In May 2018 during the Google I/O conference, Tom Greenaway, a developer advocate at Google, said:
Then John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, confirmed this in a tweet:
Yeah, there's no fixed timeframe — the rendering can happen fairly quickly in some cases, but usually it's on the order of days to a few weeks even. If your site produces new / updated content frequently & you want it indexed quickly, you need that content in the HTML.
— johnmu is not a chatbot yet 🐀 (@JohnMu) September 13, 2018
However, the research conducted and announced by Onely is one thing; an official admission by Google is something else entirely.
How it all improved
We were eagerly waiting for Google to announce how much of a technical leap had been made, and it finally came during Chrome Developer Summit in November 2019.
“(…) last year Tom [Greenaway] and I were on this stage and telling you, “Well, you know, it can take up to a week, we are very sorry for this.” Forget this, okay? Because the new numbers look a lot better. So we actually went over the numbers and found that, it turns out that at median, the time we spent between crawling and actually having rendered these results is – on median – it’s five seconds!”
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Here’s where the BUT comes in
Onely conducted additional research and, as much as we hate to rain on everyone’s parade, it turned out that things are still far from perfect.
If it’s not the rendering delay, why do we have to wait?
As Splitt added later in the aforementioned presentation:
We all know that the crawl budget is correlated with indexing – there’s no indexing without crawling.
Another aspect that comes into play is wasting the crawl budget on crawling thin content.
When Googlebot has to go through such thin content, it loses interest in the entire website. It’s a vicious cycle.
Perhaps we should start talking about the indexing budget?