Ranking at the top of Google results from a series of factors, often called the “Algorithm.” One of the factors is the simplest: getting your site “in” the Google indexed. But how do you know if Google even knows your website exists? How do you know if your website is being indexed? And, if not, how can you get it into the index? Let’s investigate.
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WHAT IS INDEXING ON GOOGLE?
First, what is “indexing?” Here’s how to think of it. There’s the universe of ALL websites on the Internet (including yours, including mine, include Geico’s). Then there’s Google’s internal database of websites. The two are not the same. Think of it as “all the books published ever” vs. “all the books at the Tulsa Public Library.” For your “book” or “website” to even have a chance, it has to get “in” the library. For your website to even have a chance to rank, it has to get “in” the Google index.
ARE YOU IN THE INDEX?
Second, you can use the site operator to learn if your website is in Google. Important, it is actually more correct to find out if a specific page (such as your homepage or a landingpage) is “in” the Google index. Let’s use these examples –
- Sitewide Data. Try site:jm-seo.org – then look at the quantity. Top left – about 638 pages indexed. This tells us Google has indexed about 750 pages, so they are “eligible” to rank at the top of Google.
- Find out if a specific URL is indexed. You can take a specific URL and type it in to see if Google has indexed it. For example, I recently wrote a post on ‘Google Ads Credits‘ and I can see if Google has indexed this post by typing site:https://www.jm-seo.org/2020/04/google-ads-credits/ into Google. If it hasn’t, I can take steps to include it in the index. If it has, I’m good.
HOW DO YOU GET GOOGLE TO INDEX A WEBPAGE OR WEBSITE?
Finally, assuming a page is not “in” the Google index, how do you get Google to index it? Here are some strategies –
- Submit it to Search Console. I’ll assume you’ve signed up for Google Search Console. Next, simply log in and submit the URL you want indexed to Google. It’s not a fast process but it will usually get the page indexed.
- Link to your page from your homepage. Assuming your homepage is in the index, linking to the new page from your homepage usually helps it to get indexed.
- Create external links. Share your link on Twitter. Create a press release and include the link. Ask Grandma (who of course has a blog) to write about your new page on her blog. Google pays a lot of attention to what other websites do in terms of links, so these are also great strategies to get a page indexed.
OK, nerds! Start getting your blog posts, web pages, and overall web content “in” the Google index. That’s the first step towards success at SEO!