How Long Before a Blog Post Ranks? (+Why It Takes Time)

I’ve built 4 profitable blogs and written more than 800 blog posts in my life. I’ve seen how long it takes for a blog post to rank high on search results.

Typically, it takes 6+ months or up to a year. But many times the articles never reach their full potential or go completely under the radar. On rare occasions, you might be able to rank high in a shorter amount of time.

On a brand new blog, I wouldn’t expect any blog post to get any visitors for the first 3-6 months.

To give you an idea of how long blog posts climb up rankings, I will show you a bunch of typical examples with actual blog post data from my sites.

Example 1

A blog post growth trend that takes 8 months before getting good number of clicks

Here’s a blog post I wrote 12 months prior to taking this screenshot.

It took 8 months before it got 15 clicks in a day from Google.

Now, I’d like to highlight two regions of the blog post to illustrate another important fact that contributes to the sudden growth of the article.

Illustrating how active blog results in a blog post getting more views

I abandoned the entire blog for the better part of 2022. I didn’t publish a single post between April and December.

But as soon as I started publishing more related content, the blog post started to pick up momentum much quicker.

This is because Google and other search engines are based on trust.

If a site has barely touched a niche, Google won’t trust it and place blog posts high on search results.

But if you have a ton of blog posts that cover a niche entirely, you’ll more likely find success with a randomly chosen blog post as well.

So there’s definitely a network effect—the more quality posts you have, the more they drive one another higher on the search results.

Example 2

This example shows a much more violent growth in one of my blog posts.

Fast blog post growth with a trending topic

I published the article Early in January 2023 and before February, this post already gets up to 80 clicks a day.

So not only does this article perform better than the earlier example, but it’s also much younger.

But there’s a simple reason why this happens and why this post is not successful in the long run.

The post is a review of a less than a 1-year-old product that has a ton of hype. There were no reviews for that tool when I published mine. That’s why there was no other place to go but #1 on Google.

You can actually see the problem with this article already in the above chart. As you can see, the clicks have gone down for the past month or so.

This is because other people have realized the small amount of competition. Now, there are dozens of reviews of the tool. Some of those sites outrank me because they are a bigger authority in the niche.

So I’m expecting to see this article slowly but surely die down over time. Also, the tool might not be relevant in 2 years, so this article might do badly even if it somehow went back to that #1 spot.

So even though the rankings came quickly, this article is not good in the long run.

Example 3

Here’s a typical growth and fluctuation of a blog post. This post has been out for more than 13 months. Yet it’s nowhere near its full potential.

A typical blog post growth curve

This is a competitive topic that I’ve tried to take on with a new and small authority site.

There are periods of impressions/clicks and then they go away for a month or two for some reason.

Also, there was nice growth as I started putting more time into the blog, but then this post got hit by a Google update. Probably will recover in the next couple of months.

However, this blog post might trend upward for years to come. The topic is evergreen and people will search it as long as there’s the internet we use.

The reason why this post doesn’t do well is that other sites that rank high for this topic are bigger authorities than my site.

If I commit to the blog enough, it might become a stronger authority and the article might start doing better.

Example 4

You’ll be surprised at how many blog posts are going to underperform.

Most of the posts you write, don’t accomplish the growth/success you envisioned. Some of them can go completely under the radar.

The more competition, the higher the chance of this happening. 

Here’s my example of a post that hasn’t picked up at all.

Growth when targeting too competitive topics

This is a competitive topic that I wrote with a small niche site. The results are so bad. 5k impressions and 4 clicks…

This post has some initial impression spike and then silence for 6 months. Then it started picking up pace but the March 15th Core update slowed it down. This blog post might never “make it” as is.

To find success with a performance history like this, I’d probably need to update the article and write a ton of content to become an authority in the niche.

This is a great example of what happens if you target too competitive search queries or write posts that aren’t of high enough quality.

Why Does It Take So Long to Rank High?

The blog post ranking process takes time on Google. And it’s by no means a guarantee your post will ever make it to the top 10 results.

The reason why it takes a ton of time to rank on Google is that Google is testing your post and analyzing its performance. This is something Google cannot do in seconds. It needs to spare the available resources for ranking billions of other pages too. 

More importantly, the ranking is based on the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of your site (E-A-T).

If you have a ton of high-quality posts in a specific niche, you have a better chance of ranking higher on search results. In a sense, you have a “louder voice” in the room the more expertise you show with your site.

But if it’s your first time covering a niche, Google will place no trust or value on your post. This means you might not be able to rank in the top 10 no matter how good a post you write—even if it was the best on the internet.

Mind Google Sandboxing Period

Google doesn’t trust new sites for a reason. It could be a spammy bot site that just wants to climb the rankings to make money or spread misinformation.

Every new site goes through the Google Sandboxing period.

This means your blog posts might not even be indexed for the first couple of weeks. No matter how good content you write, you don’t get clicks or even impressions on your site.

There’s no definitive answer to how long this sandboxing lasts, but it’s usually a couple of weeks or even a month or two.

Towards the end of this period, Google starts moving your site out of the sandbox. At this stage, you might start to see your blog posts get first impressions, although the clicks won’t come for weeks or even months to come.

For example, here’s a site we launched about 5 weeks ago with my mate. The site has already about 20 blog posts, yet it has not received a single click on Google. The impressions are going up nicely, though.

Impression curve without clicks on Google Search Console

It will probably take a couple of weeks before the site starts to get visitors.

And by the way, the waiting game starts from the time you first publish a blog post. Not publishing to your blog just keeps it in the sandbox longer. The earlier you publish, the better.

To Take Home

Notice that the performance examples in this post are from an experienced blogger (me). By the time I wrote those posts, I knew what I was doing. Yet many of the posts still do really really bad.

That’s just the name of the game. By writing quality content you maximize your chances of ranking high—but there’s no guarantee no matter what you do.

If you’re a beginner blogger, the growth of example 4 is what your first 10-20 posts will probably look like—some impressions, no clicks.

It takes a long time to see any success with a new site. It can take up to 6 months before your post is even indexed.

You might need to wait 6 months before your post can start getting clicks. And from there, you might need to wait for another 6-12 months before the post starts to actually rank and get those clicks.

But don’t give up! Write a ton of blog posts. When you do this, some of them will eventually do well and rank high for years to come.

Thanks for reading. Happy blogging!