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If you are doing SEO for any type of business or organization, your first thought is likely "how long does it take for SEO to work?" Of course, the answer will almost always be "it depends" - because it does depend on many different factors. Some of these factors include how strong the existing website is, current competition, budget,  the quality of the page or website, and more (source). In this article, we'll take a look at what exactly is SEO, how long on average it takes for SEO to work, and how you can improve your SEO. To learn more about SEO and other marketing techniques, contact the experts at Profitworks now!


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What is SEO?


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps you rank higher in search engine results

If you are in the marketing field or own a small or large business, it's likely you have already heard of SEO. If not, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  SEO includes activities conducted on a website to positively affect the rankings of a website or web page in a search engine's (like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) results. When done effectively, it helps drive more traffic to a website. This is because most people will select the number one or a page from within the Top 10 results on Google. 

Google ranks websites on its first page by selecting the ones it thinks are the most relevant and useful to those searching for a specific term, or keyword. It does this by taking into account over 200 different factors! Although Google keeps these factors a secret, research has let us know a few of the most important factors that help pages and website 'rank well' on Google - and these are the different types of SEO. 

There are many different ways of doing SEO. Many companies will hire a marketing team to do it for them. SEO can be done by writing high-quality content, editing content, website coding modifications, keyword analysis, building backlinks, and creating authoritative content. Most of the time, SEO is done by working on all or most of the items listed above. Good SEO can take a while to create, but it is worth it. Search engines reward good SEO and penalize bad SEO


How Long Does SEO Take to Work On Google Rankings?

So now that you know a little bit more about what SEO is and how to do it, how long does it actually take to work? Well, according to many sources listed on, it usually takes a website 3-6 months for SEO to work on Google rankings. 

average time for webs


However, it is important to note that this does not mean every page or website will rank well on Google within 3-6 months. As well, some pages will not rank even if they appear to have great SEO. conducted a thorough case study of Google SEO. Their study found that out of all the websites studied, only 5.7% of all newly published pages actually ranked in the Top 10 search results after one year. 

Further, for the 5.7% "lucky" pages that did manage to rank in Google's Top 10 search, there was actually a difference between the time it took for pages to rank for high volume vs low volume keywords.

For example, 50% of the pages with low volume keywords ranked Top 10 within 61-121 days after publication. This result is similar to the ones present by However, this changes when we look at high volume keywords. This study found that 68.4% of pages with high volume keywords did not rank well until they had been published for 305-365 days. 

See all of the results below:


07 lucky pages by Volume 1



 This study done by provides a great deal of information for those trying to rank on Google - the study included 2 million random keyword searches and all the data pulled from the Top 10 ranking pages for each! The writer of this article, Tim Soulo, had this to say in conclusion: 

"...We’ve shown that almost 95% of newly published pages don’t get to the Top10 within a year. And most of the “lucky” ones, which do manage to get there, do it in about 2–6 months. Actually, I shouldn’t be framing these pages as “lucky,” because the reason they got to the Top10 in less than a year is most likely hard work and great knowledge of SEO, not luck."

Tim Soulo,


Black Hat vs White Hat SEO


When using SEO techniques, it's important to use ethical techniques (white hat SEO) and avoid unethical ones (black hat SEO)

When we talk about SEO and how long SEO takes to work, it can be easy to feel a bit impatient. You may decide you want to speed up the process and feel tempted to try out techniques that appear to boost your chances of ranking quickly on Google.

However, many of these techniques are unethical and can actually get you banned from the very search engines you are trying to rank on! These techniques are called "Black Hat SEO."

So, what exactly is black hat SEO? Black hat SEO uses manipulative techniques that try to trick search engines into thinking your content is best. For example, one of the most common black hat techniques of the past was keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is when you 'stuff' your article with as many instances of a keyword as possible. This results in poor-quality articles and decreases how user-friendly the page feels.  Google has picked up on this technique and is now 'too smart' to be tricked by keyword stuffing. 

Examples of black hat SEO

Different examples of black hat SEO techniques

If you want to learn about more black hat techniques to avoid them, check out this listing here. It's important to remember that although it may seem like these methods will help you rank faster on search engines, these techniques actually violate search engine guidelines. They can harm your credibility and are, in the long run, not worth it for you or your website.

To ensure that you are working ethically and in a way that will benefit your website instead of harm it, it's important to only use "White Hat SEO" techniques. White hat techniques are the opposite of black hat techniques. White hat SEO techniques keep human audiences in mind - their purpose is to actually appeal to consumers and viewers, rather than simply tricking search engines into ranking them highly. 

White hat techniques involve creating high-quality, unique content that is helpful for readers, employing keyword analysis to see what real people are searching for, external and internal linking, and more.  Content created using white hat SEO will take longer to make, but will also have significant long-term benefits over time. 


Profitworks: Providing Quality SEO Services 

Profitworks Small Business Services provides quality SEO services to a wide variety of clients, including website traffic and website conversion optimization services which increase the number of sales generated from a website. The focus of our services is on increasing sales and providing a positive return on investment. Interested in getting new customers for your business? Connect with us now on Google+ or click the "Contact Us Now" button below!


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