Domain Development

How long does it take to see significant organic traffic for a new site?

By September 2, 2010 February 27th, 2017 7 Comments

One of the interesting things to understand about domain development is the timing of the development cycle as it relates to organic search.  The reality is that organic traffic to a previously parked page will typically not arrive overnight. There is a timing to it which correlates heavily to search position.

In this example, launched at the beginning of the year.  Traffic grew steadily as it rose out of obscurity to page 2 of Google, and then to page 1, and then to the top 1-2 positions on page 1. The resulting traffic impact is easy to see and is highly correlated to search position.

And here is a link to the full report for anyone interested:


During the early phases of the site’s life, pay attention to the following stages:

1. Your site is indexed. You can check this easily by going to Google and using the command to see how many pages are indexed.  After 30 days of the site being live, you should see significant indexing, i.e. the % of pages on the site that are known to exist in Google.

2. Your site is ranked. For starters, you are looking for the exact match term “ice cream maker” and wanting to see the ranking improve from pages 3-10 to pages 1-2.  If you have a lot of sites, you can check them using a number of rank-checking tools including this one.

3. Your site is top-ranked. The real battle begins on page 1 of Google.  The top 3 positions get approximately 40% of the traffic.  Said another way, having a descriptive domain that is ranked above the fold on page 1 of Google is a very good place to be.

4. Your site ranks on adjacent terms:  Once your site ranks on the exact match term, start looking for the related terms, e.g. Ice Cream Makers (plural), or ranking for specific brands in the case of a product portal.  This adjacent ranking opens up additional growth opportunities for the site’s organic traffic.

Last but not least, if you have an Epik-powered site and want to add Google Analytics to your site, just create the tracking code in Google Webmaster Tools and send it to and we’ll be happy to include your tracking code.

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Fantastic post.

    Great to know that analytics is easy to incorporate too.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Here is an article from SEOBook which shows their findings regarding traffic relative to search position…

    A few points which should be made:
    1) Google Adwords’ keyword tool seems to show higher figures than appear to be the case. I have had sites rank low on page one of Google and the resulting traffic was far below what one would expect given the GAKT search figures.

    2) Competitive terms, i.e. those which having millions of competing sites, are tough to rank for and even a developed site might rank on some obscure page without a concerted effort to provide fresh content and build relevant inbound links.

    3) Some TLDs don’t seem to rank as easily as others. .COM, .Net and .Org domains seem to rank more easily than others so again it may take more effort (content, link building, time) to rank other TLDs.

    4) Bing & Yahoo seem to have merged their search results somewhat but the search methodology at Yahoo & Bing seems to place more weight on exact match domains than Google. However, Google search volume is much higher so ideally one would want to rank on page one of Google as well.

  • IM Links says:

    Thank you. Great information about how long it takes – I have built 60+ minisites since March / April and was beginning to get disheartened because they all receive the old parking level traffic.

    Regarding point 1, if a domain has been delisted from Google for bad webmaster behavior (parking, in some cases but not others), does anyone now how long it takes to reappear. I have monitored these test sites regularly and seen none reappear. I have not filled in the Google form ‘sorry I broke the rules’ because I don’t want to draw attention that I did 60+ times and about half were delisted.

    • Rob Monster says:

      @IM Links – Personally I am not a big fan of minisites. Static content does not tend to sustain ranking for very long, particularly if the content was not substantially original. We have certainly experimented in this arena so the statement is backed up by data and experience.

      As for sandboxing, if it does happen, it can take as much as 6 months to come out of the sandbox, and then may well require a personal appeal to Google as to why the domain should be given consideration for re-indexing if they previously sandboxed it.

      Your best option may be to take the develop it in a new direction, including a change of name server and re-do of the content.

  • TJ says:

    Rob – under a ppc platform, what is the best way to use the google analytics bounce rate? Do you want to see a high bounce rate or a low bounce rate? Disregarding the drop shipping or affiliate model – for purposes of my question – we want customers to click on products or google adsense & leave the site. I can see both sides to the coin:

    A) We want them to look around on the pages, and look at products (cash in the register to ppc owners). This would be a low bounce rate, everything being equal.

    B) A high bounce rate would imply they found what they wanted right away either by 1) google adsense click, or 2) the right product was on the site & the searcher found what they liked immediately without looking very much.

    Do you view the “ppc model bounce rate” – in respect to google analytics – in one of the two above ways, or am I off base?


  • TJ says:

    Say hey Leonard –

    Thanks for the seomoz link – which pretty much matches with other 3rd party ad providers have stated. If you aren’t #1, you are fighting for scraps.

    What number are you using for Google Exact Word Match? My interpretation: The Google Local exact word count can exceed the Google Monthly exact word count. Google Local Search refer to past month (August), and Google Monthly refers to a rolling 12-month average search count. Seasonality products will have periods where the local is higher than global (aka global monthly) because of the seasonality distortion of a rolling 12-month average.

    I am pretty simple. If it is December and I have a ski site, I better see higher traffic count in December than during the July 4th weekend. I use google local keyword match if I have a domain with boring products: I assum the demand will be relatively consistent month-over-month.

    “1) Google Adwords’ keyword tool seems to show higher figures than appear to be the case. I have had sites rank low on page one of Google and the resulting traffic was far below what one would expect given the GAKT search figures.”

  • IM Links says:

    @Rob – Thanks for the extra detail. I don’t like minisites either – my plan was to make 100 dynamic sites to experiment with the process of recovering from parking – to see if there was a quick way. I used FeedWordPress to either scrape blogs eg.: – delisted – listed

    or news headlines. I ran out of steam after 60 because nothing seemed to be recovering. Thanks to your post I will wait some more.

    One notable result which is worth sharing – I did achieve page 1 of Google – I think #3 – entirely with scraped news excerpts at one point. It was an exact match domain for a widely used term in UK elections – and only lasted for a few days until the mainstream news organizations swamped me out, but it did happen.

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