Improve Your Google Rankings with a Properly Indexed Website

Oct 7, 2014

Unless your website is properly indexed, you’ll probably never receive the search engine rankings that you deserve; incorrectly indexed content pages are one of the leading causes of poor showing in the search results. According to Bill Hunt of Back Azimuth Consulting, SEO and or webmasters must check their Google Webmaster Tools account to ensure there aren’t any 404 errors or errors that will prevent the search engine from indexing your website inaccurately.

Google offers two highly recommended tools to help you manage your website, including getting your site indexed, which you should be taking advantage of – Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. You can sign up for free by visiting google.com/webmasters/tools.

Improve Your Google Rankings with a Properly Indexed Website

Once you have a Google Webmaster Tools account, you can begin your SEO journey to better search engine rankings for your website. Every successful SEO campaign consists of five basic steps:

  • Getting your webpages crawled by the Google robots.
  • Getting those crawled pages indexed by Google.
  • Performing on-page optimization of your web pages through the correct application of title tags, Meta descriptions, header and ALT tags.
  • Employing white hat off-page optimization techniques including back links and social media signals.
  • Monitoring your progress through a comprehensive tool such as Google Analytics and making corrections and adjustments as needed.

What Exactly is Crawling and Indexing?
Crawling is simply the process of Google sending a robot to automatically browse or crawl through your web pages and making note of the type of content you offer.

After your web pages have been crawled by the robot, Google indexes your pages by adding them to a list of pages that contain similar content. This index is composed of a screenshot of each page as it appeared on the most recent date it was crawled.

When a new search is entered into the query box, Google pulls up the index relevant for that keyword and displays the results. Exactly where in the search results your website will be displayed is determined by Google’s ranking algorithm, which is believed by many experts to contain up to 232 distinct ranking factors.

The web page displayed for the search engine user will reflect the most recent version of your content, which may not exactly match the indexed screenshot that Google made the last time it crawled your website. As long as you provide easy access to the Google robot, your web pages will be crawled again and again in order for the index to be continuously updated with your most recent content.

How to Get Your Web Pages Indexed
Whenever you add new content, be sure to invite Google to crawl and index it. From the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard, select the “Fetch as Google” option from the “Health” section. Enter the URL path for your new content in the text box and click “Fetch.” When the status indicator shows “Successful,” click the “Submit to Index” button. You have the option to submit a maximum of 500 individual URLs per week, or up to 10 URLs per month that contain links to all of your new content.

Create an XML sitemap to help Google find and index your content. This is basically an XML document that lists all of your web pages, and can be submitted to Google through your Webmaster Tools account. If your website is WordPress-based, you might consider installing the Google XML Sitemaps plugin, which will automatically update and submit a new sitemap to Google as new pages are added.

Link each of your web pages to other relevant pages of your website. In particular, link out to all of your pages from your home page. Just be sure that the total number of links doesn’t exceed 200 per page.