It is useless to have a website or online store with a great design, exceptional usability and accessibility, and high-quality functions and content if in the end no user visits it.
Getting visibility for a web project is essential to attract visitors and achieve the objectives set. To achieve this, it is essential that the URLs that make up a website are indexed by Google and that they thus appear on their results pages when users perform a related search.
Next, we will see what indexing is, how a website can be indexed in Google, and how to know if the content of a website is being positioned.
What is indexing in SEO?
Indexing is a process by which Google or another search engine examines and evaluates a website, to properly add it to its ranking . Google crawlers visit a website from time to time to check for modifications, and thus update their website database.
When a page is said to be indexed in Google , it means that it is already included in its database and may appear in the SERPs after searches related to its keywords.
Why should my website be indexed?
The main and very important reason why a web page should be indexed in Google is so that it can appear to users when they search for its related keywords.
If a website is not indexed in Google, it means that it is not within its database, so it will never appear in the results pages or SERPs. Without a website URL that is not indexed, you will not be able to get organic traffic as it will be invisible to Google.
Google only shows pages in its SERPS that are indexed.
Tips to index your website in Google
Google likes dynamic websites that offer new content on a regular basis. If a web page, eCommerce or blog constantly updates its content, Google bots will visit it more often, making any new page added much faster.
Don't be short of internal links
The internal linking helps to navigate more fluidly and easily on a website, giving it a logical structure. With a good internal linking, it will be possible to make better use of the crawl budget or tracking budget, facilitating that Googlebots access all the URLs of the value of the site, to be able to index them appropriately.
There is a very fast and simple way to “force” the indexing of the pages of a web. It consists of the creation of a sitemap file, usually in XML or text format, which includes a list of all the URLs to be indexed, making it easier for Google to review and include them in its database. data.
The sitemap file is submitted to Google through its Search Console tool. In the left sidebar of GSC, there is an option called sitemaps, from which you can select a file to send it directly to Google.
The robots.txt is a file that Google bots check at the beginning of crawling a website. In this file you can establish rules that favor the indexing of the site’s URLs, preventing bots from wasting time on URLs that they do not want to be indexed because they do not add value, being able to dedicate that site to crawling the webs really important to index.
Rules can be added to robots.txt to prevent Google bots from visiting certain pages of the site.
Common mistakes in content indexing
Let’s look at a series of mistakes that are usually made in relation to the indexing of content on a website:
Don't use a sitemap
This is the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to indexing, as it is a quick and easy way to speed up indexing. If a sitemap is not used, it will be necessary to:
- Wasting a lot of time uploading the different URLs one by one to Google Search Console so that they are indexed.
- Wait for Google bots to pass themselves through the website to index your content (an indefinite process that can take a long time).
Keep in mind that, although the sitemaps file can be created manually and custom, in most cases it will be enough to generate it automatically (a process that only takes a few seconds).
Creating and uploading a sitemap file is a free and very simple process, which will only take a few minutes.
Bad robots.txt file configuration
This file is very useful to prevent Googlebot from wasting time crawling uninteresting URLs on your site. However, if misconfigured, robots.txt can tell Google not to index certain important pages on the site.
When configuring the robots.txt file, it is very important to review and verify that no important content will be blocked.
Index duplicate content
Not using canonical links to indicate original content is a mistake made by many websites, especially e-commerces. Duplicate content is penalized by Google with a worse positioning, so it is important to be careful when positioning similar or related content, such as different similar products of an eCommerce.
Index low-quality content
We must avoid indexing thin content or low-quality content since Google will penalize the web positioning if a site has many URLs of this type.
Not optimizing the crawl budget
Although Google is a true Internet giant, its resources have certain limitations and there are millions of websites that it must crawl. For this reason, Google bots only have a limited time to crawl each site.
Not optimizing this crawl budget, telling Google which URLs it should not visit, is one of the most common mistakes in content indexing.
What content on my website has Google indexed?
To find out the content that Google has indexed from a web page, blog or eCommerce, you can carry out two different actions: use Google’s own search engine, or go to the free Google Search Console tool.
Checking in search results
From Google’s own search engine, a specific search can be carried out to be able to check which URLs of the site are indexed. To do this, you must use the command site: in the Google search bar, followed by the domain of the who wants to know the pages that are indexed.
The search format would be the following:
When entering a search of this style, on the Google results page obtained, a list will be displayed with all the URLs of the site that are indexed, that is, that they are in the Google database and that, therefore, users will be able to find them.
Checking in Google Search Console
Using Google Search Console you can find out the content or pages that Google has included in its database. To consult this information, follow these steps:
- Access the Google Search Console web platform (which has to be linked to the website).
- In the left side menu select the URL Inspection option.
- Enter the URL of the page you want to check.
- See if it is already included in the index.
- If it is not indexed, Google Search Console will offer the option to index it (a process that will be carried out in a few days after your request).
We have seen what indexing is and why it is essential that the different URLs of a web page, online store or blog are indexed as soon as possible.