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What are a new website’s chances in Google?

There’s quite a lot of disinformation around about how Google indexes and ranks brand new websites (by that I mean new domains, not redesigned sites on old domains). It used to be claimed that there was a ‘sandbox’ for new sites, an algorithm holding them back until some unspecified criteria had been met.

It’s unlikely this ever existed. Sites can appear quite quickly nowadays – some claim they always could – but it’s important to give Google a helping hand. I’d recommend installing Google Analytics and Search Console; getting some really good content on the site quickly and blogging frequently; creating a sitemap and submitting it via Search Console; using social media to link to the site; setting up RSS feeds; submitting the site to any good, free directories; and calling in every favour you can to get quality external links.

Even so, your site will have very little going for it, right? Well, Google has claimed that “sometimes completely new websites show up very visibly in search” and there are many claimed examples of this. Google Search Console Help says that “it is possible for a site to be crawled/indexed within 4 days to 4 weeks” although “in some cases, it may take longer.”

Discussing the subject, Google is vague, but it has used the word ‘estimates’ regarding how highly a new site could be ranked, so it’s likely that our site wouldn’t start from zero. Estimates can only be made on things like how serious other sites addressing the same topic have been in the past, so a business-oriented site – especially a product one – should have few problems.