You may have already read in our previous blog posts that Google uses over 200 ranking signals to determine which pages show up for a search. What you may not realize that these ranking signals and algorithms aren’t fixed. They are refreshed regularly.
By refreshed we mean that the data is updated on Google’s end so it will register changes made on a website. Without refreshing ranking would never change.
So, How Long Does It Take Ranking Signals to Refresh?
Not long ago during a Google hangout session Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller was asked, “how long does it take for all 200 ranking signals in an algorithm to refresh?” In classic Google style the answer was, “it depends.”
It turns out, there’s no specific timeframe or schedule that Google runs on for refreshing. The 200 signals are running in parallels and on different cycles. Another factor that comes into play is some signals can be updated very quickly while others take a while to refresh.
One of the key changes with the latest Penguin update was its real time refresh. In the past Penguin data was refreshed on a loose schedule, which meant any updates a website made wouldn’t be registered right away. The update was good news for SEOs and web owners since Penguin is pretty influential.
All this updating sounds like a tedious task that isn’t very easy to manage, but Google has found ways to put order to the refreshing madness.
How Your Website Plays a Role
Another big component to how changes on a website are registered is how often Google crawls the pages. Some pages are crawled very frequently, but others are only crawled every so often. Mueller stated it could sometimes be as little as once every several months or just once a year. The changes can’t be registered and updated on Google’s end until the page is crawled again.
This is also important because some algorithms take the history of a page into account to determine how it’s changed. So, frequent crawls can be important. The easier you make it for Google to find and crawl your pages the sooner the updates will be registered.
If you’ve made major updates you can ask Google to re-crawl your URLs. You have to meet certain criteria and it won’t be instant, but a re-crawl request could speed up the process.
Need help keeping your pages fresh so you get the best search ranking possible? At SearchRPM we understand the power of Google ranking signals and how the freshness of your site makes an impact. We put emphasis on solid technical SEO that makes it easy for search spiders to crawl a site and a content strategy that keeps your pages fresh.
Contact our team to receive a free SEO report or to learn more about improving your organic visibility.
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By Michael Ramirez
Michael Ramirez is the Founder of SearchRPM, an Austin, TX based search marketing company that’s well-versed in Search Engine Optimization best practices. You can follow Michael Ramirez on Twitter @openmic0323 or on Google+ to see what he’s up to next.