Google and other search platforms are undoubtedly the first places that people turn to whenever they have a question or need to find a service provider. However, there are hundreds of millions of active websites available to users at any given moment. For this reason, businesses need to make sure that their sites are readily available on Google whenever a user conducts a search. And, the only way to ensure this is to focus on getting your site into the Google index.
With more and more companies opting for SEO marketing, learning about the Google index, the search engine indexing process, and how to set up Google sites is more important than ever before. But, there are many different approaches you can take to getting your website on the Google index, some of which produce much faster results than others.
Remember, Google and all other search engines focus on delivering the most accurate, relevant, and impartial content whenever a user conducts a search. So, to ensure that your website is indexed by Google and promptly displayed whenever there is a search related to its content, you need to make sure that your pages have all the right elements in place.
At Fannit, our team of experienced SEO specialists has helped hundreds of customers get their pages indexed. We’re very familiar with the steps you need to take to ensure that your Google site is registered in the Google index, so we’ve created an article to help you understand the indexing process and the way search engines read the information on your site.
Below, we’ll go over the definition of the Google index, tell you about the factors that affect the indexing process, and give you tips to ensure that your new pages are indexed as quickly as possible.
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What is the Google Index?
Have you ever wondered how long it takes for new Google sites to appear in the engine’s search results pages whenever there’s a query?
The answer to this question varies depending on many different scenarios. But, as a website manager, you can take different steps that help ensure that your site appears on Google search in a relatively short period of time.
It’s important to understand that when you conduct a Google search, you are not actually scouring the web in real-time. Over the years, Google has analyzed a large portion of the web and created a repository of millions of websites and billions of pages, which is called the Google index. Whenever a user looks for a keyword, Google inspects its index until it finds the websites and pages that match the search as much as possible
Google started its index by analyzing a group of popular sites on the web, then inspecting the pages that they linked to, and repeating this process over and over again. The search giant uses simple programs called crawlers to access, read, and analyze all the pages in its index. Also referred to as spiders, robots, or simply bots, these crawlers rely on the URLs on each page in order to discover, index, and send information back to Google or whatever other search engines they come from
In order to appear on Google search results, your website needs to be registered in the Google index. But, you don’t have to necessarily wait for Google and other search engines to simply index your website randomly. You can actually be proactive and take different steps that help Google index your site the first time and register new changes whenever there’s an update.
The three methods to get your site on the Google index include:
Passive Indexing Method
To properly answer the questions “what is indexing?”, “can Google crawl my site without my help?”, and “how long does it take for my Google website to appear on search results?” it’s important to understand the passive method.
The easiest approach you can take to getting your pages on the Google index is to opt for a passive indexing method, although this doesn’t usually provide the best results from a speed perspective. Passive indexing means that you create a website without a sitemap, so Google is left to its own devices to find your pages. Unless you set your pages as “no-index,” Google will do its best to locate all of your pages, read their contents, and analyze the relationship between your platform and the sites you link to.
Opting for passive indexing is the easiest way to get your site on the Google index in terms of effort because you’re not required to do anything, but it’s definitely not the fastest or most effective. Without a sitemap, there is no guarantee that search engines like Google will actually be able to find all of your pages.
This is especially true if you don’t have a good internal link structure.
Some of the pros of passive indexing include:
- Doesn’t require more work than simply writing your content
- Ideal for simple websites and managers who don’t have time to administer their sites
- Suitable for websites that don’t need to be on Google’s first page search results
- Takes much longer than any other method
- Doesn’t guarantee that all of your content on every page will be found
- May take some time to shop new markup and other changes
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Active URL Management
By creating a sitemap and including it on your website, you’ll start to actively manage your URLs. Instead of relying on Google search, sitemaps give bots the ability to track down all the pages on your site and figure out the relationship they have with each other. This can speed up the content discovery process and send positive signals that help boost your organic rankings.
In addition to the above, there are many cases where a page may have more than one URL. For example, if there is a page mobile app view, HTML page, and an AMP page, the sitemap can help crawlers differentiate between these distinct versions. This is important because it literally tells Google which link they should serve up depending on the device used and other variables.
If you’re working with AMP, mobile, and HTML versions, you need to set the canonical or main page. Then, you need to create the relationship between the app content, alternative web, and main page. Once you finish setting up these relationships, search engines like Google will understand which is the main page that should be displayed in search results and which version should be served based on other variables.
Remember, the bots that parse your site for the first time and the crawlers that are responsible for registering content updates are not the same. By making certain changes to your content, running a few tests, and evaluating your results, you can also get a clear idea of how Google’s crawlers actually visualize your site. Which, in turn, will help you make more effective adjustments that help your site get indexed faster.
- Increases speed at which websites are indexed by Google
- Enhances the performance and appearance of your rich search results
- Ensures that Google registers new pages promptly
- Removes multiple hurdles and increases the chances of having your site appear on search results pages
- Ensuring that all metadata is in place means doing additional work
Submitting URLs to Google
Lastly, the most effective way to get your site on the Google index is to submit your URLs directly to the search giant. Rather than simply posting a sitemap and waiting for crawlers to find it, you can implement a more advanced version called an XML sitemap.
These types of XML files help send notifications to Google about new URLs and existing pages that have been updated or changed. When an XML map features modification timestamps, Google uses these as a queue to re-index your content and ensure that it’s up to date.
After receiving the fresh list of URLs, search engines like Google set a date to index your content. Before the indexing process begins, the search giant will ensure that the resource is present in your servers through a process called verification. Once that’s completed, the page is made available for the crawlers to index.
As an alternative, you can also use Google Search Console to submit new information for indexing. This platform also features a set of tools that can help test the different URLs on your site and ensure that there are no major errors in your content.
- Update and add new pages as quickly as possible
- Proactive tell Google when it needs to analyze your site
- Gain access to a variety of tools through Google Search Console
- Almost none, once the initial XML sitemap is completed the rest of the process is fast and simple
Benefits of Having Your Site Indexed by Google
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is indexing?” let’s take a look at the benefits of appearing in the Google index.
The first step to claiming the top positions in search results pages is to get into the Google index. Learning to submit a website to Google may take some practice, but this process can bring a huge variety of benefits.
Google handles more than 5.5 billion requests every single day. Ensuring that the platform knows which of your pages it needs to index can have a great impact on your overall digital marketing strategy.
While it may seem obvious, you should always remember to make sure that all of your pages have the right indexing tags. When you label pages as “no-index,” you’re telling Google that you don’t want these parts of your website in its index. So, you should ensure that only certain pages have this tag and verify that the important content on your site is being indexed.
Furthermore, remember that the platform you use to build your site will also affect your indexing settings. For instance, WordPress websites usually allow all pages to be indexed in Google search by default. Therefore, you have to remember to inspect this setting and change certain pages to no-index when necessary.
Some of the advantages of having your page on the Google index include:
Appearance in Relevant Google Queries
As we explained before, when you conduct a search on Google, the platform doesn’t actually scour the web, but it analyzes its index instead. The most obvious benefit of appearing on Google’s index is that this allows you to appear in relevant Google queries, which helps increase exposure and boost your branding efforts at the same time.
Since it was first introduced more than two decades ago, Google’s main goal has always been to deliver the most accurate search results to users. Because of this, users have come to expect Google to list the best companies on the first page. Getting on the index and appearing on relevant Google search results is the first step you need to take to make it to the top positions, so it represents a major milestone in your digital marketing strategy.
Being in the Google index also gives your company more credibility in the eyes of your customers. Even if you launched a new site that doesn’t rank for any keywords, your potential customers may still be able to find you by conducting a Google search using your company’s name and location. If your prospects can’t find any of your pages even after looking for exact terms, there’s a chance they will not trust your company as much.
Google search uses a series of complex algorithms to categorize the web pages it analyzes and grades how valuable the content is. If you take the steps to ensure that your pages are easy to index, crawlers will be able to assess your site and categorize your content properly. So, when your prospects look for your products or services, the relevant queries will produce search results that feature your pages.
The categorization of your site in the index is also important for the backlink structure. Google evaluates not only the quality of the website that’s sending you a backlink, but it also gauges whether it’s relevant to your site. For example, if you have a fashion platform that’s getting backlinks from websites that specialize in unrelated topics, like marketing or cooking, there’s a strong chance they won’t give you a huge SEO boost or better Google search rankings.
Using the same example above, if you start getting links from other fashion sites and platforms that are related to your main topics, you will see bigger improvements in your pages’ production.
Higher Number of Organic Website Visitors
Today, consumers are more likely to track down your website through a Google search and check out a few of your pages before they even consider contacting you. More than 60% of all purchases begin on the web, so search engines are one of the best tools to attract more visitors to your site.
But, if you don’t get crawled, Google won’t start indexing your website or ranking you for relevant searches.
Luckily, you can create a dynamic sitemap that gets your pages on the Google search index and also tells the platform whenever there’s a change or update in your content. As long as your sitemap and the rest of your website follow sound SEO practices, you’ll increase your chances of appearing on Google’s search results index. Plus, if you get the index-SEO mix just right, you’ll be able to get on the first search results page and exponentially increase the number of people that see your content.
In most cases, a boost in traffic is a positive sign, but you should always make sure that these visitors come from relevant Google search results. If you notice that your site is appearing in irrelevant results, you may need to leverage specialized tools, make some adjustments to your content, and analyze the results in Google Search Console.
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Indexing Factors that Affect Google Crawlers
Understanding the indexing process is crucial for good SEO. Therefore, there is some overlap in the elements that affect both the Google index and search engine optimization. However, the factors that affect SEO and the Google index aren’t necessarily the same, so you should optimize for search engine ranking and indexing in different processes.
To ensure that your potential customers have access to the most updated version of your content available, your site needs to have a good indexing rate. In other words, you need to verify that search engines are crawling your site as soon as you make changes to your content. By logging into Google Search Console you can see how often your pages are assessed and when a crawling bot visited your site last.
We’ll cover Google Search Console later in this article, but there are other elements that also affect how often your content is indexed. These include:
If you want to learn how to get your website on Google search index, you’ll need to gain an in-depth understanding of the elements that affect user experience. Virtually all elements on your pages affect user experience in one way or another. User-facing elements like the interface, content, and similar factors that affect the customer experience have an obvious effect, so these need to be adjusted to deliver the best results.
Additionally, the backend variables you use also affect user experience because they determine the security measures that have been put in place, how customer information is managed, and other areas that also impact the way users evaluate your site. Taking the time to test out a few different setups and optimizing for user experience can result in faster indexing and, over time, a higher ranking.
As the name suggests, user experience is all about generating positive circumstances for each website visitor. So, you need to find the right balance between appearance, functionality, and safety to keep your potential customers happy.
When a Google crawl is performed, one of the main factors it evaluates is the page loading speed. Loading speed is both an internal and external factor because it directly affects whether users visit your pages or not. To get a good idea of your loading speed, the Google ping test measures how long it takes for the server hosting your website to send back a message.
Your site should ideally load in less than one second in order to keep user attention. After 5 seconds, users will simply click back and continue searching for another website. Therefore, your site loading speed needs to be on point if you want to keep readers interested. Even if you have top-notch content, you will never deliver an awesome experience or get results unless users see the information on your pages, so verify that your pages load as quickly as possible.
The reason why we say that loading speed is an internal factor is that the website architecture usually dictates how fast your site loads. Therefore, you need to think about any additions carefully, see what potential benefits they may have, and evaluate how a new element or piece of code will affect your loading speed.
Content Publishing and Updating Frequency
If you want to add a site to Google search, you have to give the platform a good reason to send indexing bots to your website on a regular basis. To send the right signals, you should publish new content and update the pages that are already live frequently.
Google will notice the pattern, so it’s more likely to crawl your website more regularly.
You can always check your site’s crawling frequency by logging into the Google Search Console. On Google’s Search Console you can see how many times per day your site is crawled and the index statistics for the last 90 days. Besides ensuring that your pages are indexed regularly, you should also verify that the crawling frequency isn’t too high. If you have bots analyzing the information on your site too regularly, it’s usually due to a configuration error that may overload your servers.
If you find that Google’s bots are putting too much stress on your resources, you’ll have the option to reduce the crawling frequency through Google Search Console.
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The Indexing Process Explained
Google has spent decades collecting information from hundreds of billions of pages scattered throughout the web. During the crawling process, Google spiders use the links inside of a website to discover additional pages within the platform. These simple pieces of software pay close attention to links that lead to dead pages, new pages, and updated content.
If your site contains a robot.txt file, this piece of code tells search engines which pages they need to index and which ones should be left out.
In the past, the search engine designed a platform to help web managers request a crawl publicly, which was called the Google Submit URL tool.
This feature was discontinued for a variety of reasons, so the Google Search Console and the robot.txt files are now the best alternatives to get your website indexed as quickly as possible. Just make sure to review your robot.txt file with a bot checker tool to ensure it’s working properly.
What is the Google Search Console?
To successfully add a website to Google, you have to learn how to use the Google Search Console. In simple terms, Google Search Console is a free tool that the search giant has made available to all web managers that want to keep a close eye on their site’s production.
However, instead of only displaying traffic-related metrics, Google Search Console provides information about ranking changes, crawling frequency, and other index statistics related to your organic rankings. This gives you a better idea of how the search engine perceives your site and what you need to do to improve your Google search rankings.
From a business perspective, any company that’s hoping to implement a successful digital marketing strategy needs to start using Google Search Console. You’ll need to learn basic SEO concepts in order to understand the tools you have available and explore the Search Console to get familiarized with the platform’s interface.
Your search engine optimizer will need access to the information available in the Search Console in order to make the right adjustments and increase the number of visitors on your site, so it’s crucial for short as well as long-term success.
Web managers also have to use Google Search Console to solve server-related difficulties and improve loading speed. And, you can also monitor your site’s security signals to protect your company as well as customers from cybercriminals.
Plus, developers also use Google Search Console to uncover coding issues and solve any structural mistakes that may affect SEO later on.
Advantages of Using Google Search Console
Learning how to use the Search Console to create a Google site takes a lot of practice, but it can also yield a series of great benefits for web managers. In a nutshell, Google Search Console gives you a better view of your site’s organic search engine rankings while also providing more control over your pages.
If you rely on passive crawling to get on the Google index, chances are you’ll see much slower results than managing your indexing through the Search Console and XML maps. Taking a proactive approach can improve your visibility and accelerate the results you get. This, in turn, gives you the chance to optimize your pages and attract more prospects to your business site.
Google Search Console is a crucial component of every successful SEO marketing campaign. Along with Google Analytics, these tools give you a clear idea of how your site is performing, the elements that are affecting your rankings, and the steps you need to take to improve your results.
Using Google Search Console can also bring benefits like:
Verify Website Indexing
Because Google scours its index every time a user conducts a search, you need to ensure that crawling bots analyze your website as soon as you upload new information. Some web managers choose to run a manual search with certain keywords or by using the business’ name in the query. However, this isn’t the best way to check that your site is on the Google index.
Searching for your services and your company on Google can actually hurt your SEO efforts. Google Search Console allows you to ensure that your pages are being indexed by the search engine without having to manually look up your pages. You can even see how many times per day Google’s bots visit your site and the overall crawling frequency for the last three months.
Knowing whether search engines are crawling your site will help ensure that the steps you’re taking are producing results while giving you more flexibility down the line. Additionally, you can always use third-party tools to check the status of your site.
Identifying and Fixing Index Problems
In addition to ensuring that your site is on the index, the Search Console will also help identify and solve indexing problems. If there is a submitted UR crawl issue, bots may not be able to index one or more of your pages.
You can manually inspect your URL in order to detect any issues that could be preventing your page from being indexed. When this occurs, the Search Console displays a warning to let you know that your site is on or available to Google, but there are issues that may not allow Google to read your content. Moreover, you can see the issues that are causing the indexing errors, so you can work on solving these directly on your site and run a second test to verify the issue has been fixed.
Once the issues on your website have been taken care of, you can send out re-indexing requests to Google using the Search Console. Use the “Request Indexing” feature to proactive invite bots to crawl and index your new content. And, remember that this can be done at the URL level or on individual pages depending on the number of improvements you make.
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View and Assess Some Traffic Information
While it’s true that Google Analytics gives you a more detailed view of your visitor’s behavior, the Search Console also provides insights into the users that browse the different pages on your site. And, because it contains information about Google search ranking as well as user statistics, Search Console gives the ability to evaluate your site’s production from a holistic perspective.
The Search Console can help you see how frequently your site appears on Google search index, the keywords that triggered your appearance on these results pages, the number of clicks, average page position, and index-specific as well as traditional metrics like each page’s click-through rate, just to name a few.
While your user statistics may not affect Google crawler bots directly, remember that pages with higher rankings are proactively indexed on a regular basis. If the user metrics on your site indicate that you have valuable content, you’ll get better positions in Google search results and improve the way your site is indexed.
Get Alerts from Google
If you’re familiar with Google Analytics, you may have used the custom alert feature that allows you to receive notifications whenever there’s a specific change on your site. At the time of writing this article Google Search Console didn’t allow for custom alerts, but the platform automatically detects sudden drops in clicks and impressions in order to inform web managers that there’s a potential problem in the index.
You won’t be able to set up tailored notifications, but Google proactively tracks and compares your weekly impressions. Fewer impressions and clicks usually are usually the result of an index problem on one or more pages, so Google Search Console sends out an alert that reminds you to check your pages.
If you receive notifications due to a potential problem on your site, Google Search Console can help you re-index a page or your entire URL based easily. Once you improve the page and make the right adjustments, you simply have to go back to the alert screen to see the option to notify Google of the chances.
See Platforms that Are Linking Back to Your Website
Through Google Search Console, you’ll be able to see the pages that link back to your website, so you figure out which low-quality sites you should distance yourself from. Most organizations that create a Google site also want to appear in the top 10 search results positions. By ensuring that only quality platforms link back to your site, you’ll be able to build a strong backlink profile and get an additional SEO boost.
The links report is a versatile feature that goes beyond a simple list of backlinks. For starters, you can see details about both internal and external links. Moreover, you can see which websites link to you the most, the top anchor text, and which one of your pages has the highest number of backlinks.
While simple, the links report feature also lets you download the external backlinks report, so you can download this information in Excel and use it in other parts of your marketing strategy. Just make sure that the rows and other elements are properly formatted if you’re going to upload this sheet onto another piece of software.
Troubleshoot Mobile Usability, AMP, and Other Search Issues
From a global perspective, mobile has been the leading type of traffic for several years. While desktop consumers still make up more than half of US web traffic, there’s no denying the importance of mobile. However, having issues on the mobile version of your site can drastically reduce the amount of traffic you get as well as the efficacy of your content.
Your Google web page needs to have a responsive design that adjusts to the user’s mobile device screen. Not only this, but Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a project that the search giant created to help developers build mobile-friendly pages that load instantly. However, it’s common to encounter mobile usability and AMP issues that end up affecting the crawling process or frequency.
Web managers also have the ability to troubleshoot mobile usability problems as well as AMP-related issues using Google Search Console tools, so it’s a great place to start if your site is experiencing this type of problem. Through Google Search Console, you can access the AMP status report, Mobile Usability report, and other tools that help you identify this type of feature. You can also troubleshoot certain issues and let Google know that you’ve made the appropriate changes directly through the Search Console.
How to Get Your Website Indexed By Google
The best way to describe the early days of internet marketing is as a quasi-chaotic ecosystem where the websites that learned to fool Google’s rudimentary crawling bots got the best results.
A lot of improvements have been made since, namely, the development of better spiders that Google uses to read for your site. Rather than falling for outdated SEO tactics like keyword stuffing, indexing your site has become one of the best ways to ensure success in Google’s organic rankings.
You should be careful though — your placement in the Google index isn’t guaranteed. If your site gets penalized too often or gets hit with one big penalty, your pages may be removed altogether. Focusing on ethical SEO and user experience will help you land better search results positions without putting your placement in the Google index at risk.
There are several different steps you need to take to ensure that your site is indexed and analyzed by Google crawling bots on a regular basis. These include:
Verifying If Your Site is Already Indexed
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need to check if your content is already on the Google index in order to get an idea of where you need to start. Sites that aren’t online won’t appear on the Google index, so managers that are working with new pages can skip this step. That said, even if your site has been online for a while you should verify that your pages already appear in search results.
Since at this point you may not have access to Google Search Console, this is one of the rare occasions where conducting a manual search is the most effective way to find your site.
Don’t simply try to look up your company name or web address. First, make sure to create an incognito session or browse using a private window to reduce the impact on your site’s SEO. Then, you should conduct a search using this format:
If your site has been indexed, the results should feature a link to the Search Console in the first position, followed by your pages. If not, you will only see the link to Google Search Console and a message saying that the search did not match any documents. In these cases, your main goal should be to submit your site to search engines, including Google and other major search platforms.
Installing Google Analytics and Google Search Console
In case you’re not already aware, Google provides a full collection of free tools to help improve your index bot frequency and SEO efforts. This includes the Search Console as well as Google Analytics. In simple terms, Analytics can help you track user-facing metrics such as time spent on page, the number of visitors, pages per session, bounce rate, and other important statistics.
You should install both Google Analytics and Google Search Console because together they give you a complete view of your site’s results. As we mentioned previously, the Search Console does provide some user-facing information, but it focuses heavily on Google search results and index, which makes it the perfect partner for Analytics.
Web managers can log into Google Search Console and Analytics using their Gmail account. After logging into Analytics, you’ll be asked to input information about your site required for the basic setup. You’ll also need to generate your tracking ID and paste this code in your pages’ code.
Additionally, you need to verify ownership of your domain in order to set up Google Search Console. You can do this through Google Analytics or by uploading the HTML file, but you need to claim all domain variants including http and https. If you’re not sure how to take care of this, you can always work with an SEO agency that focuses on your online marketing while you aim to deliver the best customer experience.
Develop a Content Marketing Plan
It’s difficult to document, track, and analyze the steps you take to index sites and improve Google search rankings without having a set strategy in place. Instead of working without guidance, take the time to develop a detailed content marketing plan that focuses on getting better organic positions.
Why content marketing? Because it’s among the most dynamic types of online promotion strategies that allow you to combine a variety of different techniques. From social media to the Google index, PPC campaigns, and SEO, your content marketing plan should include a balanced combination of approaches that helps you get in front of your customers when they need you the most.
In addition to the above, content marketing focuses heavily on efficiency, so it’s a budget-friendly alternative that’s ideal for new sites. Google and other search engines list the top organic results for free, so a solid content marketing plan can help ensure that you generate new high-quality leads at a great price.
Publish Content on a Regular Basis
News websites need to take a variety of steps to get indexed, but these platforms also have to focus on publishing content regularly. Google Search Console allows for free website submission, but you also need to give crawling bots a reason to proactively index your pages on a regular basis.
The best way to do this is to create a blog and publish new content at least twice per month, if not weekly. Not only can this improve your SEO, but it will also show Google crawlers that the content on your pages is updated regularly. Which, in turn, can help increase indexing frequency and result in higher visibility.
Having a blog on your site can also increase the number of visitors you get from search engines and improve the profitability of your marketing campaigns. Plus, this usually results in more quality links and a better backlink profile, not to mention the fact that it also improves customer experience on your pages.
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Work on Internal Link Building
We’ve briefly reviewed the importance of having internal links for indexing purposes, but you need to implement the right structure if you want to get good results. Many web managers focus on placing internal links in the content without paying attention to the navigation menu’s linking — which can become a major problem.
Before you add an URL to Google, verify that the website’s navigation menu follows a predictable structure that helps crawling spiders. In the vast majority of cases, having a logical structure such as homepage -> service/category page -> sub-category page will improve the way your page indexing process.
While it’s not directly related to link building, the URL format you use will also determine how easy it is for bots to read your content. Instead of using random or long URL structures, use something like “yourdomain.com/service/sub-service” and other straightforward variations. Just remember, the URLs should make sense to both Google and your visitors!
Encourage Users to Share Your Content
At its heart, the Google index is the most important part of SEO marketing. All activities that have a good SEO impact are bound to also have a positive effect on your indexing. For example, getting your pages shared on social media has a great impact in terms of traffic, but it also boosts your external link profile and encourages crawlers to index your new content.
Sharing your content on social media can improve your indexing because it invites new crawlers onto your site from different angles. The more crawling spiders you have coming in through the different pages on your site, the better your chances of having your site on the Google index set.
Sharing content on Facebook and other networks can help boost your social signals, which may have a profound effect on your rankings. Although the extent is not clear, Google has stated that social signals do factor into organic search results rankings, so ensuring that your new pages are on the Google index is a big, juicy bonus.
Create a Sitemap
In simple terms, a sitemap is a type of list that contains all of the pages on your website. Sitemaps can come in different formats, but having an XML version will help crawling bots understand which are the most important pages and navigate the different areas of your site.
Sitemaps are crucial to getting into the Google index. Site managers can also use these XML files to inform Google when there have been changes on their sites. Some experiments suggest that an XML can reduce the amount of time it takes to crawl your site by more than 100 times. And, even though it doesn’t guarantee that crawling will begin as soon as you add new content, it will increase the efficiency at which the indexing is performed.
You can test the efficiency of your sitemap through Google Search Console. In the Search Console, there’s a feature called Fetch as Google that can help you see if your page is in the Google index, how easily it can be retrieved, and details about the URL.
If you’re asking yourself “how do I create an index HTML?” then you have a few choices. The most common is to create your HTML file manually (with the help of a developer), use a plugin that takes care of it automatically, or use a third-party site to help you create your XML sitemap. Working with a developer is the best way to ensure your sitemap is tailored to your exact requirements, so you should always work with a programmer if you have the option available.
Implement the Sitemap to Google Search Console
After creating the sitemaps, web managers have to implement these into their sites properly. Sites that already have a sitemap need to ensure that their XML file is updated on the Google index on a regular basis. Take the time to manually check your XML map at least one per month, if not every 15 days or so.
You’ll need the sitemap’s URL in order to implement it into your site, so make sure to create a page for the XML and upload it to your site. Once you have the URL, log into the Google Search Console. Here, you’ll see a tab labeled as Crawl on the left-hand column. Click on it and then select Sitemaps, which should take you to a dedicated window that allows you to see the content that’s current in the Google index.
After completing the website submitting process, you can use this Google index checker to verify that all necessary pages have been placed in the index. When you’re ready, just hit the Add/Test Sitemap and Google will start indexing your pages. Once the process is complete, the label on the right should go from Pending to the date the crawl was completed.
Work on a Social Media Strategy
Very much like content marketing, your social media efforts won’t be as effective unless you develop a detailed strategy. While it may not directly relate to your free URL submission, having a clear social media marketing plan available will help you understand the role that each post, share, and interaction plays in your overall plan.
In addition to the above, social media channels may have an indirect impact on the way your content is reported to the Google index. Everyone a user interacts with your content on Facebook and other networks, these social signals give your site an SEO boost. If you are more active on social media, you may be encouraging Google’s crawling spiders to visit your website and index your content more often.
Think about it this way — basically all external links that point to your website give you a higher chance of appearing on the Google index. Therefore, the more content you share on social media, the higher the chances of getting your content analyzed by Google. And, as a bonus, a well-established social presence can increase your brand visibility at the same time.
Help Crawlers with Robot.txt Files
The whole point of adding a sitemap is to help crawling bots while ensuring that your site is listed on the Google index. However, adding an XML file isn’t the only step you can take to improve the way search engines crawl your sites. To enhance the websites submit process, you should use robot.txt files that help guide crawlers while they’re reading your site.
Robot.txt files are simple and play a basic, yet important role in the indexing process. These plain text files are located in the root directory of your domain or WordPress installation and they contain information about the pages that should be indexed as well as the ones that should not be included in the index.
When crawling spiders are in the process of analyzing sites, these programs attempt to find the robot.txt file in order to read it before completing any other action. If there is no robot.txt file, the crawler will assume that the entire site needs to appear on the Google index, so it will read all of the pages it contains.
Get Your Website Indexed on Other Search Platforms
Google is the most popular search engine in the world, so most people only focus on website indexation on this platform. Some marketing professionals believe that sites appearing on the Google index will be found by other search engines in a matter of days. Others argue that appearing in low-quality search platforms may actually negatively impact their sites’ SEO.
In our experience, appearing on reputable search engines outside of Google can produce great results, especially for certain industries. Our team often avoids indexing pages in low-quality search engines, but we do strive to ensure that our client sites are also on Yahoo, Bing, and other reliable platforms.
Keep in mind that there are also third-party sites that can help you submit your pages to different search engines. The main problem with these is that they often contain at least one if not multiple unreliable search engines, so your best bet is to take care of the indexation manually or work with a marketing firm that can manage this step for you.
Use Creative Publication Channels
We’ve covered the benefits of using social media extensively in this article, but these aren’t the only publication tools you should keep in mind. Remember, there are different types of sites that allow you to post content and scatter your links around the web. These include blogs, forums, and other types of content aggregators you can use to your advantage.
Besides social networks, the most popular general publication tools include Medium, Reddit, and similar sites. Medium is a public publishing site where companies and individuals can manage a blog. Reddit, on the other hand, is more like a forum where users can ask questions and join conversations about the topics they find relevant. However, there are dozens of different aggregators and similar platforms, including Quora, Slideshare, and many more, so take the time to figure out which one is the best one for you.
In short, using these channels to distribute your content can improve your backlink profile while also encouraging spiders to crawl your content.
Post Links to Your Website All Over the Web
Crawling bots aim to create a massive network of information. If you make sure that your pages have different entry points all over the internet, you’ll increase the chances of appearing on the Google index. Each external link pointing to your content serves as an invitation for spiders to crawl your site, so make sure to post links to your site all over the web.
It’s worth noting that some (if not most) of the links you place in third-party platforms will have a no-follow attribute, which means that they probably won’t benefit your site from an SEO perspective. Fortunately, these links may still count for indexing purposes so every time a new third-party platform points to your content, you’ll theoretically increase your chances of getting in the Google index.
The only thing web managers have to worry about when posting links to their sites throughout the web is the quality of the platform that’s sending the backlink. Although the no-follow attribute means this traffic won’t affect your SEO, crawlers may not visit low-quality pages as often so you may not get the results you expect.
Leverage Local Directories and Review Sites
Just like social networks, blogs, and content aggregators, local business directories and review sites can help improve your chances of appearing on search engine website indexes. Additionally, local directories are superb tools that potential customers use to learn more about your company. So, it’s in your best interest to ensure that all information, including links to your content, is updated.
From a crawling perspective, local directories also serve as additional entry points for spiders. These sites are also analyzed by Google, so you should create or claim your profiles on these directories and include links that send bots to different pages. Since crawling bots enter from different pages, they create a more comprehensive view of the sites being analyzed.
Despite the fact that you can’t request a Google crawl directly through them, review sites can serve a similar purpose than local directories, so make sure to place links to your content in these platforms as well.
More helpful reading:
Review Your Index Metrics and Check for Errors on a Regular Basis
Like all other parts of your content marketing plan, you need to review your indexing metrics frequently to ensure that there are no errors in your content. This step is very important, especially for sites that have already managed to get a good crawling rate.
Google Search Console features a section specifically designed to identify and help you solve any URL or site issues. To access it, log into the Search Console, find the Crawl drop down menu on the left, and click on Crawl Errors. The page should now display any potential errors for both your desktop and mobile sites.
In this part of the Google Search Console, you can see any DNS, server, or robot.txt issues and how they affected your site’s indexing. Additionally, you can also see 404 errors and similar issues that occur when you complete a server migration and other common tasks.
Identify the Pages You Don’t Want in the Google Index
Before you submit to Google, you have to create a list of pages that you don’t want indexed and include these in your robot.txt file. Some of these may seem obvious, but it’s also easy to forget about certain types of pages that shouldn’t be accessible through search engines.
Regardless of your industry, you don’t want to include any thank you pages in the Google index because these should only be served to users who completed a certain action. This can include the completion of a contact form, the submittal of a quote request, and similar events.
Additionally, if you’re publishing a piece that’s already on the web, you should label it as no-index to avoid being penalized for having duplicate content. The same concept applies if you’re running A/B tests to evaluate color schemes and other design elements.
Develop a Content Optimization Plan
One of the key takeaways from this article should be the fact that getting in the Google index is a continuous process. Your pages should be in a state of constant indexing, but the only way to achieve this is to add new content and improve the pages that are already on your site.
By developing a content optimization plan and schedule, web managers can ensure that crawling bots read and update their pages on a regular basis. If you’re managing one or more sites that contain content from years ago, focus on rewriting and updating some of your older pieces because these carry the most SEO weight. Which, in turn, can boost traffic as well as links, encouraging crawling bots to read your content at the same time.
All sites are different, so you’ll need to determine the ideal updating frequency of your pages by analyzing your requirements and the resources you have available. As a general rule of thumb, we suggest updating content and publishing new pages at least once per week.
Remove Unnecessary No-Index Tags and Robot.txt File Blockers
Learning how to get Google to crawl your site doesn’t only require a sitemap and access to Google Search Console, but you should also learn how to use no-index tags to your advantage.
As you may know already, a no-index tag tells crawling bots not to include a page in the Google index even if it doesn’t explicitly say so in the robot.txt file. That said, it’s common to find no-index tags that have been erroneously placed on the wrong page. To avoid this, make sure to check that every no-index tag is on a page that you actually want to block.
Likewise, you may also find errors in the robot.txt file that tell crawling spiders they’re not allowed to analyze your content. This can affect either your entire site or just one single page, so make sure to review sites using the URL inspection tool found in Google Search Console.
Add New Pages to Your Sitemap
If you’re wondering “why don’t my new pages come up in my web searches?” the answer may lie within the XML file that contains information about each page.
Sure, Google should be able to find any new page or blog post on your site if you follow a solid linking structure, but it’s better not to leave it to chance. Remember, not having an XML file can increase indexing time by more than 100 times. For this reason, you should always add every new page to your XML map and log into Google Search Console to submit your site for indexing.
This process can be tricky if updating XML maps for sites that already exist because you have to check page by page to see what’s currently on there. Luckily, Google Search Console’s tools contain a feature that allows you to check if a page is on the XML map.
The only problem with the Google Search Console’s URL inspection tool is that you have to check each page individually. As an alternative, you can use AHREFs and similar tools to conduct a site audit, which gives you a list of pages that should be on your XML map but currently aren’t.
Eliminate Unwanted Canonical Tags
Canonical tags are code snippets that tell Google crawling bots which page version you want indexed and which ones should be skipped. This is helpful if you have a mobile page or AMP version, but if this is not the case, you probably shouldn’t have any canonical tags on your page.
Misplaced canonical tags can point crawling bots in the direction of a page that doesn’t actually exist. This means that the main page won’t be included in the Google index or appear in Google search.
To check your canonical tags, you can turn once again to Google Search Console. The URL inspection tool will allow you to see if a page is being excluded from the Google index because of problems with its canonical tag. The solution to this issue is simple, just remove the canonical tag and process the URL submit with Google Search Console to get that page on the Google index.
Make Sure There Are No Orphan Pages
Before web managers submit sites to search engines like Google, they have to verify that there are no orphan pages. Simply put, an orphan page doesn’t have any internal links pointing towards it and the only way to access it is through the direct URL. This means that crawling bots will have a hard time locating it as they rely on the internal linking structure to identify all the pages on your site.
Unless they have the direct link, users won’t be able to find an orphan page on your site either. Manually checking for these pages is tedious at best, so you should use an auditing tool that analyzes your XML map for any orphan page errors.
Adjust Internal No-Follow Links
There’s an ongoing debate about the SEO value of external no-follow links. As a matter of fact, this has been a major talking point since Google announced in March of this year that the no-follow attribute would be taken as a suggestion rather than a directive. This means that Google will now decide whether to pass on the SEO score from the referencing page.
With that in mind, all internal links on your site should have a follow attribute because they point to content within your own platform, so it’s beneficial for them to carry over some SEO value.
Ensure Content Quality and Uniqueness
It may sound like a cliche, but the truth is that having high-quality, unique content will help attract more indexing bots to your site. The Google index serves as the search platform’s main resource to deliver relevant results to users. This means that your content will attract more attention if it delivers valuable information that gets updated on a regular basis.
There are many sites on the web that have a perfect technical setup and still don’t get crawled on a regular basis. More often than not, the problem is low-value content, so make sure that you deliver a great customer experience through useful information.
More helpful reading:
Take Low-Quality Pages Offline
If you submit a Google sitemap that’s full of pages that don’t deliver value, your entire site may be labeled as low-quality. To avoid this, you should remove these pages, place the appropriate redirects, or completely update the content and re-submit the page for indexing.
Build a Better Backlink Profile
We’ve discussed the importance of creating a solid backlink profile if you want to get in the Google index already, so we’ll just highlight the importance of monitoring the platforms that link back to your site. Use the Search Console to review the platforms and ensure that any bad backlinks are eliminated by the publisher.
Ready to Get Your Site Indexed By Google? Get in Touch with Us Today
Submitting your site to Google may take some time, but it’s the only way to get your pages on the Google index.
We hope that our article helped you understand the Google index and the different steps you need to take to see your site on the search engine.
At Fannit, our team of marketing specialists can help you verify that your site is being analyzed by indexing bots, create an XML map, and monitor your metrics to ensure that your site is available in the Google search index.
If you’re ready to get started with your index strategy, contact us today and our team will be glad to help.