How to Make Your Website Indexing Work Better: When we think about index in books, we think about the roadmaps to a book, a record of useful words and information that provides more context about a subject matter, in the form of names, places, and things in alphabetical order, giving the page number associated with each topic.
In this same manner, indexing is also applicable to websites. Just the way an index works in books, website indexing helps an audience find specific content on a search engine.
Indexing is the process through which search engines organize information before a search to enable super-fast response to queries. Through website indexing, search engines can comprehend the function of a website as a whole, as well as each page on that website.
This is essentially shown in the context of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Whatever it is you publish online, a search engine would always “crawl” through it for keywords, metadata, and related signals to determine if, and where to rank the content.
This way, Google (or any other search engine) can find your website, add it to its index, associate each page with searched topics, return this site on the search engine results pages (SERPs), and ultimately drive the right people to your content.
It helps to think of the search engine’s index as a database. This database contains a list of all the web pages that the search engine knows about. Usually, when people look for content through a search engine, it turns to its database (index) to provide the relevant content.
This is done by picking up relevant information via important keywords and topics using an inverted index, also known as a reverse index.
This way, a database of text elements is compiled along with pointers to the documents which contain those elements, allowing search engines to use a process called tokenization to reduce words to their core meaning.
Why Is Website Indexing Important?
Regardless of how much quality content you publish on your website, if your website isn’t indexed, it might as well be nonexistent. This is because website indexation is what allows a search engine to rank your page in the SERPs.
If you’re hoping to drive more organic traffic to your website via organic search, website indexing should be a major focus for you. If a search engine doesn’t index your website, your site won’t appear in the search engine’s results as not every page you publish online is guaranteed to get a search engine’s attention.
For your landing pages, blogs, homepages, and other online content to show up in search engine results, you need to ensure your website is indexable.
This is because website indexation is not something you do as a website owner, but a process the search engine carries out whenever you publish new content online.
You only set your website up in such a way that this search engine can be indexable. This is typically the first step to ranking on SERP and ensuring the right form of an audience is driven to your site.
How to Verify Your Website’s Index Status
Predetermined algorithms control Website Indexation, and these algorithms factor in elements like web user demand and quality checks. As already established, as a website owner, you have the liberty to influence indexing by managing how “crawlers” discover your online content.
Crawlers can also be referred to as Web Spiders. They are always crawling on the web and following links on existing web pages to find new content. These spiders crawl various websites to figure out if it’s worth indexing or not.
There are two ways to check if your website has been indexed. The first method involves you navigating your way to the search bar of the search engine and typing in “site:example.com”. If your site is indexed, results would show up. Else, zero results would show up.
The second method involves using the “Search Engine Console”. Set up an account and log into the Search Engine Console.
Navigate through the index and coverage page after which you’ll see the number of valid pages indexed. If the number of valid pages is zero, your page hasn’t been indexed.
How to Make Your Website Indexing Work Better
Depending on the results you get from either of the above website-index-verification methods, you can get a search engine to index your website by clicking the “Request Indexing” button on the Search Engine Console’s URL Inspection Tool.
However, if your site is new, getting a Search Engine to Index it would not happen overnight.
Before requesting for indexing via the Search Engine Console’s URL Inspection Tool, it helps to ensure your site is properly set up to accommodate crawling. If the reverse is the case, there’s a very high chance it won’t get indexed at all.
The following are ways you can set up your site for indexing:
1. Prioritize High-Quality Content
High-quality content has been proven to be very critical for both website indexing and ranking. This is because the quality of your pages’ content plays a very important role in whether or not a Search Engine indexes your site.
It, therefore, helps to put only content on your site that adds value. Remove low-quality and underperforming pages, as these will only decrease the number of times your site gets crawled and indexed.
If crawlers visit your site and the only content they can find are below quality, eventually they will stop visiting your site. And there goes your chance of your website being indexed.
Google (and most search engines) consider high-quality content as content that gives the searcher what they’re looking for, delivering the value that someone intends to find when they enter their query in a fast and easy way. Ultimately, high-quality content should drive traffic to your site.
It is also important to ensure that the content on your website is unique as duplicate content can be a red flag for Google Analytics.
2. Make Sure All of Your SEO Tags Are Clean
Non-follow tags, misplaced or rogue no index tags are tags that tell search engines to not index your page. Remove these no-follow tags from your internal links and delete those misplaced no index tags, ensure your SEO tags are clean. Doing this is an invitation to search engine bots to crawl your site.
Check the pages on your website for meta tags that have no index. This is done by looking for “no-index page” warnings. If a page is marked as no-index, remove the meta tag to get it indexed.
It also helps to check if canonical tags are present on your page. Thesetell crawlers if a certain version of a page is preferred. If your page doesn’t have a canonical tag, the search engine bot recognizes it as the preferred page and the only version of that page (verifying that there is no page duplication) and will index that page.
The Search Engine’s URL Inspection Tool can be used to check for canonical tags.
3. Check Robots.txt File for Crawl Blocks
Another area to check to ensure search engine bots crawl your site is your robot.txt. These are files on a site that search engine bots recognizes as an indicator that it should NOT crawl a webpage.
A robot.txt file tells the search engine bot where they can go and where they can’t go on your website. It helps to optimize your Robots.txt files as this would help crawlers prioritize more important pages, so it doesn’t overload your site with requests.
You can locate these files by entering robots.txt at the end of your site’s URL and deleting thefollowing piece of code. You must delete this code as it blocks the search engine from crawling your website. And if it can’t crawl your site, it won’t index it.
4. Double-Check Your Site Architecture
This enables you to ensure your site is properly linked to other pages on and off your site’s domain (internal linking). Proper linking of your website helps crawlers find your web pages.
This is because non-linked pages are known as “orphan pages” and are rarely indexed. Proper site architecture, as laid out in a sitemap, ensures proper internal linking and internal links help search engines discover content on your website as it goes from link to link.
Since search engine crawlers work by following links to your website, securing high-quality backlinks will surely help boost your indexing. These provide a vote of confidence for your content and pages with high-quality backlinks will have more importance for search engines than those without.
Thus, the more links you get from authoritative websites, the more the search engine would begin to see your site as trustworthy and start to index your content more quickly.
Putting up a page on your website without internal links makes it difficult for search engines to find other content on your site. And as a result, this might take a lot of time for other pages on your website to be indexed.
It helps to use pages that get the most traffic on your site. These pages might even be ranking well on the search engine and must be offering value to users.
To optimize internal links of your site, eliminate no-follow internal links, remove no-follow tags from links, add high-ranking internal links and generate high-quality backlinks.
This is because when a search engine bot comes across no-follow tags, it flags to the search engine that it should drop the tagged target link from its index.
Creating infographics, starting a guest blogging, finding broken links, are some ways you can generate high-quality backlinks on your site.
Common Mistakes That Impact Whether or Not a Search Engine Indexes a Site
Some common mistakes website owners make that inhibit the indexation of their website includes:
- The absence of keywords and permalinks on a page
- Not submitting a sitemap to the Search Engine: ASitemap is a list of important pages on your website and is written in XML (extensible markup language) format so that search engine crawlers can easily understand it.
Creating a sitemap simply helps search engine bots to navigate through your website, discover new content, and index your pages. Ultimately, it helps improve your search visibility and ranks new pages that don’t have any backlinks yet.
- Faulty Redirects (Internal links) and Irrelevant crosslinks
- Your website’s Privacy is Turned On: It is possible to accidentally keep the privacy settings of your website turned on. For sites on WordPress sites, use the privacy settings under admin to check this.
- Slow Loading Pages: Google (and many other Search Engines) is all about offering a good user experience. Sites with slow loading pages make this difficult to be achieved.
Search engines will likely put your website further down the results page in favor of other websites that load faster and offer a better user experience.
Usually, websites that catch the attention of crawlers have a navigable, findable, and clearly understood content strategy. They make maximum use of keywords and metadata to provide more vocabulary for internet or onsite searching.
Properly setting up your website for indexing gives your website a higher chance of getting crawled through by search engine bots, resulting in an increase your website’s visibility and consequently, the traffic on your site.
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