SEO 101: How Often Does Google Update Search Results?
Is your website not showing up in Google search results?
Or, did you recently make a change to your site and noticed that Google didn’t crawl index your recent content updates?
Below I will talk about how to better understand how often Googlebot crawls your site and why its different for every website. But, the immediate answer to your questions is: How long is a piece of string?
How Google finds and crawls your site
1. Analyze Your Indexing History
If you’re looking to find out how long it will take for Google to notice changes you’ve made to your site, and to then reflect these as ranking adjustments, then the answer is: Whenever your site is crawled and reindexed by Google.
This will give you a historical snapshot of the time span involved in Google revisiting your site.
2. Google Indexing Factors
From my experience, factors that contribute to quicker crawling and indexing revolve around:
- Domain authority: Score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines.
- Page authority: Score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engines.
- Content schedule: The frequency at which you publish new content on your website.
- Popularity of website: A combination of site traffic, CTR and time on site can contribute to quicker crawling and indexing.
Throughout my career, I have had sites rank changes in as little as 30 seconds and as long as a few weeks.
When I worked, in the publishing industry, our site would stream out new content, like a fire hose, and Google would quickly crawl it and index it almost instantaneously.
Our typical content outflow was over 100,000 words a month tied to new and unique articles.
Often, we could drop a new article, and see traffic from search in less than 5 minutes, if it was a timely article.
One time, during an earthquake, I tested the indexing speed of our website with Google. Seconds after the earthquake I posted a simple update featuring a snapshot of the seismic activity and the location.
Within seconds our story was the number one search result tied to the Chino Hills Earthquake.
We received close to 5,000 visits, in under 10 minutes, because we were the most authoritative article until the L.A Times published their piece.
But indexing results vary on a site by site basis. If you have a local business, with low search volume, your indexing rate will be slower – sometimes painfully slow.
Primarily because people aren’t actively searching for your services in high concentrations. Most local businesses fall into the slow category.
Read on for quicker Google indexing tips.
3. What is Googlebot, Crawling, and Indexing?
Let’s start with what the Googlebot is, plus the difference between indexing and crawling.
Googlebot is search software that Google sends out to find and collect information on the web to add to Google’s searchable index.
Crawling is the process where Googlebot goes around from website to website, finding new and updated information and reporting it back to Google.
Indexing is the processing of the information gathered by the Googlebot from its crawling activities. Once documents are processed, they are added to Google’s searchable index if they are determined to be quality content.
So how does Google find new information? It uses webpages saved from previous crawls as a starting point and combines sitemap data submitted by webmasters.
As Googlebot crawls around your pages it will find new links to content to add to the list of pages to be investigated.
Though this description is a lot like saying: Cars move because you press on the gas pedal.
Within each of those processes there are ways of optimizing your site structure and content to more efficiently allow Googlebots to crawl and index your web pages.
4. Help Google Index Your Site Faster
If your website is serving an audience in a local market then you can expect slower updates. The examples above was for a news site that routinely published two to three 1,500 word articles every day.
Below are a four tips to help your site index into Google faster.
1. Google Analytics: You’ll want to add Google Analytics for tracking purposes regardless, but it certainly could give Google the nod that a new website is on the the map.
2. Fetch It: If you have recently made changes to your website, you can ask Google to fetch it.
3. Google Webmaster Tools: If you have claimed your website in Google Webmasters you are allowed 500 fetches a month.
4. Create Sitemaps: You can also assist Google in finding your content by creating Sitemaps and submitting them in your Google Webmaster account. Sitemaps are link maps that plot out and list all of the content of your website for Googlebots.
5. How Does SEO Help?
By making calculated corrections to content and structure, you can help your website rank higher and faster. SEO changes help Googlebot more effectively crawl and index your web pages.
Thus helping your business website show up higher, in search engines, for profitable keywords for your business.
Once your website is on the map you will begin to see more traffic from Google search. It’s also good to note that Google will visit websites with active blogs more frequently than static websites with no new activity.
If you have a blog attached to your website, try to write one new blog post a month.
Do you have any questions about how to index your website into search results? Please share them in the comments box.