In order to understand Google Crawl and Google Index, I want to start with a simple example-
Imagine you have sent a 100-slide presentation to your Chinese Investor. You are confident of raising funds for your venture. The presentation is well researched, offers definite strategies of growth and is complete in every sense of the term.
There is just one problem. The presentation is in English and your investor does not have even a remote idea of the language.
Let us complicate the issue by stating that he had mentioned that he does not know English. However, you somehow forgot about that.
What is going to happen to the presentation?
Google Crawl and Google Index work in the same fashion. These are readers from Google, which access your site for accessibility.
The better your site’s friendliness in inviting them, the better are your chances of accelerating the process.
In other words, Google lays down several guidelines for webmasters when it comes to indexing. Unless a website is crawled by Google’s bots and spiders, it cannot be indexed. No Google indexing means no presence on Google search pages.
The importance of Google crawling and Google indexing cannot be underestimated. For any website looking to establish their presence online, they need to pay attention to this factor.
What is Google Crawl and Google Index? A Beginner’s Definition
According to Google, a Google crawler is a label for software and programs like spiders, robots and other bots. These spiders and robots scan digital websites for content, images, links, and any other credible information.
They analyze the entire site by moving through the different pages of a website. Google states that its main crawler (Supreme Leader) is termed as The Googlebot!
Google states that these ‘user agents’ are important as they carry information back to Google. This helps Google understand what the website is about, how should it categorize it, and allocate search rankings.
For Google, no website can ever be part of Indexing unless a Google Crawler has performed its functions.
If you want your website to show up on Google search pages, it needs to be added to Google’s library. The Google library is the ‘indexing’ part. It relates to information collected by Google crawlers and made a part of the Google database.
Google not only indexes the main website (domain) but also all the web pages of the website. If you want to draw a correlation-, think of it as all the chapters in a book!
Following the indexing process, Google ranks websites based on keywords, traffic, content quality, and a ton of other On-Page and Off-Page SEO factors.
Indexing is a complicated phenomenon and involves Google’s complex algorithms working their magic on your web pages.
Google Search Console: What you need to know
If you try reading about Google Crawling and Google Indexing, then you will come across Google Search Console (GSC). Google Search Console was originally Google Webmaster Tools when Google decided to change its name in 2015.
Google Search Console is a free web service/application that Google provides to website owners or webmasters. You can think of it as a dashboard from where you can check the health and metrics of your website.
Some of the most important metrics that the dashboard shows you are-
- Website Traffic
- Alerts from Google on fixing your site issues and problems
- Panels for submitting your site map
- Manually requesting Google with regard to indexing and crawling
- Keyword Analysis
- Mobile Responsiveness and Optimization Status
- Backlink analysis and status
In many ways, Google Search Console is every webmaster’s foundation when it comes to his or her website. Without understanding it, there is little chance of you understanding how search engines work.
When it comes to Google Crawl and Google Index, Google Search Console shows you exactly which pages have already been indexed. It also allows you to request Google to index specific web pages.
Google gives webmasters access to Google Search Console to better understand how Google sees and views their websites. Anyone from a business owner to a blogger should have the knowledge of using and monitoring their metrics on the dashboard.
Yoast refers to Google Search Console as a communication channel and a performance dashboard. If you are able to master it, you will start controlling it as the nerve center of your website.
Is Google Crawl and Google Index part of On-Page SEO?
If you are even remotely aware of what Search Engine Optimization means, you will understand this.
SEO is divided into two main categories-
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
There is also something called Technical SEO, but they are other optimizations that form part of On-Page SEO itself.
Google Crawl and Google Index form part of On-Page SEO.
On-Page Optimizations refer to processes that are done on website pages that help them become accessible for search engines.
Crawling and Indexing are by definition part of On-Page SEO strategies.
On-Page SEO takes into account factors like a content, HTML codes, meta tags, descriptions, URL and more. It also includes looking after the Page Loading Speed, Schema Mark-up, site map, and mobile optimization.
Taken together, these factors are what is crawled by Google. Once Google’s spiders and bots crawl the page and find these On-Page factors to be optimized, they send in the information.
The information is a request from the crawlers that the information is all right, can you please index the web page now.
So in order to accelerate the process of crawling and indexing, websites need to be highly optimized from an On-Page SEO perspective.
In the next section, we will look at some factors that can help accelerate the Indexing Process from Google.
How can you accelerate the process of Google Indexing?
1. Regularly Publish Content:
Do you know why most SEO experts swear by blog section on websites? Apart from the obvious benefits of keyword and Inbound Marketing, blogs serve a crucial function.
They become a platform for regularly publishing content. Every article that you publish shows to Google that the website is active and should be indexed.
Websites that do not keep making changes often are the ones that start falling off from the grid. This is why it is important to follow a publishing schedule. News sites are indexed almost every day because they have so much content. Likewise, content sites too, see regular indexing from Google.
The aim should be to publish an article at least twice a week at the minimum. This helps keep Google’s crawlers active.
Read more: SEO Content: The Complete Guide for 2019
2. Fast, Secure and Dedicated Hosting and Uptime:
Getting a dedicated server is no longer an expensive proposition. In fact, it is highly affordable. Having a fast, the secure and dedicated server ensures that Google crawlers scan your web pages instantaneously.
Most shared servers experience downtime at some point of the day. This is part of their maintenance. However, if Google decides to crawl your website at that exact time, you are in for some tough luck.
This is why you should always go for servers, which have zero downtime. This might sound easy; however, choosing a service provider can be a tricky business. The better the server, the better will be your crawl rates and indexing speed.
3. Fast Loading Speed and Sitemaps:
Google crawl works according to a budget (yes I am not kidding). This means that it allocates a particular amount of time to each web page when it comes to crawling. If your website is heavy with uncompressed images and PDFs, Google crawl will access as much as it could, then move on to the next section.
This means that all your keywords on that web page remain un-crawled. That means no indexing takes place for that web page. A fast loading website is critical if you want to fasten your indexing process.
Similarly, submitting site maps is like giving Google bots direction of where is what on your website. You should always manually submit sitemaps and make it easier for Google’s crawlers.
If the bots and crawlers know the exact components of your website, they will be able to scan it faster. Faster scans mean faster indexing.
4. Interlink pages of your Website:
This is a trick, which most webmasters are unaware. Firstly, interlinking helps Google’s crawler judge that a new web page is part of the same collection of web pages.
For example, if you have a blog article that has already been indexed, and you have published a new article that is not indexed, you can link both your articles through hyperlinks.
You need to ensure that the content on both articles is related. At least, the text that you are hyperlinking should be related to the content of the other article or page.
Interlinking web pages also help pass something call ‘Link Juice’ from one page to another. By helping Google’s bots effectively understand new web pages, you will accelerate the indexing process.
5. Image Optimization on Web Pages:
Unlike humans, Google’s crawlers cannot read images! While most of you may not know this, some of you might. If you want your images to show up in search, do not forget to add ‘alt tags’ to your images.
This helps the bots to read the description of the images and place them accordingly. If you have properly optimized images on your web pages. They will start showing up on the search. This will also help you get indirect web traffic to your website.
Other than being helpful towards crawlers, image optimization also helps decrease the loading speed of the website. This makes the website a fast one. I have already stated that the faster the site, the better will be the crawling process and the indexing.
6. Fix URL Structures, Tags and other similar items:
In most ways, all the basics of On-Page SEO help in optimizing the crawl functions on a website. This includes fixing the URL structure. Some sites, which have too many URLs or mis-directional URLs become difficult to crawl.
This is the case with descriptions, tags, and titles. If you want your site to be optimized, you need to ensure that all your tags are related and possess the same words.
For example, I follow a small trick- I ensure that my focus keyword is a part of-
- The Article Title
- The Meta Description
- The URL of the Article
- Headings (H1, H2, and H3)
- Littered throughout the article.
While you may think that this is a keyword exercise, what you do not know is that it helps crawlers read your article better and contextualize it faster. This helps in the said article being indexed faster.
7. Build Backlinks:
For Google, more the number of backlinks on a site more is its authority. Authority sites are crawled and indexed faster. It is as simple as that. Google does not want to pay attention to websites that have little or no backlinks.
For the bots, kit literally translates into no importance sites. Rather than crawling and indexing your site and wasting time, Google will ask its crawlers to move on to some important site. This site has many backlinks, sees a lot of website traffic and is useful for users on the internet.
This does not only refer to inbound backlinks from other sites but also external links from your site in other sites. If you get many shares on social media, you will notice a spike in the crawl and indexing speed.
Read more: 10 Great Link Building Tips for Small Brands
It is important to understand a website from Google’s point of view. This is because you need to be at the top of your game on Google search. Even though many digital marketing experts look at complex strategies, they fail to take note of the basics.
If you are starting out in the field of SEO, please spend at least three months understanding Google Search Console. This is the foundation of everything. When Google is giving you all the information, you need to accept and understand it to the best of your abilities.
Google Crawl and Google Index are the basics of any digital marketing strategy. If Google does not even crawl your website, what good will be your PPC Campaign?
If you have any queries on Google crawling or indexing, please feel free to reach out.