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

  • Marc

    The frequency with which Google’s SERP are changed is variable. Aside from the PR changes that take place, they take many factors into account every time they show a SERP. Part of the reason they are the largest search provider has to do with the way they provide information. Pretending to know exactly how they do this is unreal.

  • jennifer

    I have not had a crawl in 7 days according to the webmaster tools. Just before my last crawl I had a Grumblar attack and all my internal pages that had ranking in google on the 1,2, and 3rd page are now all wiped out. I fixed all the security issues and the hack yesterday. And my rankings are still not back. What do I do?

  • Dom

    How frequently SERPS are updated, in my experience with my own and client’s websites, seems to depend on age of site and quality of backlinks.
    Aged domains with good quailty backlinks are more prone to change SERPS quicker.

  • Kevin

    In my experience, usually it takes around 1 week for Google to update SERPs. Google page rank is a different story.

  • Thavil

    Thank you, for your nice share and I already reading and step after you.

    Thank you so much…

  • Streaming movies

    I have changed keywords on my site but after 4 weeks the keywords are still not ranked. Site is only 2 month old and almost all pages got indexed within 24 hours. How long will it take to get keywords indexed/updated in google? Pagerank at the moment is zero.

  • Jamie Dolan

    Some of my sites it is updated in minutes, on another site, that is crawled daily, Ive been waiting a week for the index to get updated.

  • Trevor Bandura

    What I have noticed is that Google updates it’s search results pretty often thought the day but the actual cache of the page is not updated as often.

    One of my sites for example, when I search for my keyword, the page title is correct and up to date but if I click on the Cache link to view the cache of the site, it is still the old version and it’s been close to 10 days since the cache of the site was updated.

  • Raymond C Blanchett

    My experience is that Google update the seps results throughout the day. For instance a major PLC company hires a leading SEO company and withing time rankings appear higher fluxuating for certain keywords daily until it reaches its peak positon. Positions of key terms for a website can and do fluxuate from position one to 3 and off the first page and return agin later in the day. Fluxuations occur as the search term is competitive.

  • Len

    Great information!

    I’m starting to keep my eye on google myself.
    I pretty much figured out yahoo. Google is
    a bit more complex.

  • Mahi

    I think evry 1 or 2 day it takes to update (offcourse it depends on many factors like how many pages, links, content updation etc) as i see my keywords rankings changes after evry one or 2 days.

    Plz correct me if m wrong

  • H2P

    thank you, now I just know how to update the SERPs and Google’s indexing of their pages. So it’s good to consider keywords and update it if we start changing content.

  • Veronica

    Speaking of Google’s toolbar PR indicator, I’ve noticed that it seems to have a problem with computing pagerank if you have multiple tabs open in your browser. I could be wrong, just an amateur’s observation.

  • Johnny

    Did you find out the answer?

    I think it depends on the keywords you’re targeting… For instance, it took me 1 month to rank #4 in a major keyword (200,000,000 other pages), while it took me 1 week to rank #1 in a minor keyword (2,000,000).

    But I too would like a clear, definitive answer.

  • Sarah

    I think with higher page ranking you get the googlebot visiting you more frequently and so your website will be updated and indexed faster. Websites with lower page ranking and traffic will have longer to wait for google to update and index. I found my new site was indexed very quickly to begin with but now I am still waiting months for pages to be indexed. Changes that I make to new pages take a long time to appear in the search results. Also google is contstantly updating its page ranking internally so even if you have a low page rank showing it may be that you are getting better spidering and faster indexing if it deems your page rank has gone up. Then we get those times during the year when the page rank visibally changes for all to see.

  • Ziv

    I have seen SERPs changes every day – even every hour.
    One day, one of my articles gets 370, the other day 150. One article gets 150 and then 30.
    Some other articles climbed from 1visit to 20 visits.

    So, SERPs changes very often.
    Though, I just can’t check every phrase that often, I can figure out that this is not a visit-trend but rather changes in the SERPs.

    However, the average site’s visitsis not changed that much –like a give and take. ..

  • Martin Eshleman

    Google Serps update really fast that’s for sure. I have noticed though that the actual ranking changes fast but the meta descriptions that show up in search results lag behind in time. I guess it just depends on the website in questions and authority of that site.

  • Private Victoria Tours

    I found my site at the top of google when I searched “private victoria tours” but the description was pretty much gibberish. Since then I have updated the metatags so there should be an actual description but it is still showing up weird. So it might take a week from the next time my site is crawled, but how long will it take before it is crawled by googlebot?

  • Lubbock auto

    Our site usually reacts to changes within 1 week. Typically around 4-5 days. We are very new, with only a few backlinks. Hope this helps someone.

  • JD

    I agree with Online shopping Centre, it really depends on the importance of your site, traffic, page rank etc.

  • Online Shopping Centre

    I think indexing of sites depends on the site popularity in the eyes of Google, but ranking updates take a while. Also, I believe Google has several sets of criteria to base search results upon, and these criteria are used alternatively hence no fixed positions at all times.

  • denbagus

    can social bookmarking give oportunity to increase SERP ?

  • Paul

    Still no answer for sure having read the thread but i find it tends to work as loki said and for changes in keyword density for me certainly takes days rather than hours.

  • Terrie

    If it was easy to read Googles mind there would never be any SEO companys.

  • Loki

    Ok i’ve done some researching, and spoke to some “insiders”. this is how it works

    Changes to your site will start to effect your serps, 24-48 hours AFTER YOU WERE LAST CRAWLED. But may not be consistant, untill all the data centers are updated. (around a week)

    so make sure you have backlinks, from forums that are crawled daily. (like this one) the quicker google bot, gets to your site, the sooner you will see updates in serps.

    Info for your “webmaster tools” is collected from all the data centers and applied weekly. mine seems to be on tuesdays.

    Page rank is calculated weekly. but the pagerank browser tool is only updated every 3-4 months. ( it may tell you your site is a PR 2, but google already sees it as a PR 3) The last update was JAN 1 09

    Backlinks will start to effect your PR 1 week after they are discovered

  • Gary

    Looks like anybody’s guess is as good as the other guys. I’ve been trying to find an authoritative answer on how often Google updates its SERPS. I don’t think anyone really knows.

  • Loki

    Dress up games, Google knows about your other links, and factors them into your serps, however, when you use link:yoursite.com to see them, that only provides a sampling (usually the most relivent or higher ranking links) the best way to see what links google has picked up is webmaster tools “pages with external links” this will show you what pages have links to them from other sites, and how many links they have, click the number of links to see them. one of my sites shows 0 links in search, but 300 in webmaster tools.

  • Loki

    Wouldn’t this really depend on your backlinks ? I meen google wont know about your changes untill they crawl you again, and that depends on how many, and how good your backlinks are. It may take them 24 hours to use the info thier spiders return, but if they only crawl you once a week, then the point is mute.

  • Kelvin

    Well, my site got over thousand pages indexed by Google after a couple weeks from sitemap submission and just recently I tweak the title tag and little, but I don’t see Google update the indexed records.

    Perhaps they never will get updated?

  • karpenisi

    DIYdavid are you sure about that?

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