Last Update: September 16, 2019
Ranking on search engines isn’t an exact science. The algorithm that determines website ranking relies on hundreds of elements. Google Search uses bots to seek out information on websites. Professionals refer to this as “crawling.” Crawling is how the search engines find new and updated pages to add to the index. Therefore, understanding the basics of crawling can help you understand if Google even knows if your site is there.
Know the Crawl Stats for Your Website
Google offers a free service, called Search Console, to help websites understand how their site performs. Search Console provides analytical data that can help you boost your understanding of SEO ranking to help you increase your visibility on the web. This tool shows when the Googlebots last visited your site. Knowing your statistics about how often Google crawls your site will help you know if your efforts are working or not.
According to Google, “crawling and indexing are processes which can take some time and which rely on many factors.” It’s estimated that it takes anywhere between a few days to four weeks before Googlebots index a new site. If you have an older website and doesn’t experience crawling, the design of the site may be a problem. Sometimes, sites are temporarily unavailable when Google attempted to crawl, so checking the crawl stats and looking at errors can help you make changes to get your site crawled. Google also has two different crawlbots: a desktop crawler to simulate a user on a desktop, and a mobile crawler to simulate a device search.
How Can You Boost Your Crawl Rate?
Google indexes billions of webpages. As a result, it would be impossible to crawl every page, every day. As with any business, Google has to use its resources wisely. If your website has errors that don’t permit access, then Google won’t keep sending bots to your site. More importantly, Google won’t send users to your site, which will decrease traffic and tank your online marketing efforts. Google wants users to have a good experience, but when bots can’t access your site, or find the relevant information it’s looking for, Google decreases your ranking in search engines.
Google’s algorithm cares about quality content. You can have wonderful blogs, landing pages and other data on your site, but when Google bots can’t search your site to find and index that content, it doesn’t do you any good. Although Google doesn’t guarantee website indexing, you can encourage Google to crawl your site more frequently.
Check server connectivity errors.
Use the Search Console to check for errors and usability issues. Then, fix those issues to let the bots crawl your site.
Use inbound links.
An inbound link is a link from another website that tells Google your site has some authority. Others are sharing your content, which makes the search engine rankings take notice. The higher authority of the links, the better. Having local agencies link to your site is good; however, if you can get a site like Forbes or Huffington Post to link to your site it is even better.
Make frequent site updates.
Add new material to your website. Fresh content encourages bots to search your site. Add a blog as a platform to generate new content. Write about your employees, your industry and your products. In addition, include other types of content, video, pictures, graphs and interactive content.
A sitemap outlines the pages on your site. Bots read the sitemap, which tells Google how often you update your content. Google itself says that a sitemap doesn’t guarantee indexing, but it can help the bots learn about your site.
Submit your link to search engines.
In Search Console, you can submit your sitemap to Google to ask the bots to crawl your page. Similarly, you can submit your link directly to search engines. If you have other pages that rank well, you can link your new page off those existing pages.
Check the technical SEO aspects of your content.
Make sure you have great titles that showcase the content of each page. Write great meta descriptions that identify the content on the page. Keep URLs short, under 50 characters. Furthermore, make sure that the page loads quickly.
Sharing is a great way to encourage bots to search your own site. First, share your content on social media. Second, distribute content within your industry communities. Third, find influential sites where you can offer guest blogs. And finally, ask guest bloggers to write for your page. Get influencers in your industry to link to your page.
Is Your Site Reaching Its Full Potential?
SEO isn’t an exact science. It’s a secret algorithm that defines website ranking. Even so, there are tactics that you can do to help your site rank higher in search to drive traffic to your site. At Boostability, we have decades of experience and millions of bits of data. Ready to learn more and start getting your website ranking? Contact us today to set your website up for success?
This post was originally published December 2018 and has been updated with current information.