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How to Improve Indexation: Making Google Notice Your Content

The internet is truly massive and each day, Google diligently crawls a massive chunk of it, though their capacity to crawl and index the entire web is finite. Every indexed webpage is physically stored on a hard drive in data warehouses here on Earth, consuming resources and real estate.

For businesses and brands seeking to harness the power of organic search, understanding the intricacies of indexation is crucial. While it may seem like Google could increase its indexing capacity, the reality is that it comes at an exorbitant cost in terms of hardware and resources. So, if your content isn't getting indexed, maybe it's time to shift your perspective and figure out why.

What Does Indexation Mean?

Indexation refers to the process of collecting and storing a websites pages so they can be served as a search result when someone performs a search within a search engine, like Google or Bing.

If a website or its pages are not indexed by Google, it cannot be found on Google search. We can tell Google and other search engines NOT to index our pages by utilizing the robots.txt file (found on most domains, and if you don't have one, that's an SEO issue within itself), or by adding 'noindex' tags to pages.

Your Content Must be Worthy

When it comes to improving indexation, the responsibility doesn't solely lie with Google and other search engines. Google is constantly inundated with an insane number of articles and web content in general, much of which covers similar information or is straight up duplicated. This means that your content needs to rise above the noise and truly prove its worthiness to stand out.

You need to focus on providing content that not only meets users' needs but exceeds their expectations. Your content should aim to become a valuable resource in its niche or industry.

This can require in-depth research, unique perspectives, and a commitment to delivering information that is not readily available elsewhere. Content that offers genuine value and answers specific user queries is more likely to capture Google's attention.

Programmatic SEO Is Not the Answer

Google's algorithms are incredibly sophisticated and constantly evolving. They prioritize content that provides real value and relevance to users.

Enter the world of AI. Services like ChatGPT can create content at scale, but that doesn't mean you should use it at scale. Remember, AI tools get all of their information from other sources on the internet, meaning that its probably not going to generate unique content that no one else has.

Don't get me wrong, AI-generated content has its place (I used ChatGPT to help me with the outline of this article, as an example). Google prioritizes high-quality content, regardless of whether humans or machines generate it. But rather than relying on AI tools to create a ton of content for you, it's important to adopt a more holistic approach where possible to create content that is unique and of the highest quality.

Remember, its all about user intent and making sure your content aligns with what users are genuinely searching for. Google rewards content that genuinely serves the user's query, so focus on creating content that answers questions, solves problems, and adds value.

Publishing More Content Isn't Always the Solution

Pumping out a ton of content isn't going to improve your indexation. It's all about quality over quantity. Your content needs to stand out. This means providing a fresh perspective, original research, or unique insights into a topic.

When users visit your content, they should leave with a sense that they've gained something valuable and meaningful.

Hacks Are Short-Lived

While it may be tempting to resort to quick, "hacks" to improve your website's visibility and indexation, Google's algorithms are designed to detect and penalize manipulative strategies.

Long-term success in SEO requires playing by the rules and building a solid foundation, from the technical SEO all the way to the keywords found within your content.

Trying to outsmart search engines with black-hat techniques may offer temporary gains, but they almost always result in long-term setbacks.

Invest your efforts in creating high-quality content, optimizing your website for user experience, and building authoritative backlinks through legitimate means (collaborate with a media site in your industry, as an example). This will take more time in regards to building ranking and traffic, but it leads to longer lasting success within search engines like Google.

Indexing Is Not Guaranteed

Remember that indexing is a privilege. To ensure your content gets noticed and indexed, you must earn it. Begin by evaluating the overall health of your website:

Consistency in Signals

Are you sending consistent, reliable signals to search engine crawlers? Ensure your technical SEO is on point, with clean code and efficient site architecture.

Technical SEO is mostly about uncovering inefficiencies within your site. These can be things like crawlability, indexability, rendering and more. The reality is that most websites have technical SEO issues.

Information Reliability

Is the information on your website trustworthy and accurate? Google values content that provides real value to users, E-E-A-T matters. E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Google defines high-quality pages as pages with a high level of E-E-A-T (Google added the Experience factor in 2022).

Always remember to include structured data around the authors of content, the content itself and any other relevant company information (Pages that serve as an FAQ can also greatly benefit from structured data).

Efficient Crawling

Efficient crawling is the backbone of successful indexation. It's the process by which search engine bots navigate and explore your website, determining what content to index and how frequently to revisit your pages.

To improve indexation, you need to make Google's journey through your website as smooth and obstacle-free as possible.

Site Speed

Google prefers fast-loading websites because they provide a better user experience. Slow-loading pages can frustrate users and deter them from engaging with your content. To address this, optimize images (serve them in next-gen formats like webp), reduce server response times, and leverage browser caching.

Tools like Google's PageSpeed Insights can help you identify areas for improvement, along with Google Search Console's "Core Web Vitals" report. Any time you make a core update to your site, you should be checking your vitals to make sure that things aren't slowing down for your users or Google.

Mobile-Friendly Design

With the mobile-first indexing approach adopted by Google, it's super important that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. Your site should adapt seamlessly to various screen sizes and devices.

Responsive design not only enhances user experience but also makes crawling easier for search engines. You can use tools like Google's Mobile-Friendly Test, or Search Console to determine if there are any mobile issues with your site.

XML Sitemaps

An XML sitemap is like a roadmap for search engine bots. It provides a structured list of all the important pages on your site, making it easier for Google to discover and index your content.

Regularly update and submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console to and make sure it stays current. the sitemap itself should always be mentioned in your robots.txt file as well.

Robots.txt File

The robots.txt file is used to give instructions to search engines about which parts of your site to crawl and which to avoid.

While this file can be a valuable tool, it should be used carefully. You can easily block Google from accessing important content on accident or with an incorrect directive.

Regularly review and update your robots.txt file as needed.

URL Structure

An organized URL structure not only benefits users but also makes crawling more efficient. Use descriptive, meaningful URLs that reflect the content of your pages. Avoid using complex query strings or unnecessary parameters that can confuse search engine bots if you can, thought its not a deal breaker.

Some enterprise-level sites will use query parameters within URLs when serving dynamic content at scale. This is where structured data and trying to include as much unique content about each page starts to get more and more important. This would include making sure that all title tags, header tags, etc. are unique as well.

Internal Linking

Internal links are like pathways within your website, guiding both users and search engines to important content. Your internal linking structure should be logical and user-friendly.

Use descriptive anchor text that provides context about the linked page's content. You don't want to send a user to a page about the Nintendo Switch, when you're using anchor text focused on Playstation, as a simple example.

Fix Broken Links

Broken links or 404 errors can disrupt the crawling process and lead to a poor user experience. Regularly scan your website for broken links and address them promptly. You can use various online tools and plugins to identify and fix broken links, but also Google Search Console typically has a page report that details all of the detected 404 links that Google has run into as well.

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content can confuse search engines and dilute the value of your pages. Make sure that your content is unique and that canonical tags are correctly implemented to specify the preferred version of a page when necessary.

Sometimes duplicate content can be created without you even realizing it. I've seen websites publish something to multiple categories, which gave each version of the content a unique URL, causing duplication.

Duplication can also be caused by inconsistent usage of a slash at the end of a URL, among other things.

Structured Data Markup

Implementing structured data (schema) markup can provide additional context to search engines about the content on your pages. It helps search engines understand the nature of your content, potentially leading to more accurate indexing and extra features for your site listing within search (also known as SERP features).

The Complexities of Indexation

Making sure your site and its pages are both crawlable and indexable is extremely important, and you can tell there is a lot more to it than just simply creating content or pages, and the responsibility doesn't solely lie with Google and other search engines.

Quality content, a well-structured URL, internal linking, and addressing issues like broken links and duplicate content can further improve your website's chances of successful indexation.

Implementing structured data markup can also add valuable context for search engines and additional SERP features which can drive more traffic to your site.

If you're currently having issues with getting your site properly indexed, contact RankRealm today! We can address the issues head-on and determine where crawlers are having trouble.

Lets improve your indexation.



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