Google published a video about what to do get Google to automatically re-index an entire website. The answer to the question presumed that the context was a major change to an entire website, necessitating a complete crawl to expedite updating Google’s index.
The person asking the question wanted to know if there’s a way to trigger a whole-site recrawl.
Google’s John Mueller narrated the question:
“Today’s question is whether there’s a mechanism to request re-indexing of a whole website at once.”
“Unfortunately, no. There is currently no way to trigger a recrawl and reprocessing of a whole website all at once.
When you make major changes on a website, search engines will generally update those automatically over time. There’s nothing additional that you have to do.”
Mueller next outlined additional things that someone needing a re-indexing should do.
The major points he covered are:
1. Use 301 response codes to alert search engines that a webpage has moved so that the new pages are discovered.
2. Use 404 server response codes to tell search engines that a page no longer exists.
3. Google tends to give high priority to crawling important pages of a website like the home page, which means that linking key pages from important pages is a good strategy.
4. Important changes such as new telephone numbers (and probably street addresses) should ideally be noted on the most important pages of a website.
301 Server Response Codes
Adding a 301 redirect when a webpage’s URL changes is of course essential. The server response informs search engines that a page has permanently moved to a new URL which will then encourage the search engine to seek out the new webpage for indexing.
If the webpage is entirely the same and only the URL has changed then this should not have any effect on rankings except for a few days of transition as the index replaces the old URL with the new one.
But if the content of the webpages have also changed then there’s a possibility that this may trigger a site quality re-evaluation, a process that could take longer than one may feel comfortable with.
John Mueller commented in another video from 2021 on what happens after a major website changes:
“The one time where we do have to kind of reconsider how the site works is if the site does a serious restructuring of its website where it changes a lot of the URLs and all of the internal links change, where maybe you move from one CMS to another CMS and everything changes and looks different.
Then from a quality point of view or from a technical point of view, we can’t just keep the old understanding of the site, of the pages, because everything is different now.
So we kind of have to rethink all of that.
But that’s also not something that is triggered by anything specific but rather it’s just well lots of things have changed on the site and even to kind of incrementally keep up we have to do a lot of incremental changes to re-evaluate that.”
Watch the #AskGooglebot video with Google’s John Mueller:
Can my entire site be re-indexed at my request?
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