How Do Search Engines Crawl Websites?

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In order to successfully optimise your website, you firstly need to understand the process of how search engines crawl and index websites to appear in the search results. Understanding the core logic behind search engines will give you essential knowledge before you start optimisation work, saving you time but primarily preventing you from making potentially damaging actions on your website.

Before we go into how search engines crawl websites, it’s important that you understand the true nature of search engines such as Google and Bing. It is imperative to remember that Google is a business first and a search engine second; these big search engines do not provide organic listings, they sell ad space which then makes them revenue.

Any layout changes to the search results are made to benefit them and their advertisers, which is making organic SEO difficult as it is pushing the number 1 organic listing below the fold. Due to this, we always recommend a combined SEO and PPC service so that you achieve maximum visibility with PPC but long term traffic with SEO for long tail keyword searches that do not contain ads.

How Search Engines Index Websites

In the simplest form, indexing is the process of Google adding your web pages into the search results. Whenever a new page is created on your website there are a number of different methods to getting your page to appear in Google.

How To Get Your Website Indexed

Looking for the easiest way to get your page appearing in Google?

Do nothing.

Google’s crawlers follow links throughout entire websites, so if some of your web pages are already indexed and the new page is linked to from various pages on your website, Google will eventually find it and add it to the search results so users can find it too.

That’s the easiest option. But what if you want your page to be found right now?

If your content is very timely or you have made essential changes to your website after a manual penalty, there are several ways in which you can help Googlebot find your page faster.

Faster methods are often used after critical changes have been made or you want to be able to identify when pages were added into the index to compare metrics.

Here are a few ways to get your web pages found faster than if you were to wait:

XML Sitemap

In short, your XML sitemap is a list of all the URLs you want Google to find and index on your website, with other important information such as when pages were last modified. In order to get your new web pages indexed, submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console. This is definitely a step we recommend to our clients for faster indexation times however it is not instantaneous so not 100% reliable if you need your content indexed in a small timespan.

Fetch & Render

In Google Search Console there is a little gem of a functionality that not many people know about, so we’re here to tell you about it to make your life easier!

In Search Console, if you go to the Crawl section in the left navigation then click ‘Fetch as Google’ you will be able to enter the URL of the new/amended page you need to be indexed and click Fetch. Once it returns your URL, you have the option to select ‘Request Indexing’.

Once you have requested indexation, your new content should appear in the Google search results within minutes!

Submit to Google Search Results

Too lazy to log in to Search Console or forgot your log in details? No problem, you can request indexation directly in the search results itself.

Simply search for ‘submit URL to Google’ and a submission form will appear for you to be able to enter the new URL that you want to be indexed. Even better, this process seems to work just as quickly as submitting through Search Console itself. Other search engines such as Bing also have this functionality.

Google Plus

Lastly, and arguably one of the simplest ways of getting your new content found, is posting the new URL to Google Plus! Many businesses have opted to stop using Google Plus in favour for other social media channels however, as Google has to fetch the URL in order to display the images and description of the URL, it is definitely a quick way of getting your content indexed instantly!

Want an expert opinion on how your website looks in the eyes of Google? Get in touch to find out how we can help you succeed.

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