So you've written your brilliant piece of content, optimised it for your chosen keywords, uploaded it to your site and now it's only a matter of time before it appears on Google — right?
Yes and no.
If you have a new site it could take days, or even weeks for your new content to be indexed. These kinds of delays can cause all kinds of issues, particularly if you are relying on that piece of new content to provide improved traffic or engagement.
If your new content/pages aren’t indexed by Google then it will be impossible to see any organic growth those pages could bring, so it's best to not leave this up to chance. Fortunately there are a few things you can do to ensure quicker indexation.
But before we look at ways to speed up the indexation process, let's define what exactly a web 'index' is and how 'indexation' works.
What is a web 'index'?
A web index refers to huge databases of information that power search engines. Each search engine has their own database for instance a search on Google won't serve you results from Bings web index.
How does 'indexing' work?
The databases mentioned above contain exabytes of information that are read by web crawlers or 'spiders' that proceed to sort the information into its library of databases ready to serve to users based on their search queries.
How can I get my site indexed?
We'll be using Google for this example - so, first off, its important to check if your site or page is actually indexed at all. You can do this by using the Google Search Operator 'site:' command followed by your domain. Checking the index status of this blog would read like this;
Once you've established whether or not your site is indexed on Google (in this case we'll imagine that it isn't), you can look at the the below steps to achieve quicker indexation.
One of the most common ways to help search engines index your website is by creating an XML sitemap. A sitemap is a list of important pages on your website and is written in a format called XML (extensible markup language) so search engine crawlers can easily understand it. By creating a sitemap, you’re helping search engine bots to navigate through your website, discover new content, and index your pages. It helps improve your search visibility and ranks new pages that don’t have any backlinks yet.
Internal links help Google discover content on your website - as Google crawls one page, it'll then follow the link to the next page and so on. If you don't include links to other pages on your site, it'll be more difficult for Google to find other pages and therefore it'll take longer to index your site. Providing links to other pages or articles in your blogs is a great way to begin this process. It's also a good idea to ensure there is a topical relevance to your internal links. For instance a page on dog walking linking to a page on real estate won't be highly relevant for your users.
Social Media Signals
To improve your site’s indexing process, you should share new blog posts on social media. This sends a positive signal to Google and improves your chances of indexing. For example Google regularly crawls Twitter and even shows a snippet in its search results - Tweeting your latest blog post will encourage rapid crawling.
Backlinks Backlinks Backlinks!
High-quality backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors to Google and having them in abundance will help boost your indexing.
Backlinks are simply links from other websites to your site or a specific page on your website. They show Google that your site is resource of good information, so good in fact that other sites want to reference you and your content. So, as you get links from authoritative websites, Google will see your site as trustworthy, and start to index your content more quickly. Check out this guide from SEM Rush for a wider explanation on backlinks.
Ensure There Is No Duplication
Google is highly unlikely to rank duplicate content, so make sure that there are no duplicate pages on your website. If there are, then it’s a good practice to remove them as quickly as possible.
If you’re experiencing any trouble indexing your website on Google, then giving these actions a try should remedy the issue.
If you're looking at improving your websites visibility be sure to check out our article on how to add rich snippets to your website to make your SERP listings more dynamic and entice searchers to click on your pages instead of others.