Google’s John Mueller recently stated there’s no fixed time frame for search ranking changes after improvements have been made to a site.
When it comes to improving page speed in particular, Mueller says that’s a small ranking factor.
Google cares more about serving the most relevant content rather than serving the fastest pages.
This information was provided during a Google Webmaster Central hangout on February 5.
A site owner submitted the following question:
“We’re working on improving site speed. Do you know how long it might take for Google to notice these improvements?”
In response, Mueller explained there’s no fixed time frame when it comes to crawling pages and updating the ranking signals associated with those pages.
Sometimes it could take months and other times it could be a matter of days.
After making significant improvements to a site, webmasters will most likely see a gradual rise in rankings over a period of time.
Mueller adds that page speed is a small ranking factor. So if that’s the only improvement it’s difficult to determine how much of an impact it will make.
Site owners will see greater changes in search rankings when improvements are made to the overall quality of a website.
Hear the full question and answer in the video below, starting at the 24:20 mark.
“As with anything related to web search, it’s not something where there’s a fixed time frame involved. But rather we crawl and index pages over time. We update the signals we have for these pages over time.
There’s no fixed timeline. Some of these pages and signals get updated every day or even more frequently. Some of them take a little bit longer. Some of them take months to get updated.
What you’ll probably see here, if you make significant improvements to your website, then you’ll see over time this kind of gradual rise with regards to us taking those signals into account.
It might be a bit tricky when it comes to speed in the sense that speed is not the most important ranking factor.
We do look at things like content and try to figure out which of these pages are most relevant to users as well.
So if a site is really fast that doesn’t always mean that it’s ranking number one.
Theoretically an empty page would be the fastest page, but that doesn’t mean it would be a good result for users.
Speed is more of a smaller ranking factor.
So that’s something where you’d probably see bigger changes in your site’s visibility over time based on improvements in the quality and improvements in the website overall.
Speed is more like something small that would probably be hard to measure individually.”