How Long Before a New Website Starts Getting Traffic?

You’ve successfully launched what is apparently your first website and you are now wondering how long before a new website starts getting traffic. This question is usually the first question newbies ask after they launch their first website. It is only natural that you would expect some sort of growth after launching your new website. After all, most businesses in the real world welcome their first customers in a matter of days of opening shop.

Unfortunately, things do not follow the same logical order on the internet. Well, before you think you’re alone on a lonely part, know that virtually every successful website owner has been there once. The experienced folks understand that it takes some time to see some growth in traffic for a new website. Now, how long it takes depends on a combination of internal and external factors which we’ll talk about much later in this article.

We’ll discuss how long it takes for a new website to get traffic and what is a good amount of website traffic.

How Long Before a New Website Starts Getting Traffic?

All things being equal, it takes 4 – 6 months before a new website starts getting organic traffic.

It is important that you also know that there are different kinds of traffic that come to a website. A website could get organic, direct and paid search traffic. As soon as a new website starts to get organic traffic, such a website can be said to have proved its mettle (E-A-T). You’ll get to learn what an E-A-T profile is further down this article.

Technically, a new website can get massive traffic on its very first day of launch. If you are like C. Ronaldo or Kanye West with millions of social media follower-ship. You can launch your website today and post a link pointing your millions of  followers to your website and boom! you are getting massive hits on your very first day of launch.

But if you are not a celeb like them and your overall goal is to build an authority website in your chosen niche, then you need to make organic traffic your new best friend.  You should see What is Organic Traffic and How Do You Build it? Organic traffic produces long-lived results when your website eventually starts to get them.

Although traffic generated from non-organic sources such as social media can be helpful. The results they produce are often short-lived and at worst, non-reproducible. For instance, you can get a lot of traffic from a trending topic on social media today and by tomorrow; the traffic is gone. Now, that is not in line with what is a good amount of website traffic.

Factors that Determine How Long Before a New Website Starts Getting Traffic

As already mentioned earlier, there are a combination of internal and external factors that come into play in determining how long before a new website starts getting traffic. The factors are as follows:

  • Niche
  • Competition
  • SEO Strategy

The Google Sandbox

When a new website is launched on the internet, it takes a while before it starts to rank on Google search engine. However, this is not so for other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. This phenomenon whereby new websites experience a delay before they can start to rank for keywords on Google search engine is known as “the sandbox”. Think of it as some sort of probation period. It often lasts for a period of 3 – 6 months and up to a year in worse case scenarios.

Edward Sturm, Director of Marketing World of Ether has this to say about Google Sandbox:

Finally, I know for a fact that it’s possible to circumvent these sandbox effects. If a site goes even somewhat viral and is getting a few hundred to a few thousand daily unique visits, some social media mentions each day, and real backlinks, that site will immediately be taken seriously by Google’s algorithms. I’ve seen this happen twice so far with brand new websites, eventually ranking #1 for their top keywords.

One thing you should know about the sandbox is that it’s existence has never truly been officially confirmed by Google. However, John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google did admit that there exists algorithms with similar characteristics to the controversial sandbox.

Our findings show that the primary purpose of the sandbox is to deter spammers who try to make quick profits by setting up new websites now and then in a bid to rank high for competitive keywords.

The sandbox shouldn’t be a problem at all if your goal is to grow a successful authority website. While you wait it out, you can invest the time and some energy into developing and executing your SEO strategy.

Why Does a New Website Not Rank High on Google?

Google experts have altogether clarified that even though there’s no such term as an official sandbox, new websites will need to prove their E-A-T profiles to Google before they can rank high on search engine results page. A website’s E-A-T profile is a measure of its degree of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Given that trust is not earned in a day, it could take a while with the right SEO strategy to attain an acceptable E-A-T profile with google. Google often rates E-A-T profiles of websites as either low, medium or high.

Below are some tips on how Google judges a website’s level of E-A-T.

  • Content

Content is a chief determinant in Google’s rating of websites. Google algorithms have been programmed to rank websites with quantity and quality contents above the rest in the niche.

In identifying quality contents, Google also takes cognizance of the level of expertise and trustworthiness of the author of the content. You might not already know this but Google has a preference for contents with known authors. So, it is helpful to make the author of a content on your website public information.

  • User Signals

This is basically how Google algorithms picks up the level of Authoritativeness of your website. Here, Google uses its machine learning technology to analyze the behavioral pattern of your website visitors.

It observes such things as your click through rate (CTR), dwell time and bounce rate to determine if you truly have quality contents on your website. Simply put, quality content is one that meets the specific need of the user.

  • Backlinks

Backlinks is one of the top 3 factors Google uses in ranking websites. In reality, it is a way other websites attest that you publish great contents. So, having a strong backlink profile enables Google to rank your website higher up in search results.

Apart from building quality backlinks, your web pages should also have enough internal links to allow link juice pass through them.

More Tips for Beginners

For a more in-depth knowledge of a trusted SEO strategy to help you rank high on SERPs, you should also read these 5 Essential Elements to Improve Your SEO in 2020.


Although the shortest possible time frame for a new website to start getting traffic is 4 – 6 months, we recommend that you zero your mind to a year for your SEO strategy to produce results. Learning How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Online Strategy will be of immense help to you in that regard.

In the event that your website begins to experience a not so high amount of traffic at first, you shouldn’t be discouraged. What is a good amount of website traffic is that there’s a consistent bump in your monthly website traffic.

To wrap it up, the length of time before a new website starts getting traffic depends on its niche, competition and overall SEO strategy.

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