How long to see significant listing improvement on Google

Is a page one listing guaranteed?

No it can sometimes be borderline whether a page one listing can be realistically expected and certainly to maintain that level can be even harder to guarantee in some circumstances.

It’s all down to how competitive that Keyword phrase is.

Non competitive sector:

  • Worst case scenario within 9 months
  • Average within 6 months
  • With a bit of luck, under a month

Competitive sector:

  • Worst case 9 months
  • average  6 months
  • In unlucky situation a year


It is also important whether the site is already ranked or just starting on the journey.


Poorly Optimised and average competition:

  • longer than 3 months to rank well
  • Average 3-9 months
  • Worst case 9 months
  1. NAP issues take longer because even if you update all the directories, it takes additional time for Google to recognize this.
  2. It’s not uncommon for us to see very little movement after 3 months’ hard work, but normally we expect to be seeing a move in the right direction.
  3. Recovery from low quality link issues often take a year or more.
  4. Penalties take 6 months plus to recover from
  5. It’s easier to boost rankings in local maps results, but rarely instant.

The only way to approach SEO is to accept that it is a long term strategy, but that once a good ranking is achieved the level of work and investment can be reduced unless a major change occurs such as significant algorithm changes or a penalty due to Red hat activity etc.

Good agencies know what needs to be done to achieve your goals, but nobody can predict exactly when the move will occur or what moves your competitors will be making either as a response to or unconnected to your activities.
What we can rely on is that f we put in the agreed amount of effort each month, follow the plan and review it regularly in light of any changes in our environment then we will get there.

The thing to monitor is improvement on the contributing factors: Reputation, Citations, Trust, reviews, Back links, etc. Rankings will then take care of themselves.

Anything that seeks to get around this simple state of affairs is “Black hat” and certain to get your site in deep trouble sooner or later.