When a website links to your site for the very first time, that's considered a new link. However, some people believe that the link is given instantaneous credit. Not so at all. In fact, there are many links that could even go unaccounted for, or at a minimum take time to be discovered by search engines. This depends on numerous factors, many of which are out of your control.
While it would be fantastic if links were recognized instantly, things just don't work that way on the web. For example, let's assume you attain a link in your desired vertical, and was placed on their site today. That link would not be considered until Google crawls that website and that page, and picks up the link. Note, I said considered. There's still much more to this picture than meets the eye.
Google uses what is referred to as Google bots that essentially do nothing but crawl web pages. These bots work the web at unbelievable rates. But when you consider the vastness of the Internet (billions of pages), it's not likely or even reasonable to think links are updated instantly in Google's vast database. And even if the link were picked up quickly, there still remains countless analysis that will be done to that link to determine relevancy and whether it should be considered "earned."
Here is an example. Suppose you earn a link from a website that links to an article on your client's site. After going back and forth with the webmaster for two weeks, the link is finally placed on the site. Now, if we determine the crawl rate of the site where the new link was added to be two weeks, there is a very good chance, the new link will not be indexed for a full month!
And it's still not that easy. As I mentioned, there is additional analysis done on each and every link to determine if it passes a slew of Google criteria. On the flip side, things can also happen very quickly, you may see credit for links happen in as little as a few days.
The key takeaway here is you must explain to your clients that organic search ranking takes time and patience. Most clients will ask you how long will it take to get high rankings for their keywords? The honest answer is it can take a couple days, all the way up to several weeks. It depends on the credibility and update frequency of the sites where the links are appearing in the campaign.
by Dan DeRoeck