Weekly SEO news: 17 February 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

How long does it take to get a first page Google ranking? That's a question that we often hear. There is no general answer to this question. It depends on many different factors. This week's article helps you to get a realistic timeline for your SEO goals.

In the news: Google Webmaster Tools stopped updating, Google does not have a whitelist for the Panda and Penguin algorithms, Microsoft open sources a small part of Bing, and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. How long does it take to get a first page Google ranking?

That's a question that we often hear. There is no general answer to this question. It depends on many different factors. This article helps you to get a realistic timeline for your SEO goals.

how long does it take to get high rankings

What's the current state of your website?
The time that it takes to get results depends on the current state of your website. Has your website been penalized by Google? Has your website been optimized before? Have you used spammy SEO methods in the past?

Fixing problems is as important as improving your content. Before you do anything else, fix the problems on your web pages.This will take some time but it is absolutely necessary if you want to improve your rankings. The website audit tool in SEOprofiler helps you to locate problems on your site.
It's not Karma, it's the way SEO works
The things that you do today will influence your rankings tomorrow. If you used spammy SEO methods in the past, it's very likely that your web pages will be penalized today. If you used white-hat SEO methods, it is likely that your website will have better rankings today.

Only use white-hat methods to promote your web pages. SEO is a continuous process.

Be patient, do the right things and you will get sustainable high rankings. It takes some time to get these rankings but the results are worth the time and effort
So how long will it take to get high rankings?
  • If your website is brand new, or if your website has many issues, it can take up to 12 months until you see sustainable results. Tactics that can help you to get short term results can have a negative effect on your rankings in the long term.

  • To get a better idea of the time that it takes to get high rankings, segment your goals into actions. For example: Fixing errors on your web page (2-4 weeks), revamping website content (4-6 weeks), link building (4 weeks), etc.

  • Don't just focus on rankings. High rankings for a particular keyword aren't necessarily what you want to achieve. Better focus on the overall number of visitors that you get from search engines, the number of sales that you get through search engine visitors, etc.

  • Start with small, achievable goals. Try to get high rankings for very targeted keywords first. In general, it is much better to have high rankings for "where to buy high quality hiking shoes" than for "shoes".

    By focusing on small, achievable goals, you can steadily create something great while making one step at a time.
Search engine optimization takes some time if you want to get sustainable results. If you continually work on your web pages, you will get high rankings that last.

Fixing critical errors on your website will often have an immediate effect on your rankings, i.e. it can happen that your rankings improve dramatically after fixing technical errors, remove bad links, etc.

What you should take from this article is that before beginning any SEO efforts, you should take time to assess the situation, plan both short- and long term-strategies, approach SEO as an ongoing process, and communicate realistic goals and timelines for improvement to the larger team and executives.

The tools in SEOprofiler help you to work as efficiently as possible with your website. If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

Try SEOprofiler now risk-free!

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google Webmaster Tools data stopped updating almost a week ago
"Are you concerned that your Google Webmaster Tools reports have not updated in a week? Don't be, everyone else has the same issue. [...]

There are many complaints in the Google Webmaster forums, but no response from Google on (a) if they acknowledged the issue and (b) when it will be resolved."

Editor's note: if you need website audits that are independent from Google's Webmaster tools and if you need reports that provide more details, use the website audit tool in SEOprofiler.

GoogleGoogle: we do not have whitelists for our Panda and Penguin algorithms

"Google’s John Mueller said in a Google+ hangout that Google doesn’t have whitelists for the Penguin or Panda algorithms:

'For the most part we don’t have any type of special whitelist where we can say, well this website is actually okay, therefore we will take it out of this algorithm.'"


Bing Ads: Auction Insights is now available in all Bing Ads markets

"Auction Insights shows how you are performing in comparison with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions as you. It can help you make strategic decisions about bidding and budgeting choices by showing you where you are succeeding and where you may be missing opportunities for improved performance."


BingMicrosoft open sources a small part of Bing

"While we do not know how much of Bing Microsoft will eventually open source, it does make a lot of sense for them to go down this route with non-alogorithmic based technologies to drum up open-source support for the engine.

And what does Microsoft really have to lose here? Google is the dominant player in the market and Bing is having a tough time making serious inroads in market share beyond its current user base."

Google Adwords: upgraded tracking URLs
"Upgraded URLs have been one of the most time-saving tools we’ve used in AdWords. It’s allowed us to change custom tracking parameters for a group of URLs all in one place, without re-setting ad stats. We plan to upgrade our clients’ accounts over to upgraded URLs as soon as possible."

Search engine newslets

  • Haosou, the other Chinese search engine.
  • Google: a remedy for your health-related questions: health info in the Knowledge Graph.
  • Study: online sales up 10% or more.
  • Lazy loading images likely will not be indexed by Google.
  • John Mueller: I'm not allowed to answer this question (video).

3. Recommended resources

Everything you need

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  • tools for keyword research and analysis
  • competitive intelligence tools
  • automated ranking checks
  • website analytics
  • tools for spam-free link building
  • link disinfection tool
  • social media monitoring
  • white-label reports (web-based and PDF)
  • and much more.

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4. Previous articles
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