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If you learn nothing else about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), know this: SEO is a long-term process. It’s a marathon and not a sprint, which means it can take time to see the results of your efforts. Understandably, this can be quite frustrating. SEO solutions clients are always asking, “Why am I spending all of this money and time if I’m not seeing an ROI?” Unlike other marketing methods, such as short-term promotions, the ROI will be seen over the long term instead of the short term. If you don’t have the patience to wait for the results, SEO is just not for you. Don’t believe me? Check out all the reasons that patience is necessary to succeed at SEO.

There is so much content to compete with on the web
The rate at which additional content is published to the web in just one minute is beyond comprehension. Social sites and easy-to-use content management systems have made it easy for every web user to publish content in just a few clicks. 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and that is just one website! Even if you are actively publishing SEO content on a regular basis, in the grand scheme of all of the content that’s out there on the web, it’s really not that much at all. In order to even begin to gain traction and for your content to make a difference, you need to be publishing content on a regular basis for an extended amount of time.

It takes time to index content
Even though you can get new content up on the web in a matter of seconds today, it doesn’t mean that the search engines are seeing it right away. It takes time for the search spiders to find the new piece of content, crawl it, index it, and then include it within the search engine results page where it is most appropriate. This is part of the reason why a search penalty can be so frustrating. Even if site owners take quick action to remedy any issue in order to make the site more “Google-friendly,” it can take months to see the penalty removed and traffic restored because Google won’t immediately recognize the change. While it’s certainly not a solution to the “slowness” of SEO, it has been reported that content gets indexed more quickly if it is shared in Google+ within an account that has many connections within its circles, which is why it pays to become more active in Google+ for SEO purposes.

Trust needs to be achieved
One of many factors that the search engine algorithms take into consideration is the trust, or authority, of a website. This is partially determined by the domain age of the website. The search engines don’t want to favor “fly by night” websites that disappear just as quickly as they are set up which is why content is favored that is published on a website that has aged as opposed to content that is published on a relatively new site. This is one of those SEO factors that is completely out of our control. The webmaster of a new website needs to be patient while this trust is achieved.

While it might be frustrating to have to wait so long for SEO success, even if you understand all of these reasons, the good news is that SEO is the gift that keeps on giving. While ads and social campaigns can provide an instant boost in site traffic, as soon as you close your wallet and end the campaign, the traffic returns to zero. With SEO, you might have  a slow start, but the impact can last for years.

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