Mueller Shares How Long It Takes To Re-Rank A Newly Updated Site
When working with a website SEO agency, businesses should expect their websites to undergo many changes. But many businesses online have been wondering just how long it takes for Google to re-crawl and re-rank their webpages after an update. Google’s John Mueller discussed this website SEO matter in a recent Google SEO Office Hours hangout.
An SEO asked Mueller about the unstable rankings that their website is experiencing in the search engine results pages. They said that their website’s rankings were fluctuating, from page one to page four. Afterwards, it would go back to Google’s first page again. Mueller told them that it could be due to site quality issues that they need to improve.
The SEO then came up with a follow-up question, asking how long it takes for Google’s system to process major changes on their site and re-rank it. Mueller was hesitant to answer at first before saying that “it’s hard to say”.
He then gave a scenario where major website SEO changes are made and how Google would handle such updates. First, Mueller discussed the first step that the search engine takes after a major website update: crawling the content.
He confirmed that Google needs to re-crawl the webpage of sites that have undergone significant changes. Moreover, the bigger the website is, the longer it will take to re-crawl it, especially for more complex changes like a site structure overhaul. If this were the case, Mueller estimated that it would probably take a whole month to re-crawl the website.
After re-crawling the website’s content, it would then take some time for Google to make sense of it and then re-rank it. Mueller said that it may take a few months for the search engine company to understand that there were significant changes made to the website. However, this process is not something that Google can fix within a week. According to him, it takes longer than re-crawling site content – probably three to four months.
It is also imperative for the SEO community to know that Google’s way of re-crawling and re-ranking a whole website is different compared to how they do it for a few webpages. The former actually takes two time-consuming steps: re-crawling the newly-updated website and understanding the website before re-ranking it. In total, webmasters and SEOs should wait for as long as five months or even longer for both processes to complete.
However, Mueller did not affirm a specific timeframe for how long it would take Google to re-crawl and re-rank a website that had fixed quality issues. His statement was more of a generalised answer, so it may be best for the SEO community to just treat it as a point of reference instead of relying on it entirely.
Nevertheless, his answer is still very helpful since it gives the SEO community a clearer picture of how Google handles significant changes to website. The answer also gives website SEO agencies a better idea of how to communicate the status of a website to a client.
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