More recently, we are witnessing that Google is delaying site index for several websites. It is a significant concern for webmasters as a slow index by Google implies their websites are losing to the competition.
Is there a way to make Google index your website faster?
There is. You can make Google crawl and index your websites faster than your competitors. You might be struggling because you don’t fully understand the concept of crawling, indexing, and ranking.
Let’s start with that.
Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking
Indexing is essential to rank webpages in Google, but it is only a part of the whole SEO strategy. The search giant is particularly known for keeping the quality of search results high. In doing so, Google regularly introduces updates to counter poor-quality web pages or those created just to get traffic.
To get top rankings in SERPs, a website must get crawled faster so that its pages can be indexed in time and ranked finally. This makes it essential to understand the concepts of crawling, indexing, and ranking.
Every webpage goes through these three steps.
- First, Google’s crawl bots crawl your website’s pages to see if they offer enough value to be indexed.
- The next step is indexing, which is when your web pages pass the first evaluation and Google finds them fit to be included in its database. At this step, Google assimilates the information in a web page and appropriately categorizes it.
- The last step is ranking. While most people focus on ranking, they ignore the other two steps. Without effective crawling, there will be no indexing, hence no ranking,
Furthermore, if Google crawls your web pages slower, ranking will take longer. You will lose to your competition. This is why it’s crucial to improve the crawling rate of your website.
Another step happens after ranking; it’s when the webpages are rendered by the browser for display. Rendering is as vital as crawling, indexing, and ranking. Not only beginners but professionals also use the three terms interchangeably in practice, which dramatically impacts their SEO strategy.
If you are wondering how to index my website on Google, you must ensure you understand the difference between these steps and address them individually. Crawling is what prepares your web pages to get indexed in Google databases so they can be served for matching queries.
There are millions of pages for every query, and Google ranks every webpage based on several factors known as Google Ranking Factors. As we will focus on improving your website’s crawl rate, here’s a resource on the most important Google Ranking Factors.
So how to index your website on Google faster?
Here are the tips you must implement.
Update and optimize pages regularly
As mentioned before, Google keeps releasing updates to improve the quality of its SERPs and ensure searchers can discover the information, services, and products they are looking for.
For a website owners, it makes it mandatory that they keep updating the content on the website and optimize older content as per Google’s updates. On our ranking tracking platform, Ranklogs, we noticed that most of the user websites that rank in the top 10 Google results update their content regularly.
You must keep track of the performance of your web pages and keywords. Any change in the rankings should be addressed immediately. To help you with the tracking, Ranklogs provides notifications for any ranking changes for the target keywords that you set. Our rank tracker is a complete SEO tool for keyword tracking and optimization.
You must create a monthly review of your web pages, or it can be quarterly if you have a large website. Updating content is also essential to keep outperforming the competition. There is no SEO strategy that is evergreen. Google keeps changing its algorithms, and you must keep matching the changes with content updates and optimizations.
Include pages that are not indexed in the sitemap
Google crawl bots look for pages on your website without assistance, but you can make it easier for them to discover your pages with a sitemap. If your web pages are not getting crawled, then it might be that they are not appearing in the sitemap and also have no internal links pointing to them.
Including webpages in a sitemap is critical for large websites as Google might have difficulty indexing all the pages for such websites. It can leave hundreds or thousands of pages out of the index simply because there is no easy way to discover them. Also, you have to improve the internal linking of pages on your website. Internal links that point to other relevant pages on your website must be present. It enhances the crawlability of your website and adds authority to the content.
It is part of the technical SEO, but not hard to get. You just have to ensure that there is a sitemap on your website that updates automatically as new pages are added, or any page is updated. Some plugins can create sitemaps for you if you use any content management system like WordPress. A simple sitemap fix can significantly reduce most Google index issues.
Remove low-quality pages with thin content
Google has to invest resources into crawling websites. It focuses on optimizing a site’s ‘crawl budget’ depending on how frequently the content updates on the website. But another important factor is the quality of the new web pages. If the content is thin, it indicates low-quality web pages and can affect the crawl rate of your website.
In the words of Google-
“The web is a nearly infinite space, exceeding Google’s ability to explore and index every available URL. As a result, there are limits to how much time Googlebot can spend crawling any single site. The amount of time and resources that Google devotes to crawling a site is commonly called the site’s crawl budget.”
If over time, your webpages are not showing the results you expected, then the low-quality pages can be an issue. Some common problems can be thin content, not fully-optimized pages, or lacking SEO best practices if you have to learn the important SEO best practices to optimize pages for indexing.
While there are several ways to optimize your web content, here are the critical best practices for every webpage.
- Optimized page title.
- Well-thought meta description.
- Internal linking.
- Page content with appropriate headings (H1, H2, H3 tags, etc.).
- Optimized Images (image alt, title, and description).
- Schema.org markup.
Do an audit of your website and see if there are web pages that can be optimized. Remove any pages that add no value to the site. However, do not remove a large number of pages at once. It might cause issues with the index on Google. Instead, make a list of non-performing pages, prioritize which pages can be optimized, and remove pages that do not offer any value.
Try to make pages unique
Adding value to a page is essential, but making it unique will help improve its crawl rate. Google wants to ensure there is some value to offer users in the web pages it is indexing. You will have an optimized page if you follow the three steps above.
However, now it’s time to ask how your page is unique from any other page on the internet. While the information might be the same, you can structure or represent it more user-friendly to make your web pages more unique. Take Wikihow.com, for example. The website has step-by-step tutorials for diverse topics, but it puts it in the best way possible. You must do the same with your web pages to make them stand out.
Check the robots.txt file for any issues
If you find none of the webpages are included in the index in Google, you must check the robots.txt file to ensure that you have not accidentally blocked the website crawling entirely.
Just open the URL https://domainnameexample.com/robots.txt in your browser to see what values are added. The following entry disables crawling on the entire website:
User-agent: * disallow: /
The asterisk sign indicates that this rule is for all possible crawlers. And the forward slash disallows crawlers to stop indexing the website beginning with the root folder. Also, check for any rogue noindex tags added to individual pages.
Google index optimization requires creating quality content that offers value to users. But it also needs improving the crawlability of your website. The technical fixes we listed help make your website easier to crawl. Also, improving the quality of webpages brings down your website’s crawl budget and increases the chances of a faster index by Google.