There’s a moment during the life of every new website* when Google starts to like and trust the content it’s crawling. I call it the “Google moment.”
If you’re keeping an eye on your analytics (as you should be), you can usually tell this moment pretty easily. Watch the amount of organic search traffic coming to your site. When that graph starts to trend upward, you’re on the right track.
For some sites, this moment might come within a matter of days or weeks. Other sites? Longer. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Like many SEO questions, the answer to when a new site reaches this moment is, “it depends.”
When the “Google moment” happens, your site should progress from stage one to stage two in the three stages of keyword success that I outlined before here on SBSM. Let’s take a look at a real-life example….
Glass Almanac & the Google Moment
My GlassAlmanac.com website had its “Google moment” in mid-September. Here’s the chart showing weekly organic traffic from launch in July until this week:
I’m pegging the Google moment as happening during the week where the arrow points, which is September 15-21. There was an uptick two weeks earlier, which I’ve marked with an “X,” but I don’t think that was the moment because natural search flatlined the next week (Sept. 8-14).
If I convert that graph to daily search traffic, it looks to me like the Google moment happened on September 19/20. Over the course of those two days, the (meager) amount of organic search traffic more than doubled. Have a look:
Yes, organic traffic dropped on September 21 — but that was a Saturday, and it was still more than the search traffic that was coming in for those three weekdays at the start of that week.
Does the number of articles matter?
At the time Glass Almanac had its Google moment, me and my fellow authors had published about 140 blog posts.
I don’t know if that matters to getting in Google’s good graces, but do you remember this post about small business blogging with some data from HubSpot? That post included this chart showing the impact of blog post quantity on traffic:
As you can see, that chart suggests blog traffic in their survey started rising dramatically in between 100 and 200 total articles. My Glass Almanac experience with organic traffic mirrors that.
Your mileage may vary.
What about keywords and rankings?
As I say in the three stages of keyword success article, when you reach Stage 2, you move past ranking just for brand queries and you start ranking for non-brand, long-tail searches.
The whole [not provided] mess makes it hard to know for sure what keywords are driving search traffic, but have a look at the top ten keywords sending traffic to Glass Almanac since September 19th:
Prior to September 19, “not provided” and “glass almanac” were the top two terms sending traffic … but, as I said before, there wasn’t much search traffic at all in the site’s early days.
Still, I’m super happy to know that one of our Glass Almanac articles ranks highly for a couple good phrases related to the cost of Google Glass. That’s a good start.
You’ve Had Your Google Moment … What Then?
I’ve always looked at the “Google moment” as a sort of Get out of jail FREE card. I’m not saying that there’s such a thing as a Google “sandbox,” like we used to talk about 8-10 years ago. But clearly it takes time for Google (and Bing) to trust a new website and start showing it more often in search results.
Once that happens, it should be a signal that your site is gaining trust and that you have an expanding opportunity to increase search traffic by targeting new keywords. Google is saying, “We like you. What else do you have for us?”
When Google starts asking that, it’s time to really start answering with vital content. In other words, look at your Google moment as if a door of opportunity has opened. Then go take advantage of it with the best stuff you can create.
* Unless the site is poorly executed, of course.
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)
Note: This is the fourth in an occasional series of articles in which I share what I’m learning and experiencing in launching a new website about Google Glass. Previous articles are below:
- August 14, 2013: Google & Bing Are Handling My New Website Soooo Differently
- September 12, 2013: Finally, Glass Almanac Has 1 Visit from Bing (and Yahoo, too!)
- October 22, 2013: GlassAlmanac.com: Why It Took 6 Weeks To Choose A Domain