There are a number of reasons why your site may not achieve results. If you find that your campaign has been going on for a long time and you have seen no movement what-so-ever, it is possible that with the wrong content strategy, one of the following is hindering your efforts.

Spamming & Penalties

In some cases your site may take forever to achieve rankings, or the rankings may not come at all. If your site has been previously penalized for spamming, you absolutely must clean up all traces of the past dirtiness.Once the site is entirely cleaned up, then you can apply for re-inclusion. This is certainly no assurance that Google will ever pay your site any attention again, but it’s the first step to the land of maybe.

Duplicate Content

If your site has utilized mass amounts of duplicate content, chances are you will not ever see rankings until you replace it all with something original and meaningful. There is no “duplicate content” penalty per-se, but you are essentially penalizing yourself if you copy content. Google tends to look at the first instance it finds online for a piece of content as the official source (not always the case).

If you copy content that is already out there and indexed by Google, they will discount your content as it is already indexed somewhere else, and your site or page will simply not get any rankings for it – and rightfully so.

Links (or lack thereof)

If your site has no links, you probably will not get any rankings, even after you are fully indexed. This is not always the case, I have seen sites rank well for various phrases with zero inbound links – but it is rare, and should not be relied on.

On the flip side of this, let’s say your site has thousands of links, but they are from free for all sites, link farms, or “bad neighborhoods”, and so on – they won’t help you. These links won’t necessarily hurt you, but will be essentially ignored. You need quality, relevant links.


You just may be out of your league. If you have a small operation, and are competing for a major ultra competitive term, chances are you won’t ever see the light of day. Not to say it is not possible, but if you are competing in a well established industry where literally 10’s of thousands of links are required, and your target phrase is experiencing millions of searches a month, you need to weigh your targets. Chances are your keywords need to be re-evaluated as your chances of success are slim.

Not Listening

If your SEO gives you actionable recommendations, follow them. Recommendations are given for a reason, to help you achieve rankings. If you are not willing to implement what is suggested, then your campaign may go nowhere. I have seen websites fail to rank simply because clients ignored recommendations. Your SEO will not be able to help you if you refuse to implement their advice.


Rankings can come literally within hours. It is very rare, but it happens. In one specific example, a blog post was put up on a very specific niche topic that had almost no coverage online. Google coincidently spidered the blog within an hour or so of posting, and within an hour from that, the blog post was #1 in the organic results for the most relevant phrase. The site saw a giant spike in traffic for the next couple days while the phrase was a hot topic. (The search phrase was very specific and localized: “election results”). This shows that for a site with an established link base, and a good reputation in Google, rankings can sometimes come extremely quickly.

Regardless of industry and target phrases, you will have to wait for your search results.
Just how long you will wait varies on far too many factors to give a solid number, but expect to wait for results anywhere from a few days to several years.

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