Open Discussion: How Often Does Google Update its SERPs?

Daniel

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This is a question that has been on my mind for some time, and despite researching around the web, I was not able to find a clear and definitive answer.

How often does Google update its SERPs?

That is, how often does it incorporates the information that it gets from its crawling bots and applies it to the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)?

I think there are 2 possible cases here. On the first one Google would update the SERPs in real time and constantly, as soon as new information is retrieved from its crawling bots. For example, if a bot was crawling a certain page and discovered that the Title tag was changed, it would immediately report it back to a central data center, that would in turn update the database and the ranking positions for this particular website.

A second possibility is that Google has a fixed schedule to update all the results together. For example, it could do it once every 48 hours, and on every update it would combine all the data retrieved from crawling bots and recalculate all the SERPs simultaneously. The schedule here could be daily, every 48 hours, every week and so on.

This factor is quite important because it gives bloggers and webmasters a time frame to check the results of your optimization efforts. Suppose you discovered that all your h1 and h2 tags were messed up on your site. You learn how they should be properly used, fix the problem, and then start monitoring specific keywords to see if your ranking positions will be affected.

But how long should you wait to see the results? Let me know what you think!

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63 Responses to “Open Discussion: How Often Does Google Update its SERPs?”

  • Brian

    I’ve been making almost daily tweaks to a new client site, http://www.andersonairllc.com which is just a simple CSS site. I have another client who is a WordPress BLOG site. Both have new (less than 3 mos.) domains, and relatively small amounts of content.

    The beauty of the WordPress site is that it was visited almost 45 minutes later!!! The CSS site…5 days so far since last visit!!!!

    Brian

  • Harshit Agrawal

    Yesterday i have seen my website got a pr3 from pr 0.But this does not have any impact on serp.So i want to know is that when will google update serp.

  • mmorpg

    Good question. Depends both on your website…how many links its getting as well as when Google indexes these links. Combined it seems slow and steady but in reality its probably more in leaps and bounds.

  • plaipiefe

    Is this gonna end someday??

  • Jan von Hildebrand

    How often does google update its cached version of my website?

    I’ve check on google and the cached version dates from Aug 5th (Today is the 23rd). Meanwhile my page has totally changed!
    Is there anyway I can inform google about this?

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  • Yuri

    Looks like we are talking about different things here.
    I agree that pages get indexed and updated in Google’s cache quickly but search positions are updated very slowly. In my experience it takes weeks and sometimes months to move from serp 100+ to say 10+ . Other experiences?

  • Amaan Goyal

    I am sure it totally depends on a lot of factors some of which are- how soon is the content updated, links and visitors to a website which affects the being crawled .

  • Neopresent-new

    Good day to all

  • SEO Genius

    I would say more than once a day, especially in my experience i might rank in one place one hour then a few hours later my ranking will of changed.

  • Tom

    I have a slightly different question. Does anyone know why google search results only appear within a certain time of the day. I have noticed that only between a certain time of the day do I see a traffic spike on my site. In fact, the only time my site starts showing up on the SERP for the same keywords is between 4 a.m – 7 a.m. any other time for the same keywords my site does not show up on the first couple of pages.

  • Webmasterworld01

    which time update Google page rank

  • Bluetooth

    I am sure it totally depends on the website popularity in the eye of google. the more the number of visitors the more it will be crawled becuase i have seen many website with same and old content like online aution site or shopping site which is having similar content for years are crawled daily becuase of the number of visitors per day.

    And i have seen many website upadate content daily and crawled weekly or fortnight so it all depends on the traffic you got.

  • Remkus

    I have the same thing as Bill happen to different blogs I own. Can’t put my finger on it when of why it happens but I have noticed being indexed anywhere in between 5 minutes and indeed 48 hours.

    Strangest World I have ever known…

  • Bill Cannon

    I’ve had Google index my new content and pages within five minutes of posting on occasion.

    Other times, it takes 24 to 48 hours.

    Usually I have faster results if I submit to news sites such as Slashdot, Digg, Reddit, etc.

  • Denis

    The reason new posts get indexed almost immediately is WordPress automatically pings popular Update Services. http://codex.wordpress.org/Update_Services

    —————-
    Here are the stats for my latest post:
    20/May/2008 17:01:20 – Published
    20/May/2008 17:01:41 – Mediapartners-Google bot (AdSense) visited the new page (in 21 seconds!!), the home page and the feed
    20/May/2008 17:02:00 – FeedBurner indexed the feed
    20/May/2008 17:02:13 – YahooFeedSeeker visited the home page

    20/May/2008 17:43:11 – Googlebot visited only the new page (40 minutes later)
    —————-

    The new post can be found in search result.

    During the next two days Googlebot occasionally visited random (not all) pages, including the home page.

    The excerpt from the home page result and its cached version is still a week old. And Google Webmaster Tools (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/) still says “Googlebot last successfully accessed your home page on May 16, 2008.”

    One of the Google Webmaster Tools is the crawl rate – “See statistics about how often Google crawls your site, and optionally adjust that speed if desired.”

    Links to Google Help:

    Google 101: How Google crawls, indexes, and serves the web? http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=70897&topic=8843

    How often does Google crawl the web?
    http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=34439&topic=8843

    How often will Googlebot access my web pages?
    http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=33569&topic=8843
    “For most sites, Googlebot shouldn’t access your site more than once every few seconds on average.” 😉

    Anyway, after you’ve optimized you tags and keywords, and Google has updated your page in its database, you will not immediately see the effect. It may take weeks and months. As they say, “relevancy is determined by over 200 factors” and many of those factors are external and don’t have anything to do with your tags optimization.

    So, fast conclusions based on two day’s search result position fluctuation may be inaccurate.

  • blisters

    I’ve always debated about this with friends. My opinion is that they do update their SERPs almost real time, meaning as soon as they received changes from their crawler bots, they’ll make the updates.

  • BlogTalks

    It’s probably a mixture of the two as traversing that much data is going to take a hell of a lot of processing power.

  • Susan

    I don’t now how often Google updates the SERP, but it’s pretty frequently. I’ve been able to search for posts within 5 minutes of posting.

  • Jaan Kanellis

    @Daniel, right I pointed that out above. Both a completely independent. it is funny that new posts show up faster than changes to posts that are already indexed though.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Sumesh, we can try. The problem I see with that is that small changes would hardly be noticeable, and that we can’t control external factors like people linking to you post.

    To test this one would need to create a hidden page, get it indexed, and then totally screw it up to see how long it would take for Google to remove it from the index.

    @Everyone, keep in mind that getting a post indexed and getting one that is already indexed to change its ranking position can be two different things for Google.

  • Stephan Miller

    I deal mainly with sites that have been around for a while. I don’t have a new site to test currently. But I have seen changes in SERP’s within 24 hours. And when I purposely try to rank a page, I see the inkling’s that it worked within 3 to 4 days it seems.

  • Jaan Kanellis

    Different types of changes, different types of updates to Google. I have created a new blog post and seen it live in the SERPs within a few minutes. Where I have changed the title tag of a post and it has taken 2-3 days to update.

  • Tony

    I dont know exactly, but I know it is pretty quick, cuz it posts stuff from my Photo Blog, sometimes on the same or next day..!!

  • Nate Nead

    Both the post and the responses were very helpful because it’s a question I’ve had for a while. Thanks.

  • Arlo Gilbert

    I have been noticed this also in Google Data Centers. It was irritated for some of us. But that is ok. This is good and it is a challenge for us to make more efforts. 🙂

  • Sumesh

    It may very well depend on the crawl rate, domain age and authority. Daniel, maybe you should publish a post, make sure it is indexed and then make a small but identifiable change and then check how long it takes to update that info on SERPs. I’ll be doing it too, and it’ll be a fun and educating experience 😉 (DBT is more authoritative, and mine’s not, so it could also give us an insight into variations betwen domains).

    Speaking of messed up h1s and h2s, the last time I checked, DBT’s index had h1 for each post (while most sources advise one h1) and even Google does not recommend multiple h1s on a page.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @MrCooker, could be. I have seen changes take as long as a couple of days to appear thouhg.

    @Patrick, what you think influences if it will be 1 minute or 24 hours?

    The crawling rate is no mystery, I wonder how often Google uses that info into the SERPs though.

  • Patrick Altoft

    The answer is that it depends on the site in question. Some sites are crawled all the time and each page probably gets hit at least once per day. On other sites a page might go 6 months between crawls.

    Once a page has been crawled it is usually a matter of 1 minute to 24 hours before the index is updated.

  • MrCooker

    From my experience I think it updates as soon as Google has it’s crawlers information.

    I think this because new blog posts or any other page for that matter, can get indexed as soon as 5-10 minutes after you’ve made the post.

    For new pages it’s definitely not 48 hours.

Comments are closed.