Are you experiencing ranking and indexing issues? You are not alone. Many SEO professionals experience ranking and indexing issues on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s due to indexing glitches that Google suffers.
Or, it’s due to a misconfiguration of your website’s settings. Other times, you may not have allowed enough time for Google to understand and re-index certain types of changes.
This was exactly the question that was recently posed to John Mueller on Twitter: whether or not you could reliably estimate to a client what results certain types of SEO related changes could bring to a website’s performance in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
When you have enough experience to know, it’s possible to estimate what one could expect when it comes to certain SEO changes, as John says below.
Of course, it is an ‘it depends’ answer, what kinds of changes have taken place, the timeline itself, and how specific (or general) it is.
How Exactly Can You Reliably Predict Results Timelines?
This is determined by the size of the site, along with the scale of changes that you have made. Smaller sites could take less than a month to recrawl and index for site architecture changes.
Larger sites could take up to 3-4 months or more.
Repairs for a core update can take several months. It’s also dependent on whether or not said client is willing to make massive changes to the website.
Other types of changes, like on-page changes, could take less time to be re-crawled and re-indexed.
Basically, some things can be much faster.
One of these is removing a noindex directive. This should lead to a fast restore of website indexing within a shorter time period.
Other types of changes like changing your page’s title tags – these are faster changes.
Of course, this is an ‘it depends’ answer and it really does depend on the types of changes that you’re able to get your client to implement.
An entire site revamp on a large site that includes website architecture, internal links, and content, could take up to 6 months to be recrawled, because Google needs that kind of time in order to re-learn the site and apply ranking signals in response to the changes.
Possible SEO Project Timelines and Classifications
What is a potential scale for large sites? How does one even begin to identify what Google considers a large site vs. a smaller site? This is something that comes with experience, actually.
One could consider the following scale, which has pretty much been created just for this article:
- Less than 500 pages = small site
- 500 – 5,000 pages = medium site
- 5,000 – 15,000 pages = large site
- 15,000 – 30,000 pages = humongous site
- 30,000 – 60,000 pages (or more) = super ultimate site
This is not an exact science, however. But it can give you a framework that could potentially be used and modified in order to create a tip sheet for your team.
It could be useful, just in case they have to deal with clients who are constantly asking what kind of timeline they can expect to see results in.
You can use this framework for testing and figuring out exactly what could apply to your niche in this regard.