Indexing (SEO)


What Is Indexing in SEO?

Indexing is the process by which Google crawlers store and categorise information and content they find on websites, ready to be displayed in SERPs.

Why Is Indexing Important?

Ensuring your website is optimised to be indexed is essential, because it determines whether or not your website will appear in SERPs.

If you have not optimised your site correctly, important pages may not be indexed, or alternatively elements of your website that you don’t want to be discoverable in SERPs will show up.

This in turn can lead to decreased traffic to your site and lower ranking. Or, it can result in duplicated content and orphan pages being visible. 

This will negatively impact UX (User Experience) and potentially be interpreted as black hat techniques, leading to penalties and decreased website authority.

How Does Indexing Work?

Indexing happens when Google crawlers jump from link to link finding new web pages. They use either a sitemap or previous tracking data to locate content and information. 

They then process this information and analyse it based off a range of factors including the quality of the content, keywords, meta tags and the number of words on a page. This information is then stored, to later be displayed in SERPs.

How Can You Optimise Your Website for Indexing?

It is important to ensure that you make a crawler’s job as easy as possible, and don’t put any obstacles in the way that prevent your site from being indexed. 

Some best practices include:

1. Use Google Search Console to Check for Any Crawl and Indexing Issues

This is a good way of checking whether or not your pages are being effectively crawled. If you find your pages aren’t being crawled, you can act accordingly to make sure that the right pages on your website are being indexed quickly.

2. Create and Submit a Sitemap

This will ensure that the crawlers are able to locate the right pages on your website and avoid the ones you don’t want to be seen. Here using robot meta tag and canonical tags is key. It will also help you to prioritise the pages that are most important.

3. Block Pages You Don’t Want the Crawlers to Index

Poor quality pages are not good for SEO. They weaken UX, increase bounce rate and reduce dwell time. Therefore, block pages with a no-index tag, or a 301 redirect.

4. Use Internal links

Providing a good network of internal links means that the Google bots will discover your web pages more quickly, and improve your crawl budget accordingly.

5. Be Proactive

You can influence indexing directly by using Google Search Console, entering the URL you want the Google bot to visit, and press fetch. This will instigate crawlers to visit your site and index it quickly.

How Can We Help?

Not sure that you’re getting the indexing of your site right? If you contact us today, we can match you with a marketing team that will scour your site for problems and help you fix them.

In the meantime, why not join one of our training courses where you can learn our favourite SEO practises and implement them upon completion.