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Search Engine Optimization FAQs Question How Long Should It Take for SEO to Show Results?
By Chris Boggs, Search Engine Watch, Jun 12, 2009
Share The typical question that gives many Search Engine Optimization professionals a bit of a gut-check is, “How long will it take for you to show me results?” Typically, the answer will vary based on the age of the site in question and the level of competition for high volume keywords, if boiling it down to two major factors.
However, there are considerably more elements to a fully-fledged answer. These are also split into new vs. redesigned or reformatted (URL) Web site.
When dealing with a brand new domain, it will likely be difficult to gain the necessary “trust” for rankings for broad competitive terms for at least three months, but often closer to six to nine months. This isn’t always as clear cut — if you have and continue to put out useful content, and if you’re fortunate to benefit immediately from authoritative and consistent links (or are willing to cheat), you could see results sooner.
Of course, if your technical infrastructure doesn’t support good crawling of your pages and understanding of your content, you’ll be dead in the water before you even start.
When dealing with either redesigns or post-launch SEO, the best thing to do is never give, or accept, a response “from the cuff.” Setting unrealistic expectations will only lead to disappointment. Not only should people take time to project the best and worst possible scenarios, but these projections should be updated post-launch at least once, as crawling and indexing patterns get established.
How Quickly Do Search Engines Crawl/Index a Redesigned Site?
Recently, we helped relaunch a fairly large site with thousands of pages. A major directory level was gone, and it wasn’t possible to implement all redirects prior to launch.
Within 12 hours, Google had indexed and was returning well over 1,000 of the new pages in its results. We started seeing a few dozen new pages in each directory level off the root that we were monitoring, within about four hours after launch. I can’t claim as dominant of a performance by Yahoo, and look forward to our first Bing-monitoring, which has to be better than the last.
The catch to this process is that, at the same time, the search engines are ridding themselves of any no-longer used URLs, through new robots.txt files, 404 errors, and in a pattern that appears to indicate an “as we can” programming attitude. They will also continue to index those with rankings, fortunately.
If the site relies on a lot of home page rankings for top keywords, then a redesign usually won’t hurt, even if the new home page URL now resolves to the root instead of a prior directory-appended version, based on a number of sites.
How Difficult is it to Maintain Current Rankings After Launch?
For new domains, brand terms should rank nearly immediately after the first crawl — maybe not first however, as Rosetta experienced after launching and finding Apple and the language software ahead. A unique brand name should have relatively no problem ranking number one very soon.
Benchmarking is crucial to understanding how post-redesign crawling behavior is treating a Web site. Monitoring “cherry” keywords, such as the top 10 to 50-plus branded and non-branded referring terms, and measuring them by search engine, can give you insight into this.
This is also an important high-level indicator of how much the search engines initially trust your new domain structure. It happens a lot quicker when you’re shifting URLs on the same root domain, than when you’re moving to a new one.
How is Traffic Affected After Launch?
The classic answer to this question is often unfortunately accurate. There’s always going to be at least a slight drop in traffic, even with SEO.
On a percentage basis, this can equal dozens, or even hundreds of traffic-driving rankings. The better you do with maintaining your high-volume keywords, the more likely the dip may be being caused by other factors as well, including an unexpected or seasonal dip in branded traffic.
The best ally in monitoring post-launch success rate is, of course, analytics. As long as it’s been properly configured, very important data can be gleaned from 404 reports and high-bounce pages or referrers. Google Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Site Explorer are important allies in the quest for new or continued rankings.
Lastly, level of implementation is probably the single worst enemy to Search Engine Optimization SEO success. Lack of Search Engine Optimization implementation is so dangerous because even what seems like the smallest de-prioritization during a launch cycle can often be a very big wrench in the spokes.
In a partnership with an Search Engine Optimization SEO provider, or in dealing with your own Search Engine Optimization SEO team, you have to remember the “fear of flying” analogy. If you’re afraid of flying, simply ask your captain if he’s planning to get you there safely. Chances are very likely that any partner you entered into an arrangement with, and even more so an internal Search Engine Optimization team, is just as concerned about ranking and performance as you are.
For a new site, the first goal should be to rank for brand and potentially some local or other modified long tail searches. Give the process time and continued attention, and rankings should be visibly rising after six months.
For redesigns, the primary first goal should be to maintain current rankings for high-traffic terms immediately post-launch. Next, establish that your optimization is in place and start working to develop trust in the new pages and understand how the search engine sees them. From this, you can either increase or decrease your expectations for incremental success over the old site.
SEM Basics: A Guide for Webmasters and Search Engine Marketers
What Does Google Social Search Mean for Search Engine Optimization SEO?
For those of you who are just tuning in and trying to understand what Google Buzz is and how it works, this article will answer some of the basic questions and help get you started using it.
Highlights from the SEM Basics Archive
Effective PPC Ad Copy
One of the most important factors of a successful PPC campaign is writing successful ad copy. You can spend a good deal of time on other aspects of your campaign but skimp on the ad copy and you might not get the results you’re looking for.
With Internet video on the rise and the search engines looking more favorably on video content, there’s an opportunity to leverage this medium for your SEO efforts. We’ll focus on five steps for optimizing for video search, many which run parallel to traditional Search Engine Optimization best practices.
Thanks to increased efforts from the search engines and ad networks, click fraud is less of a problem than it once was, but it still exists. Here’s how to arm yourself against this potential foe.
Search Engine Optimization Tools
Getting started in SEO can be overwhelming, but your job can be made easier with the right tools. Here’s an introduction to some of the keyword tools, site-grading tools and linking tools that will give you an edge in your search engine optimization efforts.
This three-part article is for those who are just getting started with Twitter or who simply want to know what it is and how it works. We’ll cover everything you need to know about setting up and using a Twitter account, and share some tools and resources to help you leverage Twitter to market yourself or your company.
Setting up PPC Campaigns
Are you starting a pay-per-click search advertising campaign and want to get everything set up for optimal efficiency? Or have you started a PPC campaign and realized that you’re in over your head? Here’s a step-by-step process for setting up PPC campaigns.
Are you looking to venture beyond the printed yellow pages? You should be. As the economy opens the door of opportunity for many people who have lost their jobs, more small businesses are turning to local search.
Social Media Marketing
Before you begin any kind of social media marketing, I highly recommend setting up an account and jumping into a conversation or community. It’s one thing to talk about social media, and another to experience it firsthand. You’ll be a more effective social media marketer if you’re already a participant.
Search Ad Quality Score
It’s been about two years since Google and Yahoo implemented their quality score algorithms. Instead of giving the top ad spot to the highest bidder, search engines now take the perceived quality of the ad’s landing page into account. Let’s take a closer look at what affects the quality score.
SEO Site Structure
When you search, you’re actually searching a database of information that has been collected and stored by search engine spiders. Making friends with these crawlers is a vital part of SEO
Social Media Optimization (SMO) methods:
1. Social media features added to the content itself, including: RSS feeds, social news and sharing buttons, user rating and polling tools, and incorporating third-party community functionalities like images and videos.
2. Promotional activities in social media aside from the content being promoted, including: blogging, commenting on other blogs, participating in discussion groups, and posting status updates on social networking profiles
What does Social Media Optimization (SMO) do for my website?
SMO at a Glance
The 17 Rules of Social Media Optimization
1. Increase your linkability
Make it worthwhile, and folks will do it can you blog on your topic? Create unique, interesting, useful content on it? Or just aggregate the ‘best of the Net’?
2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy I mean ‘Click – type – tag’ easy
Yes, you could use multiple button graphics, one for each service. Or a script like Socializer makes it easier.
3. Reward inbound links people hunger for recognition if you think about it, it’s only natural to thank someone for helping you. And sites that link to you drive traffic to your content. Say ‘Thank you’ – in a special way
4. Help your content travel viruses spread when carriers sneeze think viral. Package your content in a format that meets everyone’s needs. Make it easy to tell a friend, share a post, email a file, bookmark a page, ping a blog.
5. Encourage the mashup tweakers love to twiddle unless your target audience is parrots, your readers won’t enjoy echoing your words exactly. Egg them on to add their unique ‘spin’ on things.
SMO Break #1
Timeout to research SMO
Social Media Optimization
Short primer about the concept, and the benefits of embracing it in your marketing.
Interactive Recruitment Marketing & SMO
From bloggers specializing in interactive marketing, social networks, online recruitment advertising, and SMO
6. Be a User Resource Be Selfish – In a selfless way!
Tempted to imprison your readers? Resist. Set them free – and focus instead on adding enormous value. I guarantee they’ll be back – and bring their friends along.
7. Reward helpful and valuable users Treasure your prized assets
Beat the impersonal nature of the Web – by acknowledging your readership. Treat them special. Give them exclusive ‘gifts’. Keep them engaged.
8. Participate Give – to get It’s the ‘connected’ Web, remember? Go on out and CONNECT. Talk, type, chat – on blogs, forums, social networking sites.
9. Know how to target your audience you can’t please all the folks all the time
People like to meet, interact and do business with others they like. You can’t hope everyone will like you. Focus on the ones who do.
10. Create content the right kind – in the right dose
No, you don’t have to be Shakespeare – or J.K.Rowling. You have to be BETTER. Because you’re so much closer to your reader. Watch out!
SMO Break #2
Another timeout to research SMO
Yep, it’s that time again – Pause, think, browse.
Social Media Optimization
“The future of Internet marketing is in the bringing together of the SEO/SEM world, and the social networking world (blogs, MySpace, etc)”
Social Media Optimization
Using SMO for active online campaigns (Social Media Marketing – SMM) that usually strive for a viral marketing goal, and reputation management.
11. Be real fakes fool no one – but themselves. In a way, it’s easier to spot a fake on the Web than even in real life! Don’t get caught out. Better still, don’t even try. Just be yourself.
12. Don’t forget your roots, you’re a superstar, but…
Be humble. Easy to say, not so easy to accept. But at least, keep your feet on the ground – even when your head’s in the clouds. Others will be able to relate.
13. Don’t be afraid to try new things do YOU zoom?
Stay fresh. Be different. Go to the edges. Safe is no longer safe. It’s far more dangerous to be average than it is to try and be remarkable.
14. Develop a SMO strategy Yikes! That ‘S’ word again
Think. What do you hope to achieve with your social media optimization? Set goals and plan your approach to maximize your impact and results.
15. Choose your SMO tactics wisely your watchword – Cautious aggression
Powerful tools carry serious consequences for abuse. Social tools multiply this effect. Be aggressively innovative. But don’t cross the line.
16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices. Divided we fall – United we stand. And integrating SMO with other Internet marketing tactics will give you the biggest bang for buck.
17. Don’t be afraid to let go of a message or idea let others own it. Yes, seriously in a ‘global whole’ that’s now the blogosphere, ownership of anything as ephemeral as an idea, concept or meme condemns it to an untimely demise. Let it go.
Welcome to the unique, exciting world of social marketing – where the daring, different and deserving succeed.
Let us know of any Search Engine Optimization FAQs you may have we will answer them via email and add to FAQ section where valuable.