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I have a server with routes in English and that I moved to Portuguese. For example, https://ginja.org/schools now redirects with a 301 to https://ginja.org/escolas. I set up a canonical tag too:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://ginja.org/escolas">

I submitted a sitemap on the Google Search Console mentioning only the permanent page. It shows Success, Last read 22 Nov 2021:

Sitemap success

The sitemap was taken into account because some new pages appear in the list of URLs and some duplicate pages (with canonicals and without 301) did merge. But three days later, 301 redirects only, such as this pair of pages, are still not merged. I would like to increase their PageRank by merging them as soon as possible, because these two pages are among the top of clicked pages:

top pages on Google Search Console

How long does Google take to merge 301 pages, and when do I need to worry and take further action?

update

Following an answer, I checked indexing and the page was crawled between 22 November, when the sitemap was last read, and the time of this post:

last crawl of website

In case this was a race condition, I checked again the performance of pages and it still shows https://ginja.org/schools on third position. In any case, I requested indexing again and maybe that will solve the problem.

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    Do the individual pages that you're concerned about have a lot of inbound links? Or are they primarily receiving PageRank via internal links from other pages on your site, such as your homepage? Nov 25 at 17:30
  • @MikeCiffone These pages get PageRank from internal links and possibly from clicks reinforcement learning, when users search for keywords, get impressions of several websites including that page, and click on our page. Nov 26 at 9:51
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The length of time for Google to process a 301 redirect depends entirely on how often Google crawls those URLs, which in turn depends on many factors including ranking strength and how frequently Google sees the URL's content being updated. For URLs that Google crawls very very rarely, it could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. You can check the last crawl dates on the cached versions of your pages in Google Search to get some general idea of how often Google is crawling your site.

The good news is that for 301 redirects from one URL to another, your page will retain its ranking juice from beginning to end. This is because at the point Google does process the redirect, the old URL's ranking juice will suddenly "jump" to the new URL. In the mean time, the old URL will still rank in Google Search as it has before, and when people click on it, they will land at your new URL due to the 301 redirect.

You may also be able to speed up the process a bit by using Google Search Console's URL inspection feature to "request indexing" on the URL that has the 301 redirect on it (the source URL).

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  • Thank you. I checked page indexing and updated the question. Nov 25 at 7:23
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If you're not worried about external links, you could 410 the old pages

Before I explain, what you've done seems perfectly fine to me. It can take time for 301s to kick in, you just have to be patient with it. Max gives good advice here, I agree with his answer. Personally, I would just wait for the 301s to do their job and not over complicate things. But...

If you don't want to wait (or cant wait), or if you think it might take several weeks/months based on your crawl rate, there's a trick I learned from Stephen Ostermiller that will accelerate the indexation. It involves creating a "410 sitemap". Typically this is used when a site needs to remove a lot of pages (like tens of thousands) but I don't see why you couldn't do it here.

The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 410 Gone client error response code indicates that access to the target resource is no longer available at the origin server and that this condition is likely to be permanent.

So you'd do the following:

  • Remove the old pages with a 410 http status code
  • Create a temporary sitemap that consists of just these URLS
  • Submit the sitemap in Search Console
  • Replace all internal links with the new URLS
  • Request indexing of internally linking pages as well
  • Delete the sitemap once your changes take effect

Keep in mind that this only works because you said in the comments that the pages in question are only getting PageRank from internal links. If the pages had followed inbound (external) links you would lose all of that equity. Also the idea of "clicks reinforcement learning" is not something that would affect your PageRank. That sounds more like a click through rate a rankings factor theory to me. These are separate ideas.

Lastly, in your question you said:

I have a server with routes in English and that I moved to Portuguese

Don't forget to update any hreflang annotations or any other multilingual aspects that may have to change. I'm a bit curious about this because what you're doing here is fine as long as you're not serving english speaking users anymore. But if you do plan to keep serving english speaking users, then I'd be confused why you're going about it like this in the first place.

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  • Thank you Mike. Yes, I can wait and so won't use this nuclear option for now, but it's good to know. Regarding the multilingual aspect, at the moment one server has two domains, one in Portuguese and one in English, and adjusts the language in the rendering based on the request header host. But the routes are the same (for now): a visitor to emotionathletes.org/schools gets redirected to emotionathletes.org/escolas and sees English content, and a visitor to ginja.org/escolas is not redirected. Most current traffic is in Portuguese; when that changes, we'll change the structure. Nov 27 at 7:05
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    @miguelmorin Sounds good. Yeah I figured that you wouldn't mind waiting, however, wanted to provide this answer for others that might find it. That routing configuration makes sense for now I agree. Sounds like you'll have a handle on the internationalization when the time is right. Nov 27 at 15:31

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