5 Steps to Get Your Website Indexed by Google
Generally, Google and other search engines take up to a few months to crawl your website, understand it and eventually display it in relevant search results. The more time you spend waiting, the more opportunities you lose by not showing up in SERP. Have a brand new website? Here are five steps to take in order to speed up the indexation process.
It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but if Google hasn’t indexed your site, then it’s safe to say it isn’t going to show up in search results. That’s a real problem if you’re trying to grow your business by generating organic traffic to your website. Simply put, no indexation means no organic traffic. Period.
So, how do you get search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to index your site? There are 5 steps you can take to get things moving faster. That’s something you’ll want to do because the sooner you implement these steps, the sooner you can start generating traffic and growing your audience.
What is website indexation?
Before we get into the steps, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Website indexing is when search engines find data from a webpage and download it into their database. Then, the search engines process that data so that it can be displayed against queries made by searchers.
Unfortunately, the exact time it takes for a site or new piece of content to be indexed is still unclear, as Google does not give a definitive answer. Reported estimates range between as little as a couple of days up to several months. Fortunately, there is a way to check whether Google has completed the process.
To do this, enter the URL of your site into the search engine, along with the word “site:” before it. For example “site:mybusinessname.com”. The results will be a listing of all of the pages that are currently indexed for your site. If no pages show up, then your site has not been indexed. Not to worry though, here are five steps to get your site indexed faster:
Internal links refer to the hyperlinks found on a page that link back to other pages under the same domain. These are not to be confused with external links, which link to pages that are on another domain. Internal links are vital for search engine optimization (SEO) because they help Google do a better job at understanding the structure of your site. A good internal linking strategy will allow Google to recognize the most important pages of your website and prioritize those in search results.
Online Directory Listings
There is some debate surrounding the relevance of directories when it comes to indexing a site. Once a go-to strategy for many, their use has seen a decline in the last few years. Used properly, this strategy can still be quite effective. The goal, however, is to focus on quality and not quantity. Having your site show up on directories can build up its authority and help with search rankings.
Local directories can be very helpful for local search in that they draw actual people to your site. Make sure that your business name, address, and phone number are consistent across every directory. This will help the Google algorithm normalize its data, including the information for your business. Niche directories can also be effective, as they only list businesses within a certain industry or sector. These will help with indexing your site as well since they are built to highlight only real and relevant businesses.
Keep in mind, though, that you should never list in a directory just because you can. This strategy only adds value if you can learn to distinguish the good directories from the bad ones.
Create a Sitemap
To come up with its rankings, Google and other search engines essentially “crawl” through websites to search for relevant content. These crawlers examine each site and try to make sense of everything so it can be properly indexed. A sitemap also called an XML sitemap, provides a framework that Google can use to properly index your site. When you submit one, Google gives your rankings a boost, since it will be much easier to examine and organize the information on your site. The information a sitemap provides includes how frequently the site is updated and how each page is related by importance.
Prepare a Robots.txt File
Most people aren’t coders or developers, which means that the file titled “robots.txt” in your domain’s root directory isn’t likely to mean much to you. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. As the website owner, you can use the /robots.txt file to give search engine crawlers instructions regarding which pages of your website are appropriate to crawl, and therefore index, and which pages you do not want crawled and indexed. You must follow a very strict procedure when uploading your robots.txt file, otherwise, you could end up telling the crawlers to avoid your entire site.
There are other options to doing this yourself manually, such as using a free robots.txt file generator or hiring a professional to do it for you. If you choose the free generator option, just make sure to carefully review it afterward.
Create Social Media Pages & Start Sharing Content
If you don’t have social profiles set up for your website, you’ll want to get those going right away. Once you’ve created these for your business, make sure to link them back to your site in the account’s bio or “about” page. Your website’s homepage should also have links to all of your social media feeds. When you put up a post on your site, share it to your social media. Doing this sends a signal to the crawlers that you have updated content for them to come and index on your website. A social media strategy is a must for any online brand, and it is, therefore, a must for indexing and other SEO benefits.
If you’re looking to build an audience and grow your organic traffic, search engines need to be able to crawl and index your website. It may not happen overnight, but following the above 5 steps will help accelerate the process.