Google crawling and indexing are terms you have probably heard while diving into the deeply dynamic waters of search engine optimization. For the analyst team at Radd Interactive, Google’s index is our lifeblood, and the same goes for internet marketing institutions worldwide. It is the foundation upon which our efforts are built. With that being said, we are going to take a deeper look into the technicalities of Google’s indexing process, and explore the ways in which it affects the success of businesses and websites.
What is Google crawling and indexing, and how does it affect my site? GoogleBot is a special software, commonly referred to as a spider, designed to crawl its way through the pages of public websites. It follows a series of links starting from the homepage, and then processes found data into a collective index. This software allows Google to compile over 1 million GB of information in only a fraction of a second. Online search results are then pulled directly from this index. A fun and easy way to think of it is as a library with an ever-expanding inventory. The strategic optimization of webpages works to increase visibility amongst these search results. The way your website is mapped out via text links can greatly enhance the overall effectiveness of GoogleBot’s crawl. Substantial SEO practices include optimization techniques geared toward both GoogleBot and the search engine results pages (SERPs). Ultimately, the more clear and concise your site map and content is, the more prominent your pages are likely to be overall. What is website crawlability? Crawlability refers to the degree of access GoogleBot has to your entire site. The easier it is for the software to sift through your content, the better your performance within the SERPs will be. However, it is possible for crawlers to be blocked, if not from your site as a whole, certainly from select pages. Common issues that can negatively affect your crawlability include complications with a DNS server, a misconfigured firewall or protection program, or sometimes even your content management system. It should be noted that you can personally manipulate which pages GoogleBot can and can’t read, but take extra care to ensure that your most important pages do not get blocked. What can I do to optimize my site for GoogleBot? Here are a few tips and suggestions in regard to optimizing your website for the GoogleBot crawler:
- Guide GoogleBot through your site using your robots.txt file. Blocking the crawler from unimportant pages will cause the software to spend its time on your more valuable content.
- Fresh Content. Google loves fresh and relevant content. Updating old pages or creating new ones will spark the crawler’s interest. The more frequently you are crawled, the more chances you have to increase performance. However, this only applies so long as you make quality updates. Always make sure your copy is well-written and not overstuffed with keywords. Poorly written content will only have a negative effect.
- Internal Linking. Internal linking by way of anchor text links, or ATLs, helps direct the crawler through your site. A tightly consolidated linking system can make GoogleBot’s crawl much more effective. You want to be deliberate when writing ATLs. Only link to pages that are relevant to your content or product, and make sure the destination can not otherwise be accessed from the current page’s navigation bar.
The performance of your site within Google is a many-layered thing, and it is important to remember that GoogleBot is always crawling. At Radd Interactive, our analyst team works to perform strategic optimizations that enhance a site’s performance as a whole, keeping into consideration GoogleBot’s appetite for fresh, relevant, and easy-to-digest content. Optimizing for the GoogleBot crawler helps ensure your website is being crawled and indexed both thoroughly and efficiently for the best possible results.