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

I’ve written more than 1,200 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 for a blog post to rank high.

But this assumes you’ve done amazing work and that your blog post is of high quality.

Many times, the articles never reach the top of the search results. Instead, they can go completely under the radar.

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

In this post, I will show you how long it takes for blog posts to start getting traffic in different scenarios. I will also discuss what impacts the rankings of a post.

And make sure to stay tuned until the end. I’m going to reveal how you can speed up the ranking process with a simple and straightforward strategy.

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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.

Let me highlight two regions of the blog post.

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, that older post started to rank.

This effect of other blog posts boosting the rankings of existing posts is called Topical Authority.

To put it short, Google started trusting the site more and pushed existing articles higher on search results.

Example 2

Let’s take a look at another example post.

Here the growth is much more violent.

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.

Not only does this post perform better than the earlier example, but it’s also much younger.

But here’s why this happened.

The post is a review of a less than 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.

But as you can see, the clicks have already gone down for the past month or so.

This is because there are now 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

As the third example, here’s a typical growth and fluctuation of a blog post.

A typical blog post growth curve

This post has been live for more than 13 months. Yet it’s nowhere near its full potential.

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 probably got hit by a Google update. Probably will recover in the next couple of months.

Read also: How Long Should You Spend Writing a Blog Post?

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 as to how many of your blog posts will end up significantly underperforming.

Most of the posts you write, won’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 a post that hasn’t gotten pretty much any visitors at all for an entire year.

Growth when targeting too competitive topics

This post is about a competitive topic I tried to tackle with a relatively new 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.

To make this post rank, I’d probably need to update the article and write a ton of content to become a topical authority in my niche.

This is a great example of what happens if you target too competitive topics 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.

How to Speed Up Ranking Process?

So how do you make sure blog posts rank high and get tons of visitors as quickly as possible?

Write blog posts that are better pieces of content than any one of your competitors.

Also, writing just one or two quality posts is not enough. You need to cover your niche from A to Z.

So for example, if you run a tennis blog, you need to write hundreds or even thousands of tennis-related blog posts to it.

The quicker you do this, the faster you’ll find success.

If you’re a beginner blogger, the growth of example 4 is what your first posts will probably look like—some impressions, no visitors at all.

No matter what you do, it will still end up taking at least 6-12 months before you can expect to make money from your site.

Thanks for reading. Happy blogging!