Factoring Time into SEO

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We all know that it takes time for your rankings in the SERPs to change. Although they do fluctuate frequently, long-term improvements in your SERPs rankings take time to produce.

Some time needs to pass before the Search Engines are confident you deserve increased rankings. Things that can happen during the days, weeks or months before you see some real results include:

  • Increase in aggregate traffic – if more unique visitors are landing on your website, then that means there’s a bigger trend of searchers looking for you, therefore your website is more relevant, so the more traffic you have, the more you’re seen as authoritative
  • Increase in links pointing to external pages linking to you – this has a snowball effect because you receive more link juice from one link linking to you when other websites are linking to the page that’s linking to you (hope that wasn’t too confusing)
  • Increase in the amount of clicks from searchers – search engines have a general idea of the percentage of clicks the #1 position for a keyword should get (i.e. the #1 result should be getting 40% of clicks, while #2 should get 20% – arbitrary numbers), so when there’s an imbalance of clicks (if the #2 result starts getting 40% of clicks while the #1 result receives 20%), the results in the SERPs are re-ordered (the #2 result would be bumped up to #1 to see if it can maintain the 40% of clicks it has been receiving)
  • Increase in age of domain – as your domain ages, and you continue to renew your domain for at least a few years until expiration, your website’s authoritativeness increases because it’s an older source of information
  • Increase in age of backlinks – as the age of the backlinks pointing to you increase, search engines believe that your website is more authoritative because the links serve as past proof that your website is worth checking out. While search engines love fresh content, they also highly respect older content
Danny Wong
Danny Wong is the co-founder of Blank Label, an award-winning luxury menswear company. He also leads marketing for Receiptful, a platform to supercharge all customer... Read Full Bio
Danny Wong
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  • gruvr music map

    Um, I'm curious what you cite as evidence for #3, “clickiness” – it's very similar to the notion that time-on-page, or stickiness, affects rankings. That stickiness affects rankings is debatable, as sites which provide quick,one-stop answers are often highly useful/relevant as sites where users stay & explore. Same should go for catchy titles which get clicks.

    As for age of links, matt cutts has mentioned this in his videos, and he seems to imply that links decay in value with time, not increase.

    • vincesamios

      Gruvr – a re-search would indicated the user hasn't found what they are looking for.

      Links gain in value if they gain prominence, and a website needs both old links, and new links to be effective.

      • gruvr music map

        re gruvr – huh?

        re links – the claim was that age increases link value, not “IF they gain prominence”, which may happen, but more often they lose value as domains of 2d-level backlinks die off.

  • vincesamios

    Cool – I wrote a very similar post at the start of the year – Age of backlinks is a new concept most SEO's haven't picked up on yet.

    Really good post! – The similar post I mentioned was my SEO guide for 2010 – viewable here http://vincesamios.com/internetmarketing/seo-gu…

  • In Toronto Canada

    I would say it is not really the age of the links but the authority the site the links are on might gain over time.

  • Mike Hudson

    I think you've overstated the importance of Domain Age and it's effect to how a site/page ranks – this has actually been discussed by Ann here on this site https://www.searchenginejournal.com/domain-age-h… . Domain Age is used in other algorithms to substantiate how web-spam is detected, not so much in ranking.

  • Sharma Infoway

    Thanks Danny for information…. Well there are a lot of factors upon which a website rank well on the search engines. You can't leave any of them. You got to look on each and every aspect of it.

  • Website Design

    I agree with what you have said about the age of backlinks. It is not enough just to get a surge of backlinks because the SERPS will go down over time if a website does get consistant traffic and backlinks over time.

  • Truck Leasing

    Great post. Mentioning the age and other aspects of backlinks is important. I think some people beleive you can just throw a site up there and give it a few backlinks and it works. Finding an aged domain would help anyones case quite a bit.

  • David SEO consultant

    Interesting discussion on age. Stop for a moment and think about what the age profile of a site's backlinks might tell a search engine.

    All new: Unproven website, making waves.
    All old: Used to be of great interest, but doesn't seem to be of much interest anymore.
    Both old an new: Stands the test of time, still of interest.

    This is a vast, vast oversimplification, of course. In SEO everything is relative to other sites ranking for the same search. No page ranking for “ipad review” would have very old backlinks, for example.

  • jimrudnick

    @David…spot-on, brother! that's exactly the premise that we work on with our 30+ SEO campaigns in all sorts of channels. BOTH old/new ages for links as well, yes of course from authoritative/trust sites works well, eh! And yes, pretty simplistic…but still on point!



  • Anne Lyken-Garner

    Thanks for this. I've read the entire article and all of the comments so far. I think I now have a general idea of what to go for on my blogs.

  • IOM Web Design

    Thanks for the interesting info on factoring time into SEO.

    This has caused a bit of a debate, but I'd basically go along with what David said about how it's best to have a mix of old and new backlinks where possible.

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