Indexing and Site Maps

Indexing and Site Maps

Indexing and Site Maps
Google is the largest system of indexed content ever developed. To be included in the index, Google has to first know about and catalog your website, blog or other web pages. Designing and publishing a website does not mean it will automatically pop up on Google.

Google has to index your site in order for it to be crawled and ranked in search results. It’s like adding a new song to your music library so it’s a permanent component; or adding a business to the yellow pages. In order for your website to be found in a search, it has to be included in the “listings.” Regardless of the technology used to build your website, you want Google to be able to easily and correctly index your pages. If Google is unable to index your website you will not appear in search results.

The simplest way to have Google index your site is by manually submitting a sitemap to Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Central). Bing has a similar platform called Bing Webmaster Tools. The sitemap provides search engines with the structure of a webpage.

How do you get Google to index your site?
Ensure your website is crawlable, with regular server response, and content that crawlers understand (something as simple as a misplaced character in the robots.txt file of your website can block all bots from crawling your website).

Verify your account with Google Search Console. There are multiple ways to verify your website, follow the instruction carefully and you should have no problem to get instant access to all the tools Google offers webmasters.

Indexing and Site Maps – Getting it Right
Submit your sitemap. Both Google and Bing offer testing tools to check if your sitemap is set up correctly and nothing is blocking the bots from crawling the website, make use of this option and avoid frustrations later on. This will help ensure your website is correctly set up for Google and Bing.

Again, none of the above will guarantee overnight indexing by Google, but it will definitely help to decrease the time it takes. According to Google, websites can take anywhere from a couple days to a month to be searchable on Google, but more often than not, websites show up in search result pages within a week.