Google’s John Mueller regularly answers questions and provides information about SEO via the YouTube show Ask Googlebot. Many don’t realize that there are no set in stone SEO best practices. SEO involves understanding that Google’s team is constantly making changes to Google’s search algorithm to ensure pages with valuable content rank high when users perform relevant searches.
Thus, to provide help to SEO specialists who may not be aware of recent changes to Google’s algorithm, Mueller and others like him sometimes share advice and insights that non-Google employees might otherwise not be privy to.
In a recent episode of Ask Googlebot, Mueller addressed the question “How long does SEO take?” In other words, he was answering a question many have: “How long will I have to wait to see my SEO strategy yield results?”
Naturally, there’s no one answer to this question. A number of factors can influence the amount of time it takes for an SEO strategy to improve a site’s rankings. The strength of said strategy is of course one such factor. A strategy that’s well thought-out and developed with the help of experts is more likely to be effective than one that an amateur rushed into without much consideration.
However, although Mueller admits that he can’t promise it will or won’t take a certain amount of time for an SEO strategy to start showing results, he does offer tips that website owners can apply to speed up the process. They include the following:
Invest in Quality Servers
If a website owner uses their own servers instead of relying on a third party, they need to ensure they’re robust enough to handle a decent number of requests every day. If servers slow down, a search engine will also be less likely to quickly index a page’s new content.
Internal linking involves one page on a website linking to other pages on the same website. When a website has numerous internal links, it helps search engines crawl a site and index content. Additionally, it signals to Google which pages a website’s owner considers to be most important, increasing the odds of those pages ranking high in search results.
Remove Old Content and URLs
The more pages and URLs a site has, the longer it takes a search engine to crawl that site. This can slow down the rate at which a SEO strategy delivers results. Thus, Mueller encourages website owners to go through their sites and remove old URLs. For example, if someone owns a website through which they sell a variety of items, they might remove product pages for products they no longer sell.
Maximize Website Quality
This is a simple point, but an important one. Again, the goal of those developing Google’s search algorithm is to maximize the chances of a user finding the quality content they’re looking for fast when they perform a search. As such, Google’s algorithm is designed to identify signs of quality content. For example, if a large number of people and publishers link back to a page, this is a sign that the content on that page is valuable and authoritative. Google’s algorithm will thus rank it higher.
When a site appears to be high-quality, it tells Google’s algorithm to prioritize crawling it and indexing it. Mueller also points out that quality isn’t just related to content. A high-quality website is also one that performs well and isn’t bogged down by technical issues.
That said, it’s once again worth noting that Google’s team doesn’t stop refining the search algorithm. The information Mueller recently shared is valuable, but those who wish to ensure their SEO strategies work quickly should continue to follow his updates.