If you have a new site up and running on the Internet, it seems only natural to assume that you’re hoping to get traffic to your site via search engines as quickly as possible. Who wouldn’t? In fact, it could well be that as a business with a site lovingly prepared according to advice from search engine optimisation specialists to get the most out of sites like Google. You have a lot to lose by not getting listed on results pages. What, then, are we to make of the delay that new sites are experiencing in getting listed?
Sites with new domain names tend to take between six and eight months to appear significantly on Google results pages. It’s well documented that this is a delay people associate with Google alone, as sites that are able to rank highly with other search engines such as Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista and others wait a long time to get where they need to be with Google. It’s making a lot of site owners and SEO services nervous, so like you, we have some questions. This isn’t really at all plausible, however.
Why the Wait?
Some analysts have blamed the delays on a so-called ‘sandbox’ effect. The ‘sandbox’ effect is supposedly a result of measures implemented by Google to avoid featuring sites on its results pages that are there from the ‘black hat’ SEO method of featuring a large amount of links quickly to get a high ranking. If you’ve undertaken website optimisation or learned about SEO, you’ll know that ‘crawlers’ are sent by search engines to look at your site and send information back. SEO experts have long been aware that search engines penalise websites for what they practice as bad practises, such as introducing a large volume of irrelevant links quickly in order to appear on results pages and get unwitting users to visit sites. It’s most certainly true that all search engines, not only Google, have sophisticated methods of dealing with sites that use so-called ‘linkfarms’ or Spamming techniques.
What Happens to New Sites?
The way Google treats sites with new domain names seems to be as follows. New sites appear on the Internet and get indexed. They appear near the top on results pages for obscure searches for around a week and then seem to disappear as they fall in ranking and languish at near the bottom of results pages for several months. The page will show a Page Rank in the Google toolbar as well as links back to it, indeed everything about the page will seem fine except that it just doesn’t rank well on Google. It’s well known that newer sites which feature at or near the top on MSN and other search engines results pages can be glaringly absent on Google. Even entering the company name exactly into the search box will often not take you to the page. There are different theories about why this occurs, and you can read about them online, but no one seems to have a definitive answer. What’s sure is that search engines are extremely powerful in that appearing on their results pages can and does mean the difference between success and failure for many modern business enterprises.
What Can You Do About It?
If you want to avoid the problems new sites are facing with Google, one answer is not to be new. While having your own domain name might be what you want, the fact is that you may have to balance how much it means to you against the benefits of purchasing an old domain name. Alternatively, you could forget what you’ve learned about good website optimisation, and instead of launching a fully completed and optimised site you could launch a few pages while the site is still in the idea stage. Even if you do this, however, you may still have a long wait as the ten months new sites are reporting as a waiting period pales the time it takes for an enthusiastic business to create and launch a site.
Unfortunately, if you find yourself as a new site owner waiting a long time to appear on Google results pages, you really can’t do too much about it. You can hope that a good strategy for getting inbound links will bring visitors to your site, and of course that other search engines will rank you highly and bring users to you.