If the Web is Immediate, Why is SEO Slow?

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—SEO is a slow, ongoing process that you just can’t rush. This is the number one SEO lesson I strive to teach my clients. On more than one occasion I’ve been asked by a full-service SEO or SEO consulting client, “But Nick. I can publish a blog post/article/video/changes to my website and it goes live immediately. Why doesn’t SEO happen immediately too?” There are actually a few factors that impact how quickly your SEO takes effect. Here are 3 of them:

Too much content for it all to be immediately searchable.
Yes, you can publish a 100 blog posts at once if you want, hoping your content flood will make your website more appealing to the search engines. But guess what? Everyone can do the exact same thing! There is so much content being produced every second of every day (24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute) that it’s impossible for everyone’s content to be indexed at the same time. The Internet is incredibly fast, and getting faster every day, but simply because of the sheer volume of content being created and published every day there is no guarantee that your content will get picked up first.

The search engines aren’t instant.
The search engines have an indexing process they follow when it comes to ranking content. For site owners that were hit by the first Panda update, some didn’t see an improvement in their site’s analytics for a few months after the update even though they fixed their website immediately. This is because the search engines don’t revisit every page of your site the second you make a change. While this can be very frustrating for site owners because it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where you went wrong, it’s just a fact of SEO life that you have to get comfortable with. You can’t make Google or Bing revisit and index your site any faster, so you better learn to wait!

How trusted is your website?
Your website’s trust factor is big when it comes to dreams of “instantaneous SEO.” For instance, my company website has been online for seven years, and age plays a huge role in determining trust factor. When I publish a new page of content I usually see it ranking in the first few pages of Google in a couple of days for my targeted keywords. I didn’t do anything to make Google favor my new page over some other new page, but because my website is aged Google trusts that this new page is as valuable as some of my older pages. Age is not something you can fake or rush, it just has to happen naturally.

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