One of the new features in SharePoint 2013 is continuous crawling which allows your SharePoint search results to be be as fresh as possible. Continuous crawls run every 15 minutes by default but you can change the interval. This might sound similar to incremental crawling but there are some important differences:
- Continuous crawls can run in parallel and a crawl does not require a previous crawl to be completed prior to launch
- Processed results will appear in the search results immediate after the crawl – there is no need for index merging
- Continuous crawling is only available for SharePoint content
- It is not possible to pause or stop continuous crawls
- Continuous crawling is not available in SharePoint Online – only in on-premise deployments (See Search features in Office 365 Preview)
- A SharePoint 2013 farm will also be able to crawl older versions of SharePoint using continuous crawling.