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I have a brand new Blog-type website that will target a specific niche market. I plan to link affiliate products. At the moment I basically have a skeleton website as I get my colors, logos, ect. set up. There is no real content on my website yet as I am still writing my first blog posts.

Should I make my website "private" until I have enough content for it to be worthwhile for a user to visit? While my website sits online with no content, is my SEO ranking being affected? I read from one answer on this site that the first few months are very important. If I should make it "private", what is the best way to do this? Is there a "right time" to publish a website? Perhaps I am being too paranoid as Google and the like probably do not even know I exist yet.

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    Generally I tell people not to worry too much about things that in the end do not matter. However, I do want to say that it is far better that a site that is reasonably formed and populated show up on the scene than one that is scant. Even if you deploy your site with little in it, at the rate you can write content, search will not matter and you will not actually do any harm. I just prefer giving search engines and users something to chew on. I say do not sweat it unless you want to.
    – closetnoc
    Mar 11, 2016 at 16:59
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    Kyle - I am sorry it took so long. I was out all day yesterday and quite a lot today. Tomorrow is going to be busy too. Sheesh!! No rest for the weary.
    – closetnoc
    Mar 16, 2016 at 2:40

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Generally I tell people not to worry too much about things that in the end do not matter. However, I do want to say that it is far better that a site that is reasonably formed and populated show up on the scene than one that is scant. Your site does not have to be huge. Just enough for a search engine to offer search users. Some say that is about 50 posts. I agree, but say why not offer more if you can?

Even if you deploy your site with little in it, at the rate you can write content, search will not matter and you will not actually do any harm. Meaning, that as you develop your content, having little content becomes less of an issue as you go along and any effect of a smaller site disappears over time. By the time you reach a decent number of posts, any negative effect has long disappeared.

I just prefer giving search engines and users something to chew on. I say do not sweat it unless you want to.

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    Google also weights trust on domain age, index age and the rate at which back links are acquired. Gathering links over time looks more natural than suddenly getting a lot.
    – L Martin
    Mar 16, 2016 at 7:58
  • @LiamMartin Links are part of PageRank and not TrustRank. I have over 46 trust factors in my list all related to the domain name, registration, domain age (as you mention), host, registrar, network, etc. PageRank is dependent upon TrustRank. It follows the traditional trust network model where links are made between trusted entities and trust levels are scored. Not exactly the same on the web of course, but that is the model links and PR are built upon.
    – closetnoc
    Mar 16, 2016 at 14:49
  • You are correct - I phrased it poorly. The point I wanted to raise is that gathering links early then ramping up would look better than trying to link bomb, which is a very old SEO pitfall.
    – L Martin
    Mar 16, 2016 at 15:13
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    @LiamMartin You are right of course! Link value (0-.9), trust value, and PR (sometimes capped) are part of the PR algorithm. One of the things you will read about these days is distance calculations replacing the traditional PR calculation to speed things up, however, that has always existed or at least for a long time. Sometime G writes a patent for something they are already doing and was keeping secret to lock it in. When they do this, they do not mind the secret getting out. SEOs treat these things as being new. BTW- I like your answers/comments! Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Mar 16, 2016 at 15:32
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Read this.

You can optimize your site perfectly, but if you’re not getting any links from the authorities in your niche, nothing you can do will raise your ranking. Yes, you can follow black hat strategies to cheat the system, but for the most part, those strategies fail to work after a few months, causing your traffic to vanish, and in many cases, they can even get you banned from Google forever.

Translation:

For beginning bloggers, SEO is largely a waste of time.

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