Everyone wants Google to rank their website higher in search results and for good reason: 93% of all internet traffic starts on a search engine, so ranking on Google offers a great opportunity to reach users and generate conversions.
However, not all sites can reach the top positions in the SERPs. First, Google’s algorithms prioritize the pages that offer the most value to users.
Not to mention, before you get into ranking, you’ll need to make sure Google knows your site exists to begin with. That’s why it’s so important to include it in the Google search index .
But what is indexing and what does it mean for search engine optimization(SEO) ?
What is indexing?
Google’s search index is essentially the entire inventory of websites that the search engine draws from to deliver results to users’ search queries. You might think that Google is big enough to direct you to any site on the Internet, but sadly it isn’t. Only indexed websites can be displayed in search results.
Of course, you can add new sites to the index, and that’s exactly what Google indexing does – it’s the process of adding a website to Google’s index. Indexing occurs when Google web crawlers , also called spiders, crawl websites on the Internet.
Why is indexing important?
If you want to reach users via Google search, indexing is a fundamental process for your business. If your website isn’t indexed by Google, not only won’t it rank high on the SERPs , it won’t even show up in search results.
One of the best ways to get your audience to find you is to search for terms related to what you sell. But without having your site indexed by Google first, you can’t appear in any search, which means you’ll get very little traffic to your site. Indexing is the first step in increasing traffic, revenue and conversions for your business.
How does Google indexing work?
The process of displaying in Google search results takes place in three stages: crawling, indexing and ranking.
The first interaction Google has with your website is when it crawls it. A Google crawler could discover your site in several ways: it could follow a link from another site or you could submit your sitemap directly to Google.
Either way, once a Google crawler finds your site, it will crawl it, which essentially means it will crawl your entire website to find out what it contains. He will read the texts, evaluate the layout and do his best to interpret images and videos.
Once Google has crawled your site, the next step is indexing. This step is crucial: if your site does not meet the right requirements, Google will not index it and the website will have no chance of ranking.
There are several situations that could lead the search engine not to index a site. Below are some of the factors that affect how Google indexes:
- Noindex: If a site uses a “noindex” tag in the HTML code, it tells Google not to index that site.
- Content: Google will not index a page with content that is of no value to users.
- Duplicate Content : Pages made up almost entirely of duplicate content are less likely to be indexed by search engines .
- Sitemap: the creating and submitting a Sitemap lets you notify Google of the existence of your website, thus increasing the chances of scanned.
- Canonicalization: When there are multiple versions of a page and you mark one as non-canonical, ie not the “real” version, Google will not index that version.
If there are no warning signs for Google, the crawler will use the information found on your site to determine what it is and add it to its search index.
The third and final step in the process is ranking – this is where your site finally gets a chance to appear in relevant search results and generate traffic.
Whenever someone searches for something on Google, the search engine goes through its index to find the relevant pages for the query being searched for. If your site is one of them, Google will rank it in the search results.
Obviously, optimizing to get better positions in the SERPs and get to the first page is a separate process but once your site has been indexed, you can start SEO optimization.
How to index a site on Google?
If you wait long enough, there’s a good chance Google will eventually crawl and index your site on its own. But the sooner your site gets indexed, the sooner you can start increasing your revenue. For this reason, it is best to take an active approach.
You can do this by submitting your sitemap directly to Google. A sitemap is the list of all the URLs on your website, and submitting it to Google helps it find and index all those pages quickly.
Once you have created your sitemap, you can submit it via Google search console or by “pinging” Google with an HTTP GET request. You can ping Google using the following link:
http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap= Gioca Sitemap URL]
Replace “[Sitemap URL]” with the actual URL of your Sitemap, then enter the resulting link in the address bar. Google will notify you that it has received your crawl request.
In addition to submitting the sitemap, there are several other ways to optimize your site and give it a chance to be indexed:
- Quality and originality guarantee : Make sure all your pages provide value to users. Practice good web design tactics and avoid any duplicate content .
- Checking your meta tags: Search your site for any unauthorized no index or canonical tags: having them on a page by mistake means that it will not be indexed.
- Clean up navigation: make sure you don’t have “orphaned” pages, or pages not linked by any other post or page on the site. All indexed pages on your site should be linked in some way.
With the site optimized for indexing and the sitemap submitted, it won’t be long before your site is in the Google search index and well on its way to ranking in the search results!