TL;DR: It takes somewhere around 6 months to 2 years to attract organic search traffic from Google and other search engines.
So, you’ve launched your brand new blog about a topic that you are really passionate about.
But, it’s been 6 weeks and you are yet to receive any organic search traffic from Google or any other search engine.
What’s going on?
Something is wrong! You have followed all the SEO recommendations from your go-to SEO blog.
If you registered a brand new domain name and just started writing content, chances are that you may not receive any organic search traffic from Google for a very long time.
In this article, I am going to show you why.
Google puts every brand new website under a probation or sandbox period.
Most people don’t want to talk about this but over the past few years, many search engine blogs and marketing magazines such as Search Engine Watch and Moz have covered this topic like there’s no tomorrow.
So, we all can agree that Google sandbox exits as a countermeasure to tackle webspam and even though Google may not have a specific algorithm that does this to new websites, there definitely exists a few algorithms that make sure that new websites aren’t featured in the top spot of any search listing.
It’s fair if you ask me.
If Google were to rank every new website launched yesterday, most people will figure out a way to manipulate the algorithm to send tons of free organic search traffic to all those “Make Money Online” and “Get Rich Today” blogs.
But, that’s not the problem here.
We don’t care if someone manipulates the search algorithms into behaving in a certain way as long as it doesn’t negatively impact our own website’s standings on Google.
The real question that haunts every newbie blogger is, “How long?”.
How long will it take for your blog to escape this sandbox period?
No, there’s no standard answer to this question.
Nobody knows as to how many months, days or weeks it might take a brand new website to escape the Google sandbox.
Many marketing gurus advise their followers to wait for at least 3 months, 6 months, and 2 years before quitting as most websites start receiving traffic by then.
Of course, there’s always a chance that nobody is searching for the content you’d published.
Well, in that case, spend some time doing keyword research and find out which keywords in your niche actually receive stable monthly search volumes.
Moving on, if you take some Authority website’s articles into consideration, the whole darn SEO industry is divided when it comes to confirming the existence of such a filtering algorithm let alone figuring the exact sandbox probation period.
So, long story short, there’s no accurate answer but most websites manage to start attracting Google search traffic within the first 6 months of consistent high-quality content publishing.
I am going to talk about high-quality content and content publishing schedule in a bit. But before that, we need to figure out a way to bring in traffic in those initial days of launching a blog.
How to attract traffic to your website until you start receiving traffic from search engines?
I have personally never got any positive outcome from Facebook unless I started spending money on its paid ads but YouTube and Pinterest — on the other hand — can help you attract boatloads of targeted, high-quality traffic to your website for free.
Furthermore, a steady social media presence can help you boost your brand visibility online and help compel Google and other search engines to consider your website when ranking for some low hanging keywords.
Wait, what’s a low hanging keyword?
It’s a known secret in the SEO domain that low hanging or less competitive keywords or long-tail keywords are easier to rank for when you don’t have any domain authority.
Targeting low hanging keywords will help you get search traffic from Google even if your website is brand new.
Some tips to help you attract traffic quickly, within the first 6 months of launching your brand new blog.
Yes, it is true that it is not that easy to escape Google sandbox but it’s not impossible either. If you put in the effort and publish high-quality content without quitting and self-doubting, it will be a sweet victory at the end of this sandbox period.
Although there isn’t any secret recipe to help you score organic search traffic, you can follow this checklist to get rid of the Google sandbox period in a few months of launching a blog.
Target less competitive keywords
Most bloggers start targeting massively competitive niches such as personal finance and health & fitness without realizing the fact that it might take them decades before they see a decent number of organic search traffic.
Any obvious blogging niche that you can easily find online is already being targeted by internet giants who hire hundreds of freelance writers to publish multiple pieces of content every single day.
So, it doesn’t make any sense to compete with them.
You need to find a sub-niche.
For example, if you are passionate about “health and fitness“, “health & fitness tips for pregnant women” is a sub-niche.
This sub-niche will be less competitive and easier to establish your blog in.
So, if you have been targeting some massive niches, you need to niche down and target a sub-niche that still shows a lot of potentials for new content to shine.
Choose your niche carefully
As mentioned earlier, you can’t just target Finance niches and expect Google to rank you on the top spot of the search results page.
Even if your articles are absolutely remarkable, you will still need a lot of time, effort, and writers to outrank the top guys in the business.
And, I feel that nobody actually wants to target the main niche in the first place but end up doing it because they’d read some article suggesting in favor of doing so.
Personally, if you are going to target these below-mentioned niches, it’s going to be an uphill battle:
- Personal finance
- Web Design
- Health & Fitness
- Video Games
- Smartphones and Laptops
- Celebrity Gossip
Technology, marketing and web design are a few of these niches that can still be penetrated but others in this niche will brutally test your metal while forcing you to quit every other day.
Moral:- Don’t target the obvious niches and focus on publishing content that you are passionate about(even if it falls under one the above-listed niches). If you are passionate about something, you will not need any motivation to publish content that will keep you going for years.
Publish high-quality, long form content
It is not worth publishing thin content with a low word count.
Google doesn’t care about such posts and most users will not spend more than 3 minutes reading such a small article.
On top of that, thin content directly indicates that you have excluded a lot of useful information that your visitors will have to search somewhere else.
That’s not the only reason why thin content fails to attract millions of visitors.
Google ranks keywords and if you publish long-form content, you naturally target a lot of keywords that are related to that particular topic.
So, quit pushing 500 word articles and combine 5 – 6 small articles into a massive piece of content that covers a lot of ground while targeting multiple keywords in one single post.
According to small research done by Kyle Freeman of Portent.com, the ideal lengths of content that rank well on Google are:
- 1900+ words
- 2400+ words
If the keyword that you target doesn’t have the kind of information to sport 2400+ words article, you can limit it to 1900+ words but make sure that your blog post is packed with high-quality information and little to no fluff.
Google may not be able to figure out the fluff when crawling your website via the XML sitemaps but multiple users launching the same search after visiting your website will definitely hint Google that your content doesn’t satisfy the search intent of the visitor.
So, it will be demoted accordingly.
Google doesn’t care about you. It cares about its loyal users.
Publish a good mix of content
If this is the first blog of your life, chances are that you are not aware of different types of content that you can use to rank for different types of search terms.
Here’s my list of content type that I target when starting a new blog:
- “How To” articles that are straight to the point and don’t necessarily pack 3000+ words.
- “List Articles” that consist of more than 3000 words.
- In-depth product reviews and product listings.
- Answering some common and rare niche-related questions.
I am a very strong advocate of publishing different types of content when blogging to avoid creatives blocks and burnouts.
No matter how passionate you are, if you do the same thing every single day, you will soon lose all your enthusiasm and start contemplating switching niches and disposing of your blog to start a new one.
So, keep you brain stimulated by writing different types of content.
In any content driven business, CONTENT IS THE KING.
You need to publish high-quality content on a regular basis if you want to make money with your blog.
If not daily, you should try your best to publish at least 2-3 piece of content every single week without failing.
If you are someone who loves to cover every topic in detail, you can produce 2 massive pieces of content on a weekly basis.
I love this technique as Brian Dean from Backlinko also uses this technique to dethrone many big players in the business.
He refers to this technique as “The Skyscraper Technique“.
In simple words, you need to publish the most in-depth, updated, and best content in the whole industry.
Once you complete publishing such a piece of content, you can reach out to bloggers and influencers in your niche to get some free and natural links to your website.
The secret to outranking competition in your niche is to outwit them in all aspects including:
- Publishing better content
- Acquiring better links
- Optimizing the content for SEO
Since you’ve just launched your first blog and are hoping to make money with this new venture, why not commit to it and publish some phenomenal content that’ll bring organic traffic from Google for years to come.
Be confident and don’t be discouraged by the amount of competition in your niche
I know this one contradicts my previous point but, this is true.
When you think too much about the competition in your niche and the time it might take you to penetrate a competitive niche, you start questioning your abilities and the direction you are moving forward in.
It happens to the best of us. It has happened to me a couple of times until I realized that if I had stuck with my first blog, it could have become one heck of a design blog today.
Blogging is not a spontaneous journey, it is a rather gradual and steady journey.
The successful bloggers that you look up to today have struggled for months before they saw their first dollar online.
So, stay focused.
Stop reading technical blog posts about blogging, keywords research, and stop Googling every blogging term that you come across.
Blogging is all about Content and Marketing.
If your content is remarkable, you will start receiving the Google love your website deserves.
Stay put and keep pushing quality content that people will fall in love with.
Build a network with fellow bloggers
It will be hard and most people will not even reply to your emails.
But, believe me, once you have a couple of blogger friends in your group, you might be able to make money by writing for others, get a few links to your website by writing guest posts, and some occasional social media shoutouts whenever you publish content that they care about.
It’s easy to send outreach emails but how do you actually build long-lasting friendships with fellow bloggers?
And, how do you make friends with bloggers in your niche?
You can win some hearts by actively participating in their community, blog post’s comment section and social media groups.
Remember, you need to offer some value to get something useful in return. If all that you are willing to is beg for links and shoutouts, chances of getting banned, blocked, and removed increases drastically.
How do you participate?
Start answering questions and drop comments in their latest blog posts and share their blog posts with your followers on social media accounts.
Even tiny bit of help counts.
Be genuine and don’t spam their Facebook groups and comment sections. Try interacting with them and if you can, also share your opinion about the topic covered.
Do not ask for anything in return. I hate it when people email me asking for links just because they’ve dropped a bunch of comments in my blog posts.
That’s not how it works.
Don’t expect anything in return.
Conclusion: How long does it take to rank your blog on Google?
Making Google fall in love with your content is not an easy task, but it is also not an impossible idea either.
You have to be consistent, do some niche research, and publish content that you are truly passionate about.
If I had to give you an approximate time it would take your website to start receiving organic search traffic from Google, it would 6 months.
In these 6 months, you should start seeing some search engine traffic and if you are publishing quality content, you will see this traffic growing gradually to a point that you will start receiving a stable amount of search traffic every month.
The best part?
Now you don’t have to aggressively publish content. One or two articles a week would do just fine.
Keep publishing, and keep growing.