If you’re doing client SEO, I figure every new client, without any exceptions, will ask you this question:

How long till my website (page) rank in Google?”

The typical response to this question is apparently, “It depends,” because there are just too many variables to count: website strength, competition, budget, skills, etc.

But here, we decided to sift through the petabytes of traditional ranking data that we have and give you an inconsiderably more quantifiable answer, something extra concrete than merely, “It depends.”

How old are the top-ranking pages?

For starters, we identified how old the current top-ranking pages are.

We took 2 million random keywords and pulled data on the Top10 ranking pages for each of them. Which resulted in this beautiful graph:

 

 

The “age” is calculated from the date. But since we crawl the web at a pretty tremendous speed, the actual age of the page should be very close, if not same, to our records.

As you can tell from this graph, the average Top10 ranking page is 2+ years old. Plus those that rank at position #1 are almost three years old.

In fact, only 22% of pages that currently rate in the Top10 were formed within one year:

 

So the next thing we needed to know is what percentage of pages at each ranking position was less than one year old:

 

That doesn’t look too promising, right? “old” pages dominate the SERP.

How long does it get for a page to rank in Google?

To answer this question, we randomly selected 2 million pages that were first seen by Ahrefs crawler a year ago.

We then tracked the position history of each page for any keyword it’s ranked for.

Which resulted in this graph:

Only 5.7% of all studied pages ranked in the Top10 search results within one year for at least one keyword.

Pages from websites including a high Domain Rating (DR) performed way better than those with a low DR.

We then zoomed into this 5.7 % of “lucky” pages to see how suddenly they got from nowhere to the Top10.

The majority of them succeeded to achieve that in approximately 61 to 182 days.

By looking at the graph, you might think that, on average, it takes a page everywhere from 2- 6 months to rank in Google’s Top10.

But that judgment isn’t valid here, because this data only represents the 5.7% of pages that were lucky quite to rank in the Top10 within a year — while about 95% of all the pages we studied didn’t get it to the Top10 within that timeframe.

Only 5.7% of all newly published pages will get to Google Top 10 within a year.

We also re-calculated the numbers based on monthly search volume of the keywords:

Only 0.3% of pages ranked in the Top10 for a high-volume keyword in less than a year.

Furthermore here are the dynamics of these 5.7% “lucky” pages, cut down by search volume of the keyword that they ranked for:

You can rank for low-volume keywords in a short time, while the high-volume ones get almost a year to get into the Top10.

But again, don’t forget that this data only applies to 5.7% of “lucky” pages that ranked in the Top10 in a year. The vast bulk of pages don’t perform that well.

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