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Google index. What, how, and why?

Learn how to get Google to index your website today!

Google indexing is a process that enables the pages on your website to exist in the search engine. What does that really mean? The simple version is: if you don’t get Google to index your website, your website does not exist in the Google search engine. Google is the most dominant and prominent search engine, so you want to make sure that your website is indexed. 


Brief Summary


The Google index is like a giant library with all the websites that appear in the Google search results. When you search for something on Google, it looks through this library to find the most relevant websites to show you.

We know it sounds strange because you are probably looking at your website right now thinking ‘Well, no you are wrong. My website does exist.’ And you are right, but it does not exist in the way it matters. For example, you are a new website owner and have just created your new website, and you are super excited to Google it. If you try to Google your website right now, you will discover that your website is not a part of the search results. You need to have Google indexing your website so that your website can be accessible to people who search for the type of services your website is providing. When you get Google to index your website, you are basically telling Google ‘Make me available to the world.’.  

Once Google has indexed your website and is accessible, you are in the race to get your website visible and, more notably, in the top ranks. Because at the end of the day, we all want our websites to be ranked the top of the top. 

We know it might all sound very technical but don’t worry, this article will guide you with how to get Google to index your website and thoroughly understand what you are doing in the process. It’s easy to follow the steps in this article to help you set up, but we will also help you feel comfortable learning about what it is really that Google does when indexing your website. So, buckle up. 

What is Google indexing?

Think of Google index as a giant library filled with books from all over the world. Not only that, think of it as a library filled with several thousand of books with the same content, with minor to major tweaks, but all authored by different people. 

Here is an example; you want to buy a book and, on the shelves, you see ten different books with the same content but written by other authors who have all interpreted the book in their own way. How would you know which one to choose? Thankfully, Google decides for you and lets you know which one is the most reputable and most-read. This is how we should think of websites as well. 

Getting indexed by Google is a three-step process: Crawling, indexing and ranking. We will try to explain the process as it can, at times, seem overwhelming. If you are already familiar with the process, then scroll down to get to the nitty-gritty part of improving and helping Google with the indexation process.

Pay attention to Modern Content Management Systems, commonly called CMS, as they might add JavaScript into the indexing process, subsequently resulting in the three steps above being expanded and perhaps even delayed a bit.

Crawlers, spiders and bots.

Let’s get into the three steps of the indexing process. 

You might have heard terms like crawlers, spiders, and bots. Crawlers, spiders, or bots (it’s up to you what you want to call them) have a mission. Their mission is to pass by your website and collect and record everything in the process. To simplify it a bit, these spiders (as we like to call it) are a software programme. Google tells these spiders to check every website and download the information to evaluate the page. The spiders usually go through links, so if you have linked internally to another page on your website, the spider will go ahead and pass by that page as well. This is a way for you to tell Google to crawl your website faster and more efficient. 

Your website must be up to date because these spiders record it and pass it back to Google to evaluate the pages. Over time, most of the information they have collected and recorded will show up in the search engine where Google believes it to be relevant. Spiders would not pass your website if you did not get Google to discover your website. They simply cannot download your website’s pages and information when they have not discovered that you are out there and ready to enter the race. 

The visit from the spiders is not a one-time occasion. In fact, once the spiders know of your existence, they will frequently visit to make sure that they have the correct information that they are feeding back to Google. The more reputable your website is, the easier it is for the spiders to find you. The same applies to links, the more people, who are respectable and have reputable websites, link to your website, the more likely the spiders will discover you early on. 

Getting indexed by Google

Once the spiders have completed their mission, that’s when Google will start indexing your website.  Of course, Google will first evaluate and determine if they should index your website (add your book to the library) or not. They will analyse your content to see if it’s relevant and valuable. They will also check to see if and how your pages are rendered. Something to keep in mind is that Google has become pickier when deciding which content to index. Their quality-filtering process has advanced, making it even more crucial to produce top of the line content and always keep it fresh and updated. As mentioned previously, bear in mind that the spiders will return frequently and pick up on any changes to your website. They will determine whether to store your new material in their Google index (or the library metaphor we have used to simplify things). 

Ranking in Google

We have reached the third and final step of the process. Once the spiders have crawled your website and collected all the information that is important, Google starts indexing said information. Once Google has completed the indexing process, your website is available in the search engine. The more interesting content you produce, the higher the chance that you will rank in top. Ranking high in Google is essential in order to ensure traffic to your website. And increasing your traffic to your website is something that you should aim for. Use marketgoo to increase your online traffic, a great tool that will start your SEO journey.

What is an XML sitemap?

Google processes something called XML Sitemap. We know what you are thinking; here comes another word that seems way too complicated. Don’t worry; it’s not. An XML sitemap is basically an instructional document that informs Google of the pages that you want Google to look at and index (basically, what Google should put in the library for later use). It’s a map containing information on where Google can find these pages; you can even tell Google which pages you don’t want to be discovered. Or you might want to let Google know that you have changed something or added a new product to your page, you can write it down on your sitemap and let Google handle the rest. 

You might also wonder what XML is, XML is a language file used to structure data. It is a language that is both human and machine-readable. So not exactly like coding but kind of like coding. The difference is that even if you don’t know a coding language, you will likely still understand XML.

Once Google has discovered your pages on your website as you requested, Google will start crawling your website. Keep in mind that the XML sitemap will not guarantee that your website will be crawled by spiders or indexed, it’s just a precaution to ensure that you have all your ducks in order. To guarantee spiders are crawling your website, make sure that you have added your website and the XML sitemap to Google Search Console. Once you have requested indexing, on Google Search Console, you have guaranteed that the crawling process will take place.

8 tips on how to improve and help Google with the indexing process.

Getting your site indexed in Google might take a lot of time. Fortunately, there are several things you can do speed up the indexing process.

  • Content is essential. Make sure that you write useful and relevant content for your visitors. 
  • Titles. Your titles must also be relevant and valuable. 
  • Headings that convey the information of the content to the reader in one single glance.
  • Use text instead of images to help the spiders. They can still figure it out, but their lives would be simpler if we used text more, so let’s try to do that and help our friendly spiders. 
  • The speed of your site. The quicker the speed, the easier for Google to index. 
  • URLs. Structure your URLs well and make sure that it is straightforward. 
  • Add your website and XML-sitemap to Google Search Console.
  • Ensure that your pages link to each other internally on your website.

Is your website not being indexed by Google? 

There is an easy way to determine if your website or some pages on your website are being indexed or not by Google. Type in site + your specific URL into Google’s search bar. It should look something like this: site:one.com/en/online-marketing/google-index.

If you get zero results, then no, the page you have typed in has not been indexed by Google. 

If you want to find out how many pages Google have in fact indexed on your website, you can type site:one.com. The search engine will show the number of pages immediately. 

If you want to get a better and more accurate insight into your website’s indexing, you can go to Google Search Console.

7 possible reasons why Google is not indexing your website. 

We will provide you with some explanations to why your website is not being indexed by Google. This will hopefully solve your problem if Google can’t or won’t index your page. We will also help you to get Google to index your website faster. We are about to get technical, hang in there.  

  • Robots. 

We know, another word that sounds strange. Robots.txt is a text file that your webmaster or hosting company has created to instruct the spiders on how to crawl your website. It also lets the spiders know if there is a page that you do not want to be processed. Sometimes, these robots.txt files cause problems resulting in Google being unable to index your website correctly. To fix the issue, simply remove crawl blocks in the robots.txt and let the spiders roam to their heart’s content. 

Go to your domain, for example, one.com/robots.txt and remove these two codes: 

These codes are basically telling the spiders that they are not allowed to crawl on your pages. And we obviously don’t want that. Remove it, and the spiders will crawl your pages enthusiastically. 

You can decide which spiders or user-agents you want to allow to crawl your site – either by allowing all using the code “User-agents: *” together with “Allow: /” or specific bots like Googles Googlebot by using the code “User-agent: Googlebot” together with “Allow: /” 

Tip: While editing your robots.txt file, it is a good idea to give the spiders the direct path to your sitemap.

  • Noindex. 

If you have <meta name= “robots” content= “noindex”> in the code of your website, the noindex part being the keyword here, then you are telling Google not to index the page. We obviously don’t want this to happen either so you should remove it.  

You can find this information by going to your website, right-click somewhere on the page and click “Show page source” – now you should search or look for the text noindex – it could look something like this.

PS. If it is the case that you do want Google to stay away from a page on your website, type in the same information as above (noindex) and it will do the trick. 

  • Your page is not included in the sitemap. 

This one is relatively easy. As mentioned above, your XML site map tells Google which pages (the essential ones to you) that you want Google to index. Ensure that all your pages are included in the sitemap (even the ones you might believe is not essential but still a page you want to get indexed). If all your pages are in the sitemap, then you are making Google’s life easier in the indexing process. A quick way to check if a page is in your sitemap is by typing in your browser, for example, yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml and search for the url of the page you want to verify is a part of the sitemap.xml file that Google reads.

Since the spiders crawl your pages on your website by following links, you must add internal links. This will make it easier for Google to index the pages you have linked. You are basically instructing the spiders on where to go next. 

  • No good content.

We know that we mentioned this a few times, but it can’t hurt to mention it one more time. Content is important. Make sure that your content and material is inspiring to users as Google will not index pages with low-quality content.

  • Low-quality pages – not to confuse with low quality content. 

Spiders only have a certain amount of time a day to crawl your pages. Consequently, they might not get the chance to crawl every page on your website. This is something to think about before you publish a page. If it is a low-quality page, then you should probably rethink posting it. Do you want to steal time away from your other pages? Focus on your high-quality content and let the spiders crawl what is essential. 

  • Backlinks. 

Just like internal links, backlinks are vital for your website. For example, Google’s spiders might find your website through a backlink. Think of it like this, if someone is linking to your website then that’s an indication that your website is of value and that the spiders should check your website out. 

You made it to the finish line!

I hope you are well-versed with how Google indexing works, the process’s steps, and even some solutions if you have been facing problems with Google indexing your website.

We want to finish this article with one more piece of information.

Remember that Google indexing does not equal ranking; indexing is only a pathway for you to enter the race. The fun starts here, really. We understand that you have indexed your website, you are looking to increase your traffic and rank at the top and perhaps even win the race. You can do this by optimising your website. Also, read more about all the various ways you can improve your online marketing.

Ranking at the top of Google’s search engine will not happen overnight. You need to follow your SEO carefully to increase the number of visits to your website, organically. There are several things you can do to improve your search engine ranking. Most significant is your site’s content; it needs to be relevant for people visiting your site.