John Mueller was asked about the timeline between Googlebot recrawling a page and those changes made to those pages are actually reflected in the search results. While most webmasters go with the “wait and see” approach, there are definitely times when a webmaster will sit and hit F5 repeatedly, waiting for the results to go live in the search results.
Usually people consider it “sometime within the day” of Googlebot recrawling pages before those changes – such as the title and the snippet – are reflected in the search results, although this can also vary depending on the type of results – news results for example get indexed very quickly. Mueller goes into more detail about the types of things that cause the length of time between crawling and live in the search results, and why we see these variations.
Generally, it really depends. So for some things we’re able to process these things really quickly, so maybe a minute or two even. For other things it takes a bit longer, maybe, I don’t know, half a day or a day depending on what all needs to be updated.
And that also depends a bit on the datacenters, it might be that it has updated at one datacenter first, then a couple hours later you see it somewhere else.
But it’s hard to kind of give a general timing there from the crawl point to when it’s actually reflected in the live results.
And some of the algorithms might have different update frequencies there as well.
So I’ve seen reports for example that the cache page has updated a couple of days later and the snippet takes another day but actually the page actually already ranks for those terms that are on those updated URLs. So that’s something where individual processes within Google might take different long.
So outside of it being an algo that is updated with less frequency – such as Panda or Penguin – it seems that the delay can be anywhere between almost instantly and several days. And of course, if there are other issues, such as a manual action, that could definitely impact the delay for those changes being live.
Webmasters can always use the fetch and submit option to trigger a crawl and submit to index. While this results in Googlebot recrawling the page, it doesn’t necessarily get refreshed in the live search results any quicker.
And if there is a reason such as sensitive content on the page (such as credit card information or personal details) and you are trying to get Google to recrawl to update (and remove) the sensitive content, it might make more sense to go the remove URL tool, in order to see it removed as quickly as possible, then later get it reindexed.
Here is the video:
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