How long does it take for an SEO test to index?
The amount of time it can take for a test to index in Google will depend on the the plugin are you using.
Our Wordpress plugin is the fastest way to get your tests into the index. It directly modifies the HTML sent to the browser so when Google comes to crawl it sees the test right away. This means as soon as Google indexes and caches your page after a test goes live your SERPs will reflect the change.
Any delay in your test going live simply means Google hasn't crawled the test yet. That said, do check the test is visible in your Wordpress dashboard.
Changes will appear on your site through a web browser instantly. But when Googlebot crawls your page it will still see the old HTML, prior to your test's changes. This means there is a 3rd step between crawling and indexing before your test will show - the render.
From our testing it appears that the importance (eg PageRank) of a page has an impact on the speed at which a new test gets cached. For example, on a low to medium authority site a test on the homepage was cached within hours. By contrast a deeper page 3 clicks from the homepage took several days.
That said, trust is clearly not the only factor, there is a degree of randomness too.
How does A/B Rankings know when a test has started to show results?
Originally we were checking the cache of page to confirm the changes we'd made were present on a page. Unfortunately Google frowns on this and would block us - not to mention the fact that the result of the 'cache:' command will often lag the results in the index and SERPs by a few days.
Now we assume a delay of 3 days for indexing. We will also allow you to adjust this date should you notice your test indexing sooner or later.