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Google Says Site Changes May Take Months to Show Up in Search Results

Here’s a common scenario we’ve seen many businesses face: their website traffic goes down suddenly likely because they are ranking lower in Google. They make changes aimed at fixing this, yet weeks later they still have not seen improvement. Are the changes ineffective? Well, not necessarily, as Google’s John Mueller admitted recently that Google can take months to pick up on site changes (source: Search Engine Journal).

This may come as a surprise to webmasters because many incorrectly assume that Google picks up on site changes almost instantaneously. After all, brand new sites have been indexed (picked up) by Google within days of launching, so why wouldn’t changes be the same? Unfortunately, as SEJ points out, it is a lengthy process to recrawl an entire site as well as reindex and reprocess that site. This is especially the case if you happen to have a large website.

What’s interesting about this is that it also means that some websites may not be losing ranking because of a Google search algorithm change, if the ranking change is happening at the same time. That’s because Google can take months to adjust a website’s ranking based on an algorithm change. So if your website happens to take a dive at the same time Google’s next algorithm change is released, it might not be because of the change but rather because of something that changed on your site months ago.

So as a website owner, what can you do? Well, there are a few things you can do to hopefully speed up Google’s recognition of your site changes. 

  1. Generate a new sitemap for your site.
  2. Submit this new sitemap to Google Search Console.

This lets Google know that your site has changed and that they should recrawl/reindex/reprocess it ASAP. In general, when employing this tactic we’ve seen Google index site changes much faster.

Of course, there’s an even easier solution: let 67 Web Design handle it for you! For just $67/mo we’ll perform basic SEO services on your site which includes informing Google of site changes. Ready to sign up or just have questions? Click here!