It can take hours to weeks for new content to be indexed, says Google

John Mueller, a Google search relations representative, posted a new video in the AskGooglebot series answering the question: how long does SEO take for new pages? The answer started off with the classic John Mueller response of “it depends,” but he dug deeper into a more precise answer.

How long does it take. It can take “several hours to several weeks” for Google to index new content or updated content, John Mueller said. But sometimes it can take longer due to either technical issues with your website or because GoogleBot is busy doing other things; like indexing more important sites.

So, it varies. For example, we know that news sites, like this one, can be indexed within minutes by Google.

Indexing doesn’t mean ranking. You can be indexed and at the same time your indexed pages won’t necessarily rank. Google issued a disclaimer of sorts saying forcing something to be indexed does not mean that page will be shown prominently in Google Search.

No guarantee to be indexed. There is also no guarantee that Google will index your content or all the content on the web. In fact, Google does not index a lot of content on the internet, no search engine does. Google tries not to index duplicate content, mirror images of the same content, and it avoids indexing not useful content, URLs that have many URL parameters that might not add sufficient value and so forth.

Speed up indexing. Google did list out a few ways to speed up indexing, they include;

  • Prevent server overload by making your server and site faster
  • Link to new pages within your website prominently, maybe link those pages from your home page
  • Avoid using unnecessary URLs on your site, such as infinite calendar URLs and filters for category pages
  • User URL submission methods like sitemap files, the URL inspection tool for individual URLs

Quality is important. The most important thing here is to make sure your site is high quality so Google prioritizes indexing and hopefully ranking your content above lower quality websites. Google said the most important thing to do is to make your site “fantastic,” which is easier said than done.

The video. Here is the video embed so you can watch the advice:

Why we care. Quickly and efficiently getting new content indexed and ranked in Google Search is a common question. This video sums up the basics around how Google views new pages and some of the stumbling blocks you might run into.

About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

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