Have you ever written a brand new piece of content, hit Publish, and then wondered why it's not showing up in Google yet, even days or weeks later?

You're not alone.

We've been in that same situation many times. It's painful to put that much work into a new blog post only to hear crickets. And just like you, we've asked ourselves the question, "How long does it take google to index a new page?" Based on our tests (not just research and theories) here's what we've found...

If you do nothing more than hit publish, it can take as long as 3 months or more before Google indexes your new content. But if you use Google Search Console to request indexing, we've seen Google index new content in less than 30 minutes.

In recent studies, we tested 4 different methods to get Google to index new content, and only one method proved reliable enough to do every time. You can skip to that method here, or keep reading to get the full scoop.

Note: actual site URLs of sites in our tests are not included in this report for confidentiality reasons. We've replaced real domain names with example domains like websiteurl.com, testsite1.com, testsite2.com, etc.

Four Indexing Methods Compared

There are several methods that can be used to get Google to index new content. We chose four methods that we think are the most well known and used. Our first test involved pinging the sitemap, which we thought would have proved to be the most effective, so we were very surprised to see the results. Keep reading to learn about how each method works and to see the results we saw in each test.

METHOD 1:

Ping The Sitemap

METHOD 2:

Use A Fancy Index Tool

METHOD 3:

Publish New URL In A Google Doc

METHOD 4:

Request Indexing In Google Search Console


Method 1: Ping The Sitemap

This is one of the simplest methods we tested, but ironically one of the least effective.

The concept is pretty simple. You use a special URL that notifies Google of the location of your sitemap so they can scan it and look for new URLs (new content) that they haven't seen before. Google explains how to do this in their help article, but here's the skinny. Simply replace "SITEMAP_URL" in the URL below with the URL of your sitemap (XML file) and load up that page in your browser:

If you did it right, you'll see the following success message:

If you got an error message, there's probably an issue with your sitemap URL. Make sure you include the full URL including https or http, with or without www, etc. For example: https://websitename.com/sitemapurl.xml

That's how it's done. But the big question is, does pinging the sitemap cause Google to index new content quickly? Here are the results from our tests...

Test 1 Results: One Page

On December 2, 2018, we published an article a website in the sports niche. The site itself was a new site we build ourselves and took it live in August 2018 with a handful of content pieces. Although the site had gone live just 4 months prior to the December piece going live, about 20 pieces had already been published and most of them were indexed on Google by that point, and the site was ranking for approximately 200 keywords (according to Ahrefs).

But by March 5, 2019 (3 months after the post was published), we discovered that the post still was not indexed in Google yet. On that same day (March 5, 2019), we pinged the sitemap using the method we described above.

On March 14, 2019 (9 days after pinging the sitemap), the URL was still not indexed in Google. The way we validated this was by doing a site search in Google for the URL, as shown below (example).

site:https://webisteurl.com/new-post-url/  

google search bar

...and no results showed up in Google.

As a result of this test, we formed the hypothesis (later confirmed in the following test) that simply pinging the sitemap is not enough to get new content indexed in a timely manner.

Test 2 Results: Five Pages

After doing a single test (see test above), we replicated the same test on 5 different content pieces published on 5 different sites to see if this results in content getting indexed quickly on any sites.

For each of the 5 sites, all of them had already been claimed in Google Search Console and a sitemap had already already been submitted and processed well before these tests occurred.

Here are the results (again, remember real site names have been replaced with filler text for confidentiality reasons)...

URL 1: https://pingtest1.com/new-post/
Niche: outdoors
Date post was published: April 22, 2019 @ 2:30PM
Date sitemap had originally been submitted to Google: March 6, 2018
Date sitemap was pinged: April 22, 2019 @ 2:33PM
Result: URL was still not indexed after 3 days


URL 2:  https://www.pingtest2.net/new-post/
Niche: audio equipment
Date post was published: April 25, 2019 @ 9:59AM
Date sitemap had originally been submitted to Google: Jun 8, 2018
Date sitemap was pinged: April 25, 2019 @ 10:00AM
Result: Google crawled the page 17 hours later, on April 26, 2019 @ 3:12AM (according to Google Search Console)


URL 3: https://pingtest3.com/new-post/
Niche: personal grooming
Date post was published: April 25, 2019 @ 10:09AM
Date sitemap had originally been submitted to Google: Feb 27, 2019
Date sitemap was pinged: April 25, 2019 @ 10:10AM
Result: Google crawled the page 3 minutes later, on April 25, 2019 @ 10:12AM (according to Google Search Console)


URL 4: https://pingtest4.com/new-post/
Niche: home improvement
Date post was published: April 25, 2019 @ 10:19AM
Date sitemap had originally been submitted to Google: Dec 3, 2018
Date sitemap was pinged: April 25, 2019 @ 10:22AM
Result: Google crawled the page 18 hours later, on April 26, 2019 @ 4:20AM (according to Google Search Console)


URL 5: https://pingtest5.com/new-post/
Date post was published: April 25, 2019 @ 10:52PM
Date sitemap had originally been submitted to Google: Feb 5, 2018
Date sitemap was pinged: April 25, 2019 @ 11:03PM
Result: Google crawled the page 52 hours later, on April 28, 2019 @ 2:58AM (according to Google Search Console)

Test Observations

Aside from the one post being indexed within 3 minutes (URL 3 listed above), which seems to have been an anomaly, most of the new posts took more than half a day to get indexed, some even longer. For our purposes, this turns out to be an unreliable method because we need (or at least really want) our new content indexed within an hour after publishing.


Method 2: Use A Fancy Indexing Tool

For this test, we used a service linklicious.co (the Basic package), a tool that claims they can dramatically decrease the time it takes to get new content indexed by Google. The purpose of the tool is to get content with backlinks to your site indexed quickly, but we figured if it works well for that then it should work well for indexing new content on our own sites. So we tested this out on 5 content pieces on 5 different sites. Here are the results...


URL 1: https://tooltest1.com/new-post/
Niche: outdoors/backyard
Date post was published: April 29, 2019 @ 9:18AM
Date URL was submitted to Linklicious: April 29, 2019 @ 9:19AM
Date post got indexed: 16 hours later, on April 30, 2019 @ 1:16AM


URL 2: https://tooltest2.com/new-post/
Niche: general DIY
Date post was published: April 29, 2019 @ 9:26AM
Date URL was submitted to Linklicious: April 29, 2019 @ 9:36AM
Date post got indexed: 34 hours later, on April 30, 2019 @ 7:58PM


URL 3: https://tooltest3.com/new-post/
Niche: business contact directory
Date post was published: April 29, 2019 @ 9:31AM
Date URL was submitted to Linklicious: April 29, 2019 @ 9:36AM
Date post got indexed: 71 hours later, on May 2, 2019 @ 8:17AM


URL 4: https://tooltest4.com/new-post/
Niche: gardening
Date post was published: April 29, 2019 @ 9:34AM
Date URL was submitted to Linklicious: April 29, 2019 @ 9:36AM
Date post got indexed: 71 hours later, on May 2, 2019 @ 8:17AM


URL 5: https://tooltest5.com/new-post/
Niche: alternative health
Date post was published: April 29, 2019 @ 9:43AM
Date URL was submitted to Linklicious: April 29, 2019 @ 9:45AM
Date post got indexed: still not indexed as of May 2, 2019 @ 8:00AM (71 hours later)


Method 3: Publish New URL In A Google Doc

We recently heard about a little trick that some individuals claim has helped them to get their new content indexed quickly, so we thought we'd give it a try. In this test, we created a new Google Doc with a link to the new article and published the Google Doc with “global” permissions (including “can be found on the web”). We did not do anything else to trigger indexing (did not submit via Search Console and did not ping the sitemap). Here are the results...

URL 1: https://doctest1.com/new-post/
Niche: backyard
Date post was published: May 1, 2019 @ 9:27AM
Date Google Doc with URL was published: May 1, 2019 @ 9:29AM
Result: still not indexed after more than 50 hours later


URL 2: https://doctest2.com/new-post/
Niche: photography
Date post was published: May 1, 2019 @ 10:05AM
Date Google Doc with URL was published: May 1, 2019 @ 10:06AM
Result: still not indexed after more than 50 hours later


Method 4: Request Indexing In Google Search Console *WINNER*

This is the most time consuming method we tested, and the most difficult to scale and delegate (since you need to log in to Google Search Console every time), but it proved the most effective.

The process involves the following steps:

  1. Login to Google Search Console
  2. Paste in your URL at the top of the page and hit Enter/Return to have Google inspect it
  3. Click the "Request Indexing" link that appears
  4. Click through all of the captchas that come up (sometimes you'll get lucky and no captchas will appear)
  5. Wait for the confirmation message to appear that the request has been submitted.

We did that for a total of 6 new posts on 6 different websites, broken into two separate tests. Keep reading to see the results of these tests.

Test 1: One Page

On November 30, 2018 at 11:40AM we published the following article: https://requesttest.com/new-post/

Within 2 minutes after publishing it, we went into Google Search Console, loaded up the site’s primary property and requested indexing of that new URL (using the steps listed earlier). Within 1 minute after requesting indexing, the site showed up as indexed by Google. We verified this by doing a site search in Google, as shown below:

site:https://websiteurl.com/new-post/

In fact, on an unrelated note, that same article began ranking for its first keyword within 23 minutes (by 12:03PM the same day), according to Ahrefs.

As a result of this test, we formed the hypothesis (later confirmed in the next test below) that requesting indexing is a very effective way to new content indexed within minutes after publishing it.

Test 2: Five Pages

After doing a single test (see test above titled  “Test 2: Request Indexing - 1 Post on 1 Site”), we replicated the same test on 5 different content pieces published on 5 different sites to see if this results in content getting indexed quickly on any sites.

For each of the 5 sites, all of them had already been claimed in Google Search Console and a sitemap was already submitted and process well before these tests occurred.

Here are the results...

URL 1: https://requestsite1.net/new-post/
Niche: pets
Date post was published: April 22, 2019 @ 2:40PM
Date indexing was requested: April 22, 2019 @ 2:41PM
Date post got indexed: April 22, 2019 @ 2:46PM (in 5 minutes)


URL 2: http://requestsite2.com/new-post/
Niche: home remedies
Date post was published: April 22, 2019 @ 2:53PM
Date indexing was requested: April 22, 2019 @ 2:54PM
Date post got indexed: April 22, 2019 @ 2:56PM (in 2 minutes)


URL 3: https://requestsite3.com/new-post/
Niche: general review site
Date post was published: April 25, 2019 @ 12:33PM
Date indexing was requested: April 25, 2019 @ 12:35PM
Date post got indexed: April 25, 2019 @ 12:44PM (in 9 minutes)


URL 4: https://requestsite4.org/new-post/
Niche: medical/health
Date post was published: April 25, 2019 @ 12:47PM
Date indexing was requested: April 25, 2019 @ 12:48PM
Date post got indexed: April 25, 2019 @ 1:13PM (in 15 minutes)


URL 5: https://requestsite5.com/new-post/
Niche: kitchen appliances
Date post was published: April 25, 2019 @ 12:50PM
Date indexing was requested: April 25, 2019 @ 12:51PM
Date post got indexed: April 25, 2019 @ 1:13PM (in 22 minutes)

Conclusion: What We Learned

After publishing 19 pieces of new content and testing a total of 4 indexing methods, we discovered that the only method that worked every single time and got our content indexed in less than 30 minutes each time was to manually request indexing via Google Search Console.

Have you done similar tests but got different results? Or do you know of another indexing method that you think we should test? Got a question? Read our FAQs below first, and if that doesn't answer your question, please leave us a comment at the bottom of the post.

FAQs

If you're not too familiar with how indexing works, here are a couple questions and answers that may help. If we missed any questions that you still have, ask us in the comments.

Why Do I Really Want Google To Index My Content Quickly?

Every SEO wants to see their content get recognized by Google as soon as it’s published. There are many reasons, but the two primary reasons are:

  1. The faster new content is indexed the sooner Google can begin to rank it in the SERPs
  2. Although rare, if a competitor re-publishes your content and gets that republished post crawled and indexed by Google before Google detects your content, there is a risk that Google may consider the republished post as the “original” piece and thus may consider your truly original piece to be duplicate content.

How Can I Tell If My Content Is Indexed?

The quickest and easiest way to check if your content has been indexed by Google is to use the "site:" operator in Google. Here's an example of what to type into the Google search box:

site:https://yourwebsite.com/new-post

You can also login to Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), and paste your URL in the search box to have Google inspect it, and you'll be able to see all sorts of data about the post such as when Google crawled it, whether the robot detected any issues, etc.

What Does "Indexing" Mean And How Is It Different From Ranking?

Getting your content indexed is the first step or the "precursor" to getting ranked in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). If your content is indexed it quite literally just means that it's in Google's database. Once Google has indexed the content, it begins the hard work of learning about the content and figuring out when it should show up for certain keyword terms, which is what "ranking" is. Ranking simply means that your post shows up somewhere in Google (regardless of the page) when you search Google for a word or phrase.

jonathan hostetler profile picture - director of SEO at Income Store

About The Author
Jonathan Hostetler is the Director of SEO at Income Store. The SEO Team at Income Store manages and implements SEO strategy on more than 1,000 website properties. Income Store has been featured in the Inc 5000 three years.

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