No Fast-Track to SEO Success

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Last updated on March 24th, 2018

Search engine optimization is the long game of digital marketing. Despite common promotions for “guaranteed” first-page listings, there is no fast-track to SEO success. Instead, it takes time, patience, discipline, quality content and adaptability.

SEO guru and Moz Founder Rand Fishkin recently said, “Don’t assume SEO works right away. It’s the total opposite of advertising. It requires a large, upfront investment of creativity, technical investments, and elbow grease, and the returns will initially be small or nonexistent. It’s only after months or years that SEO begins producing great value, but when it does, it can dwarf the ROI you get from paid investments. The high upfront costs and challenges are what keep the field thin enough to make standing out a true competitive advantage.”

Reasons for Delayed Gratification from SEO

The following are key reasons that you won’t experience immediate and powerful results with search engine optimization:

Trust from Google

Despite some debate, it is generally believed within the marketing community that it takes time to build trust with Google. You cannot expect to set up shop on the web today and have Google give you high search engine results positions right away.

Think about a situation when you would want to ask for advice. Are you more likely to trust someone who has 10 or 15 years of relevant experience or someone just getting into the industry or field. The answer is clear. Therefore, it makes sense that Google takes your length of domain registration and site existence into account. And, you can’t change the age of your site. You just have to build your website and content as you wait.

Earned Back Links

Off-site links from quality websites remain a primary factor in Google’s search algorithm. First, you have to create content for others to link to. Even then, it takes time to generate traffic and a following that contributes to off-site links.

Shares on social media contribute to traffic growth and can boost your external length growth, but it takes time to grow followers and shares on these channels as well.

Quality Content Development and Distribution

High-quality content is necessary to satisfy Google’s desires to provide its users with relevant, optimized search experiences. You can post one great article, but it has limited potential to reach a broad marketplace of users.

Even if your initial posts are stellar, you still can’t overcome the time factor in building trust and links. However, executing a strong content plan for several months sets you up for strong results as your reputation grows.

3 Simple Steps to SEO Success
This infographic offers a few additional strategies to patiently work on SEO with a disciplined approach.

The Competitive Environment

You aren’t the only player on the web and in your industry. That is why ads promising first-position rankings are suspect. If two companies pay for first position on particular keywords, both can’t get it.

You need to find niches where your expertise and ability to build a following align with under-served sectors within an industry. Go too broad and you face an uphill battle against long-established competitors. Find prime categories and topics with moderate competition and a hungry market.


It is clear from this set of reasons for delayed success that there is no fast-track to SEO results. Build a plan to target precise markets with the most useful, relevant content over time. Execute with consistent quality and discipline. Prioritize offering resources to your audience and distribute your content through ideal delivery channels. Take the steps you can now to achieve the best SERP when your time arrives!

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About the Author: Neil Kokemuller

Neil Kokemuller is a veteran college marketing professor with an MBA. He has also been a freelance business and marketing content writer and website creator since 2008.


    1. Hi Calvin,

      This is true, but it means that only content providers dedicated to consistently delivering useful, relevant results to their audiences will succeed.


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