I Just Launched My Website. When Will I Get Visitors?

It’s a question we get asked often by clients. After all, in the 24/7 always on digital world, patience is no longer a virtue – it’s a waste of time.

Thankfully, search engines have begun to agree with you. Over a decade ago (back when the Online Optimism team was creating their very first digital marketing plans), search engines were slow. MSN search, Alta Vista, and Lycos were lucky to find a new webpage on their own within 6 months. Unless, of course, you decided to include “Britney Spears” at the bottom of your webpage 300 times and decided to use some slightly unsavory strategies to get your website out there.

But in 2013, that’s no longer the case. While improvements were always coming, the big update was Google Caffeine, which changed how Google (and later, their competitors) indexed the web by doing it 50% faster. They reached the point where they were now indexing hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day.

Which is very impressive, but what does that mean for you? That means that your website has a much greater chance of getting indexed faster. Still, rankings are hard to come by. Most search engines have a “penalty” phase for just launched websites, which helps prevent spam-sites from rising immediately to the top of the rankings. In addition, it gives search engines a greater amount of time to see your link profile grow and judge the quality of your website.

Which is how SEO can help you out. Proper search engine optimization techniques, incorporating both onsite and off-site strategies, will assist in improving your rankings over time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on Joomla, Drupal, or using a WordPress design – SEO best practices will put you there. Getting links back to your site with targeted anchor text will do wonders for getting you to begin ranking where you want. But it still takes time.

So say you want to rank, say, an hour from now?

Replacement GoogleImpossible? Not at all. But you better hope you have an amazingly viral piece of content. One recent example of such a site was replacementgoogle.com – launched right at the peak of anger at the NFL, it capitalized on an idea that a lot of people could appreciate. And appreciate they did. The website was registered on September 23rd, and launched on September 25th. While most people got direct links through social media, it did start appearing on search engine result pages that very same day. And it didn’t hurt that Google’s own social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, and they even remembered their G+ page) linked to the page.

Which translates to yes, you can rank today – if you’re the most interesting webpage in the world. But if you’re not, then proper SEO strategies will get your ranked in a perfectly reasonably amount of time as well.