How to Get Top Search Results in 2020 (Hint: It’s Still the Same as 2019)

Exactly how long does it take to rank in google?

There are a lot of downright bad techniques people teach to their audience, and sadly they implement them and end up being let down.

They may get rankings and they may not, but when they do they only stick for a couple of weeks or when Google rolls out a new update.

Reaching the first page of Google is a lot easier than you think. Lets discuss exactly what is involved first though.

The Only SEO Signals That Really Matter

  • Keyword Selection
  • Content Length
  • Content Structure
  • Engagement
  • Social Elements
  • Time (Authority)

What I Think About Backlinks

99% of SEO “gurus” will tell you you need backlinks to rank.

And although having backlinks does help, it is not the only way to reach that all-important first-page ranking.

I’m highly against gaming Google, and that is exactly what new blog owners try to do because they are told getting as many backlinks as possible is the only way to rank.

That couldn’t be any further from the truth.

When you “game” Google, you are only asking to be penalized later down the line.

Your entire website gets placed down at least 100 places, so thousands of traffic per week (or even per day) could end up being zero and no money being made.

That is the risk you take if you try to work against Google.

So instead of doing tricks and Blackhat methods, why not work with Google and be rewarded for years to come?

Become an authoritative blog that Google loves and rewards instead of gaming the system to be penalized as soon as a new update rolls out.


The Right Way to Getting Front-Page Google Rankings


Keyword Selection

Although keywords aren’t that important when your blog is trusted and receiving traffic, it is very important when it’s brand new.

Every post is full of keywords. The more content you have on a page the more potential keywords to rank for.

For example, if you target the keyword “how to bake chocolate muffins“, you will be ranking for keywords like:

  • bake chocolate chip muffins
  • bake chocolate muffins
  • bake chocolate muffin
  • and a lot more, but you get the point

Not only that, but all content INSIDE the article will get ranked for different keywords too.

One article alone can rank for 10+ different keywords even if you only tried targeting 1 at the very start.

My camping site is a great example.

Here I currently have 244 articles published:


But I am actually ranking for 2.4K different keywords!


I use Jaaxy to find keywords easy to rank for.

Jaaxy shows me how much searches the keyword gets per month, the traffic I can receive if I reach front-page rankings, and if I can easily rank for it or not.

Because they show so much I don’t even have to do any additional keyword research! Just choose one and begin writing about the topic.

Here I typed in “make quick and easy pancakes”.


Avg – Average searches that keyword gets per month.

Traffic – How much traffic you can receive when on the first page.

QSR – The lower the better. 150 and lower means the competition is weak. We can rank for it even with a new website.

SEO – This shows how much of a chance we have to reach top rankings. 98 means 98%, while 92 means 92%.

Why I don’t worry about amount of searches…

People like to target keywords that have 1000 searches plus per month, but the competition is huge and it’s difficult to rank for them.

There’s an easier way.

Even if the keyword gets over 40 searches a month, that is 1 traffic per day from that keyword alone. However, you will also rank for other related keywords.

So one article can bring in 100+ visitors a day.

Create more articles, rank for more keywords and receive more traffic!

Get 30 FREE Searches Here!

Content Length

Content length is another SEO signal.

There is no magic rule for content length, but generally the more words the higher the chances for bigger rankings.

This is because longer articles usually provide more information. However, Google knows when you’re adding more words JUST to purposely increase word count.

So write until you think you’ve covered enough of the topic then move on to the next.

If you stick with one article for days trying to “perfect” it, you will get nowhere.

I recommend a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 4000 words.

But on average your articles should be 1000-1500 words.

If you vary your word count and write naturally, Google will see that you’re writing for your audience and not the search engines, which is exactly what it loves and rewards.

So a 500 word article is completely fine every now and then, while a 2000+ word article shows Google you know a lot about your niche.

A rule of thumb: Write until you’ve covered enough of the topic then move on to the next.

Content Structure

The structure of your content can really do wonders for your ranking.

What are you likely to read; a wall of text with no sub-headings, or many sub-headings and a lot of white space?

Well I think we both know the answer to that 😀

When you have lots of sub-headings and white space, people will actually READ your content and click through to other pages, decreasing bounce rate and increasing time on site, which all are ranking signals.


Engagement is when users actually do something on your site.

This could be anything from clicking a link, sharing to social media, viewing other pages, leaving comments, etc.

Constant engagement boosts your rankings by a lot. My favorite is receiving comments because it does wonders for yours rankings and authority.

Getting comments shows Google your audience is active within your blog. They are interested in what you are saying and want to know more, or just want to thank you for the wealth of information you’ve provided!

There are 2 places I know that you can get comments from. They are legitimate and they both boost rankings.

You can get comments from the search engines (organically), or from Wealthy Affiliate.

Social Elements

The more active you are within your blog and related social media accounts, the better.

Sharing your posts to your “brand” pages is a ranking signal, and even bigger when multiple people re-share them.

It shows Google you are truly passionate about your blog and you want other people to see what you’ve posted.

Traffic coming from social media is a good sign, especially when people keep coming back for more!

Time (Authority)

This ranking signal is very strong in my opinion.

Why would Google rank a 1-month old website over a 6 month? It doesn’t exactly know how the website is going to perform long-term.

And that’s why WAITING is highly important.

People don’t like to wait and it means they just miss out. A lot of them are at the brink of their breakthrough but they simply give up just before it.

I’ve seen it happen more times than I want to, and it’s sad to say the least.

Just imagine the amount of articles you could have ranked by this time next year, by this time in 2 years or even by this time in 5 years?

Your sites’ authority grows with time and consistent blog posting my friend.

Your authority doesn’t grow in a week or two, it grows after months of consistent blog posting.

And in my experience it is 3-6 months.

Basically, you have to show Google you aren’t gaming the system and never will, you are truly trying to provide the best information for your audience.

Google will notice this soon enough and begin ranking you high. It’s just a matter of time.

The higher your authority the higher Google will rank your site. It’s as simple as that!

Bottom Line

Google places whatever it thinks is the best content at the top of page 1 for the keyword someone is searching.

In my experience, even if you’ve created something bigger and better than the article in #1 position you still might not even get on page 1.

The reason? There are a lot of ranking signals. Content is definitely king, but it is a numbers game.

Your big articles might not even rank high but your smaller 800 word articles might!

The more articles you have the better your chances of creating one Google loves. It will then rank it high and send you traffic.

And that’s why I say create a good article and move on.

You don’t want to be spending a whole week perfecting an article, because chances are it might not even get on page 1.

And perfection doesn’t even exist, so you will be chasing nothing.

Balance quality with quantity and you will do great things online.

Don’t add more weight to one because it will throw off the balance and make you crash and burn (well, your site will anyway).

Well these are just a few of the many ranking signals Google implements into its algorithm, and in my opinion they are really all you need!

Many “gurus” will disagree with me, however, they are the ones getting penalized with every new site they create.

While I create sites Google loves, they are stressing out over gaming the system, constantly being let down every couple of months because they’ve been caught out and penalized.

Well I’d love for you to join us.

Over at Wealthy Affiliate we are creating content-rich websites that make us rank high for years and make us boatloads of money in the process.

I know you want to as well and we would be happy to meet you!

See What Wealthy Affiliate Offers Here (Includes Free Trial)

22 thoughts on “How to Get Top Search Results in 2020 (Hint: It’s Still the Same as 2019)”

  1. This is great stuff. I had just engaged an SEO agency creating backlinks to my site. My overall impression is that it doesn’t work and even if, it is not sustainable.
    One thing with length of articles. I think readers also like short articles because nowaday nobody wants to read very long posts. So do you think articles with less than 500 words perform badly with Google?

    • When it works it will only be for a short period. It’s just not worth it in my opinion. You’re better off being the best you can and getting them naturally. You will eventually get them from high authority blogs anyway. And trust me, it’s one of the best experiences when you do get one!

      That is incorrect. Of course people don’t to read long articles, but if they’ve had enough they will just click the back button anyway.

      Your job as a blog owner is to keep them engaged as much as possible, which isn’t that hard when you’ve created something worth reading. Have internal links where you think they will benefit from the article on the other side too.

      It will decrease your bounce rate (% of people leaving), increase their time on site and keep them engaged! It will build massive trust, which means they might even end up buying something.

      You can’t really build trust with a 300-400 word article. You may answer their question, but they’ll quickly leave the site when they have found the answer.

      So keep them engaged, and create something they weren’t expecting. That is the key to online success my friend.

  2. HI
    good post on how to rank on google. I have a website myself and am focusing more on creating good quality articles. before i wasn’t really focused on this aspect but its the only way in my opinion to get ranked. This along with on page seo will do the trick and oh yeah a low competition keyword.

    I want to ask you, if a keyword has massive traffic with low competition but doesn’t really make grammatical sense, shall i try it out and see what happens or go for proper keywords?

    • Of course it is. Creating unique, high quality content is exactly how you will be noticed by Google, and it’s just a matter of time before you see rankings.

      Some people don’t recommend it, however, as long as YOU are making grammatical sense when you right your title and article you will still rank for that keyword. The online time you won’t rank that easily is if the keyword that actually makes sense has high competition. Do you get what I mean?

  3. Awesome article, Brandon. You are absolutely right. I have a martial arts website that’s about 4 months old, and it’s finally starting to push its way into the first few pages. I don’t have the time to post more than once a week right now, but it’s still starting to slowly work! It does indeed take time, but it’s exciting to see the results, and I can see the light. A few more months, and I think things will really start taking off!

    • The difference with 1 article a week and 5 articles is that you have a higher chance of creating a piece Google will love. 1 article a week isn’t that great in my opinion, especially when your competition is putting out daily content.

      If you want to get your breakthrough you should at least be posting 3-4 articles a week. You will still make money with an article a week, but it’s going to take MUCH longer, and you might lose motivation before it finally happens.

      That’s my 2 cents. Hope you find success sometime soon 😀

      Good luck!

  4. There is some incredible advice in this post, I myself and building a website and the points you raise about trying to game Google and blackhat SEO your way to the top is so true.
    It’s so tempting for new bloggers to cheat the system.

    • Yep. Even before I started Wealthy Affiliate I was guilty of it. I never got anywhere.

      It wasn’t until Kyle over at WA told me that you DON’T ACTUALLY NEED BACKLINKS TO RANK, that I began building my first successful online business. Until this day I have never built any backlinks on my blogs and now I reap the rewards.

  5. Wow, I love your post. It is full of wonderful information. I am definitely going to bookmark your post so I can go back and follow these wonderful tips when I write my articles. Your explanation is so through, easy to understand and very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing. I learned a lot. Keep up with the good work 🙂

    • Wow, thank you very much for the kinds words, Hong! It means a lot, and I do hope you follow what I have said in this article so you too can reach first-page rankings in the future.

  6. Very informational. Thank you for sharing. I, myself, recommend Wealthy Affiliate. The community is full of wonderful people that are ready and willing to help if you need help with something.
    Thank you for sharing this. It covers a lot of what Wealthy Affiliate has to offer. But they offer so much more.

    • I agree with you 100%. There is a thriving community just willing to give you a helping hand whenever you need it. A community like WA is very powerful for online success and I whole-heatedly believe it is what made me find success online. Thanks for your feedback.

  7. I like your honesty about how long it takes to get on that elusive Google First Page.

    So many people try to convince us that earning money online is easy and you will have instant results.

    I am familiar with Wealthy affiliate and I believe if you work hard, follow their training and give it enough time, money will be made!

    • It is not and never will be easy. It is what separates the winners from the quitters.

      The winners know what it takes and are willing to do anything to get there, while the quitters stop trying almost right away or a little while after they’ve just started (when they realize how long it will take and how much work is involved).

      The universe rewards HARD-working people, or shall I say SMART-working, not people that expect to be handed success on a silver platter. Thanks for your feedback about Wealthy Affiliate too 😀

  8. Absolutely loved this article! The meat of it is so important. I do think people get a bit caught up in the keyword search, although I probably don’t spend enough time in this specific area. I did see one of your screen shots showing your Keywords, Traffic, and Traffic Cost — do you find this in Google Analytics? My website is now 5 months old, and although my traffic is growing and I’ve made some sales, I still am not sure where I can see where I rank with Google? You seem to know a lot about what you’re talking about, and had much success — Congratulations! And thank you for sharing. I’m certain others will benefit from this post. Cheers!

    • Wow, thanks for the kind words!

      I use a website called Semrush to find how much keywords I’m ranked for. The traffic amount isn’t 100% accurate but at least you can see what keywords your competition is ranking for (so you can use them yourself). There are many other useful features too.

      Apart from Semrush, I use the Google Analytics function under Google Webmaster Tools. It shows you what keywords your ranking for, the CTR, how much impressions your pages are getting in the SERPs and the average position. It’s an awesome tool because it provides so much information and it’s free!

  9. Hi Brandon,
    Thanks for writing such a great article. This article helped a lot to really understand what elements to focus on. It can take a long time to write a quality article, thanks for letting me know that speed counts as well. Perfection is over rated and getting a few “medium” articles posted is often better than spending all well creating one big “super” article. Thanks again.

    • No worries Bec.

      The thing with perfection is that it doesn’t exist. Everyone’s trying to focus on doing their very best when they should actually be doing 5 articles in the time span of 1.

      However, Google is still looking for high quality content so don’t think you can skimp over this detail. Low quality articles will not rank.

      Learn to balance quality with quantity and you won’t go wrong.

  10. Wow! This article is truly a road map to understanding the process of ranking! I so enjoyed reading this! I felt like it was a perfect training for those of us wondering how to make sure our sites are being seen and viewed and ranked!
    Thank you for this inspirational and highly informative article. I know I will come back to find out more information. Wishing you extraordinary success! ariel

    • Those words really mean a lot, so I thank you for that 🙂

      SEO isn’t all that hard. People claim it to be very difficult when all you’re really doing is showing Google you are providing your audience with great content that they will benefit from.

      High quality content is all Google is looking for. Other factors come into play, but as a rule of thumb: content is king, and quantity is queen!


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