Web marketing

It takes Google months to rate the quality of the website on the web

How long does it take for Google to recognize the quality of a site?

Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller answered a question on this topic. And in doing so, Mueller provided an interesting answer on why it’s important for Google to understand how a website fits into the overall web context.

How does a website fit into the whole web

Mueller’s statement about how Google seeks to understand a website’s integration into the overall web as part of assessing site quality lacks detail.

However, his emphasis on this and his statement that the assessment can take months imply that this is something important.

  • Is it talking about linking models?
  • Is it talking about the text of the content?

If it matters to Google, it matters to SEO.

How long does it take to re-evaluate a website?

The person asking the question used the example of a site going down for a while and how long it might take Google to restore traffic and so-called “authority”, which is not not something Google uses.

Here is the Google Site Quality question:

“Are there situations where Google denies the authority of a site that cannot be recovered, even if the cause has been rectified.

So, assuming the cause was short-term turbulence with technical issues or content changes, how long does it take for Google to reassess the website and fully restore authority, search position, and traffic?

Does Google have a memory as such?

How Google Determines Site Quality

Mueller first discusses the easy situation where a site goes down for a short time.

Muller’s response:

“For the technical stuff, I would say we have basically no memory in the sense that if we can’t crawl a website for a while or if something is missing for a while and it comes back, we have that content again, we have that information again, we can show it again.

This is something that picks up pretty much instantly.

And that’s something that I think we need to have because sometimes the internet is very unstable and sometimes sites go offline for a week or even longer.

And they come back and it’s like nothing changed but they fixed the servers.

And we have to deal with that and users always search for those websites.

Overall quality and relevance of a website

The most difficult problem for Google is understanding the overall quality of a site, specifically how a site fits in with the rest of the internet.

Muller continues:

“I think it’s a lot more complicated when it comes to things around quality in general where assessing the overall quality and relevance of a website is not very easy.

It takes us a long time to understand how a website fits in with the rest of the internet.

And that means on the one hand that it takes us a long time to recognize that something may not be as good as we thought.

Likewise, it takes us a long time to relearn the opposite.

And that’s something that can easily take, I don’t know, a few months, six months, sometimes even more than six months, for us to recognize significant changes in the overall quality of the site.

Because we are basically monitoring… how does this website fit into the context of the global web and it takes a long time.

So that’s something where I would say, compared to the technical issues, it takes a lot longer to get things refreshed in that regard.

The Context of a Site in the Global Web

The way a site fits into the context of the global web is like the forest as opposed to the trees.

It seems that we are focusing on the trees (headings, keywords, titles, site architecture and inbound links).

But what about how the site integrates with the rest of the web? Does this take into account? Is this part of someone’s internal site audit checklist?

Perhaps because the phrase “how a site fits into the whole internet” is very broad and can encompass a lot of things, I suspect that’s not always the main consideration in an audit or site planning.

Hypothetical evaluation of the quality of the site

Consider example site A. The expression can have the following meanings:

In the context of links, the sites that point to Example Site A, and to which Example Site A links, and the interconnected network that creates all of this reflect the quality of a site.

This interconnected network may consist of sites or pages linked by topic. Or it may be associated with spam through the sites that example site A links to.

Mueller may also refer to the content itself and how that content is different from other sites on a similar subject, how it includes more information, or how the content is better or worse compared to to other sites.

And what are these other sites?

How do they compare to the top ranked sites? Or just in comparison with all normal sites without spam?

Mueller goes on to refer to how Google tries to understand how a site fits into the overall web and it might be helpful to know a bit more.

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It takes Google months to rate the quality of the website on the web

Watch John Mueller discuss how Google rates site quality at 22:37 minutes: