How Often Does Google Maps Update?

how often does google maps updateAs an SEO company, our clients often ask us “ how often does google maps update”?  Whether it is an old picture of their business or countless other scenarios many businesses have been waiting for the next Google Maps update for a while.  The unfortunate truth is, as a San Diego SEO Company, we know that they may be waiting a while for the next update. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we have some experience in this arena, which is why we decided to write an article specifically outlining how often Google Maps is updated because we know first hand how frustrating it can be!  Don’t kill the messenger on this though, we are just here to provide information 🙂

When working with Google Maps the first thing you must understand is that the platform is a complex and intertwined network of a variety of different data points all attempting, fairly successfully, to communicate with one another.  This is exactly the reason that updates are seemingly sporadic and the amount of information available about said updates is well, limited.  That being known, not all hope is lost, as there is at least some information floating around about what powers Google Maps and some theories on how often it is updated and the possible different experience of those in different geographies.  All of this and more is outlined below and we hope you find it useful!

What Is Google Maps?

Google Maps is simply the maps system created by the Google platform that many people use every single day.  If you are not familiar with the term Google Maps we are almost certain that you have at least interacted with it at one point or another.  

Have you ever searched for a business or service using Google?  Then you have used Google Maps! Have you ever used Google to gain directions to someplace?  Again, you have used Google maps! It is a very powerful platform that is constantly used across the world, which is why businesses are curious about how often it is updated and often times how to get a photo removed or added.

As a provider of search marketing and advertising services, we know how powerful Google Maps is to a business, which is why people are so often asking about how to update it or how often it is updated.  For service-based businesses the lions share of people finding them are likely coming via Google Maps, which is why they want the information to be as up to date as it possibly can be!

What Powers Google Maps?

Now that we are 100% that you know what Google Maps is, it is important to understand what powers the platform to fully understand why the update schedule is such a mystery.   Google Maps actually uses the exact same data as Google Earth and satellite photography is powered by the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Landsat 8 satellites and of course you have probably seen the little cars driving down the street that cover that side of things.   This being known, it is obviously a somewhat complex system, which is not capable of a simple update like your laptop may be.  As far as we understand it, it is a variety of different systems ”speaking” to one another which is exactly why some of the data is well, old.  As a matter of fact, an estimate from the Google Earth Blog, says that the information is on average somewhere between 1-3 years old at the time you are viewing it.  Sure that’s not super old but in the tech world, it might as well be hieroglyphs! Either way, this begs the question, how often is the system updated?

How often are Google Maps and Google Street View Updated?

Unfortunately, as of the time of this article, there is not a public update schedule to the Google Maps platform, satellite or street view.  Whether this is a result of the complex system that powers it or simply just that it is being held back, one can’t be sure. Although we don’t know the exact schedule we will share a couple of things that we do know.  First, according to the Google Earth blog, the more populated the area you live in the more often it will be updated.  So if you live in New York City or Tokyo, you are probably going to see more recent data than if you live in say, rural Alaska.

Another piece of information also from the Google Earth Blog estimated that the platform its self is likely updated once a month, but that was from 2014 so it could have changed by now.  Of course, that is not a full update, just some update to the platform that is happening once a month and most likely only updating pieces of it rather than the entire platform.

Wrapping it up – How Often Does Google Maps Update?

While we wish we had more information, or really any information on how often Google Maps is updated, at this time we just don’t.  From an online marketing perspective the best thing you can do is keep your Google My Business profile as up to date and active as possible and sit back and realize that you are at the mercy of the next update, whenever that may be, when it comes to Google maps.  Hope it helps!