just launch another. Google can’t tell the difference between your brand new website and a spammer’s brand new website, so search engines proceed with caution with new domain names.
Search engines are looking for stability and credibility. As your domain name ages, it gains credibility online. Likewise, the longer you’ve reserved your domain name, the more trust you build with search engines. Spammers aren’t likely to pay for a domain name 10 years out. Just like in the real world, age associates with authority. A 35 year old has more authority than a 10 year old.
How Long Has Your Site Been Live?
Domain registration age and how long your site has been live are two altogether different animals. You may have purchased your domain name a year ago, but your website may be brand new. Google typically doesn’t give you a page rank—a value or importance assigned to your web page—for up to four months after your site launches. This is known as the “sandbox effect” and it’s one way of proving to Google that you aren’t a spam site.
How Long Has Your Content Been Posted?
Every page on the web has a date of inception. The search engines calculate the age of your page and factor that into your ranking. Google gives more weight to pages that have been posted to your site for months or years than it does pages that are brand new. That’s not to say that new content isn’t valuable. It may even be more relevant or timely. You need a blend of both if you want to keep the search engine spiders crawling your more frequently.
The point is this: When you change or add new keywords to your content—or you add new pages to your site—the results of your SEO copy may not take effect overnight, especially if you are using highly competitive keywords. That shouldn’t stop you from adding new content or continually optimizing your existing content. Just realize it takes time for the search engines to move you up in the rankings based on those changes.
How Long Have You Had Inbound Links?
When it comes to inbound links, it’s all about relevance and reputation points. Reputation points are given based on the popularity, quality and relevance of the sites linking to you. Sites with long-standing domain names have a better reputation than sites with new domain names, for example, and links that have been pointing to your site for long periods of time gain more reputation points than newer links.
Liken your SEO efforts to launching an exercise program. You won’t see results the first day. In fact, you may not see results the first week or even the first month. But it’s just a matter of time before you see the inches that were lining your waist begin to appear as muscles on your arms and legs. The same is true of SEO. It takes time, but if you use the proven strategies it works.