Search Engine Optimisation - Realistic Timescales

SEO Articles by Cornish WebServices.

Disclaimer: The views on SEO expressed in this article were current at the time of publication, and unless stated otherwise are the recommendations or views of Cornish WebServices SEO team.

Be No 1 on Google in 1 week. Guaranteed Results!

Or so says the email you have just received. There may even be examples to prove it. Usually really non competitive niche keywords.

Is this possible?

No. Not now. But it did used to be. Back in 2003/4 some SEO cowboys were offering this. After one week website was on first page and the fee got paid. Within 2-3 weeks website was blacklisted and banned from Google. 6-9 months later website might recover.

So, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. And the same applies to SEO.

For the record, Cornish WebServices have never employed such techniques, always aiming for long term consistent search engine rankings, and we have long standing clients for whom we have achieved this.

So what are realistic timescales for SEO?

The major UK search engine is Google and it can take several weeks for the search engine spiders to index your website pages. A good SEO company should be able to shorten this to a few days. We consider 3 days to be slow.

Once the search engine robots have indexed your pages it can take a month or so before Google assesses how important it considers your website to be (or at least until it uses these results). This delay or dampening mechanism was introduced partly to prevent dubious short term websites from appearing and disappearing overnight. This is the main factor in determining how long your website takes to reach the top few places.

This means that search engine optimisation always takes time.

Realistically, for Google this means months, and in competitive markets 6-9 months for top positions. Of course we have some clients for whom we've achieved top 3 places within one month on good keywords, but not in very competitive markets!

Timescales on the other major search engines are very variable. In 2006/7 we usually see good rankings on either Yahoo or MSN within 1 month, but sometimes these take longer.

When comparing SEO companies it is important to consider the dates quoted. Cornish WebServices have had to revise their estimated timescales. On the old MSN algorithm, pre 2006 we usually got very good MSN results within a week or two, and would be surprised if all target keywords were not top 10 within a month. Since 2006 this is less often possible for MSN.

The same applies to Yahoo, where we used to achieve top 10 in 2-3 months maximum, more usually 2-4 weeks. Timescales to get top 10 search engine rankings have lengthened and become more variable for Yahoo.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Services

Cornish WebServices have been successfully offering search engine optimisation services since 2003 (before search engine optimisation became popular). Contact us for a realistic quotation to naturally optimise your website for increased visibility in the search engines.


SEO work

"I was introduced to Cornish WebServices by a colleague who said that [their] advice and design work on his website had brought him to the top of the natural search pages in Google... That was in August and we are now on front page... Now searching high, bringing in customers, job done!... Thanks."

David Jefferson,
Director JI Software

Cornish CMS

"I am currently working on updating the website. This process is wonderfully user-friendly – many thanks!"

Michael Reeves,
Assistant Headteacher,
Garratt Park School,

View what other clients have said

Email usTel: +44 (0)330 555 4680

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