Why Does SEO Take So Long for Search Engine Success?

Why Does SEO Take So Long for Search Engine Success?

Last Edited September 11, 2023 by Garenne Bigby in Search Engine Optimization

Working hard without results can be super frustrating. If you are working hard to increase your Search Engine Optimization rate without success, you are not alone. SEO is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to increase your ranking when it comes to SEO. While it is a long process, there is no concrete answer to how long it actually takes. Even though so many business owners wonder how long it will actually take, it takes different rates for different websites.

There are so many factors to consider when trying to figure out how much time SEO will take to be successful. There are also many people out there on the internet trying to do exactly what you are doing. It depends on the kind of keywords, the type of website you have and what kind of business you are running, among other factors. Here is some insight on the process of SEO, which can help to explain why it takes so long and what you can do to become more successful.

SEO Explained

Let’s start by really discussing the process of SEO in detail. To understand why it takes so long for success, one must first understand what is happening when it comes to SEO. Search engine optimization has been around almost as long as Google has been. This means it has undergone many changes throughout the year. It is not a perfect formula, and it is constantly changing. SEO is helpful for businesses because it allows the opportunity for marketing a business for free.

Marketing for free can help companies to save money. Advertising can be one of the most expensive pieces of running a business. A high ranking in SEO can help to increase the spot a business ranks when specific keywords are searched for. This can help to increase the amount of traffic visiting websites over time. If a site is following the expectations of common search engines, they are more likely to get higher scores or rankings. While it may not be fully understood, there is a lot of rules and expectations for websites. This is what keeps the internet working.

Websites need to have SEO to keep up with the competition. When a user searches for specific keywords, they have a goal in mind. When it comes to digital marketing, SEO is one of the most important aspects of gaining free marketing. While there are social media sites that can help a business gain popularity, there really is nothing else like SEO. When people type in keywords, they are looking for specific products or information. If the keywords for a website match what they are looking for, they will likely click on that website. Keywords are a very important factor in SEO rankings. In fact, they are pretty much the most important factor.

If your website is on the top of that search list, it is more likely that visitors will click and peruse through the site. The more visitors, the more customers and profit a business can make. The traffic generated by keywords can be very helpful to ensuring the success of a business. Without this, a business may not get too much traffic. In the long run, this can hurt profit and popularity. A business that is not successful in gaining customers and money will not be able to survive.

Google uses an algorithm to assign a score to each website every time a person uses it. It helps to see what websites people are clicking on when they search for certain keywords. The better a website performs, the higher the score, and the higher up it becomes on the list. The higher up a website is, the more likely it will be to get clicked on by users. A website that has a higher score higher up on the list will get more traffic. This is how a website is marketed for free.  

The Four Factors

In short, there are four important factors taken into consideration when it comes to SEO. They are: 

1. Keywords

2. Domain

3. Location

4. Content

When it comes to SEO, most think it only has to do with keywords, but this is not true. The other three factors are just as important to search engine success. Keywords refer to what words important users look up to get to a website. The domain is because a domain name that is easy to remember is going to get more traffic than one that is more difficult to recall. Users are more likely to go to a website they remember. This can help the score that a website is assigned. Users are also more likely to trust a website that has an easier name.

In addition, a domain name can help because there is more potential to solidify brand recognition. A domain that is long can also deter visitors because it can be more difficult to remember. When choosing a domain name, keep it short, to the point, and easy to remember.

The location of your website and business can also be a factor in SEO. Depending on the language of the country your website has originated in, it can affect your rankings. Depending on the location and purpose of a business, it is important to consider the language a website uses. A global company may have a higher ranking if the website is in multiple languages because more people will visit.

A website that is targeting an audience in just one country may not need to have multiple languages on their site. The content of a website is also influential to SEO. The usability of a website can affect SEO since it affects a user’s experience. While this factor can be more objective than other factors, it is still important to the process. When visitors are satisfied with the content on a site, they are more likely to repeat their visit, giving a website a higher score.

So Much Competition

Think about how many websites are out there. There is a large amount of competition. Other sites are also trying to figure out search engine optimization. There are probably companies and websites out there that have been around longer than have more experience than newer websites. That is just the way things are. It has taken them time to increase SEO rankings. This means that competition is a factor in SEO. Newer websites have to go through the process just as older websites have had to. The good thing is that there are also people who are probably newer and less experienced as well. This, of course, helps with pushing your website up in the rankings as well.

Don’t be discouraged by the competition, especially if new to the game. Even some of the best analysts take a lot of time to figure out what competitors are doing. Since people spend a lot of time building both their website and their business, it will also take time for you to do the same. Understanding what the competition is doing and why they are successful takes time and patience. It takes a lot of observation and data collection as well. Due to competition, SEO takes a while to become higher up in the rankings. It can also be difficult to catch up with competition because of the fact they have been around for longer. If a website is continuing to work at SEO, they are still many steps ahead.

Speedy is Not Always Best

When websites become popular quickly, Google may not trust these sites as much. When a new website is gaining a lot of popularity quickly, it likely won’t last. This is because websites can be manipulated to improve SEO rankings. This is a very big factor in taking time to gain SEO success. Websites that gain a moderate amount of popularity over time are more likely to be trusted and given a better ranking.

Over the years, Google has become more proficient in detecting spam. This is a good thing. This means if a site does gain popularity overnight because of social media posts, it will not lower a score. While it is possible, Google is a little bit more reluctant when links become too popular too quickly.

Constantly Changing Technology

Over the last 30 years, technology has changed so much. The internet has become so popular and almost takes over our daily lives. While this constantly changing technology is a positive thing because it helps our lives in numerous ways, it can also be a factor in why SEO success takes so long. Since search engines are constantly changing, just like the rest of technology, it means it can also affect SEO results. When changes are made to the way search engines work, it can change rankings literally overnight.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! have the utmost control when it comes to SEO rankings. At the end of the day, even companies that have worked really hard to have high rankings can be affected by changes made by the search engines. There is also no guarantee that SEO rules and regulations will stay the same with the constantly changing technology.


As with any other business, the more money a company has, the better they do. This is because advertising and everything else about your business cost money. The more money spent on marketing and advertising, the more popularity a company is going to gain. It is simple. When a company has more money to spend, they will get the word out more successfully. Money can also mean that advertising goals are met more quickly than those companies with less of a budget. A business with a website that has more money is able to influence the factors of SEO more easily.

While more money doesn’t necessarily mean SEO success overnight, it is certainly a factor that can influence rankings. When hiring someone to help you increase your SEO rankings, money is not necessarily the most important thing you need to do. Find a company that is reputable and will work hard for you. Instead of having a goal to gain the number 1 ranking, concentrate on other factors that can help to boost SEO. Focus more on increasing your conversion rate, making user experience better, and working on other ways to market such as social media postings.

So, How Long Really?

After looking at many of the factors, it is important to see that the variety of factors that influence SEO do not have a set formula. There is really no way to tell how long a website will take to increase rankings. Some websites may see an improvement in as little as three months, but that doesn’t mean the job is finished. There are so many pieces to SEO rankings, and like all technology, they are constantly changing over time.

It is important that a business is taking the time to understand different factors that can affect SEO and adjust their practices accordingly. Remember there are four major factors mentioned above that can affect SEO: keywords, domain name, content and location. Perhaps it can be helpful to take the time and review those factors and what they mean for your company’s website. If anything, they can help to determine where a website might be and why it is there.

SEO is also something that can be ongoing for years and years. Although having a goal of being at number 1 can be motivating, it can also cause frustration. Even companies that have reached high rankings still have to continue to work at it. There is no end to SEO. Instead of focusing on the end result (what your ranking is), focus on how far the business has come. Think about where it started.

Perhaps you have noticed that just having a website and focusing on how to make it better have increased conversion rate. Maybe compared to where a website was when it first was published shows that it has already increased rankings from where it was.

What Do I Do?

Keep going. Don’t give up. While it can be frustrating, you should keep doing what you are doing. Obviously, by looking up an explanation as to why SEO takes so long to be successful, you are already taking steps forward and looking for answers. Continue to pay attention to new research conducted about SEO. It is important to remember that anything worth doing is worth doing right. Don’t put all your energy into search engine optimization. When you do this, you miss other important opportunities to make a business successful.

It is also extremely important to focus on other aspects of improving your business. Getting to the number 1 ranking might be a goal that some have, but businesses can still be successful even if a website never gets there. To help increase SEO rankings, make sure to focus on customer relations, conversion rates, and user experience. SEO is not the only kind of marketing that will make your business successful.

While it is helpful because it is free, it does take time. Getting frustrated will not help you to get a better ranking. The best thing to do is to focus on other aspects that make your business great. There are also a ton of other ways to market for free. Marketing on free social media sites can also help to increase your rankings. By focusing more on these other factors, you can increase your rankings over time without even knowing it.

You can also call upon the analysis tools you may or may not be already using. These online tools usually have a component within them to help you understand what your competition is and how you measure up to them. Getting more information about what the competition is doing and taking inventory of what you are doing can also help your business. Using analytics can be helpful to understand what your business is doing well at and what it can do better at. Being reflective is always helpful, no matter what kind of profession one is in.

Final Words

While the question of how long SEO takes may not have been answered to your liking, it is really difficult to predict. It is nearly impossible because there are so many factors. There is so much competition from other companies who are also working hard to maintain their SEO ranking. It is important to take the time to solidify SEO results. Gaining a high ranking overnight can also be more damaging to a website than helpful.

There are many rules and regulations on the internet to keep it running smoothly. Constantly changing technology, a company’s budget, and many other factors affect SEO. It is not a perfect algorithm. It is important to understand SEO, take all factors into consideration, and keep working towards success. Remember that anything worth doing is worth doing right, and SEO is no exception.

Garenne Bigby
Author: Garenne BigbyWebsite:
Founder of DYNO Mapper and Former Advisory Committee Representative at the W3C.


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