If you’re like many webmasters, you might already be familiar with the concepts of crawling, indexing, and Google bots. In the world of search engine optimization, indexing is a matter of records being kept about your websites.
Typically, when search engine bots visit your site, they perform their crawling activities, and then based on both ‘index’ and ‘noindex’ meta tags, they will add pages that have the index tags to their master search engine. That’s how you’re able to control just what pages of your website users of search engines can find and access.
First, you need to know what Google bots are and how indexing and crawling are different yet both critical to effective search engine optimization.
What are Google bots, indexing, and crawling? A Googlebot is simply the bot program that Google sends out to accumulate information about the many documents online so it can put them in the searchable index.
Crawling means the action the bots take to reach every possible online document/web page that might be displayed in search results eventually. It’s the process of discovering any new or updated information that Google should have in its database. Indexing itself is the process of actually adding the crawled content into the Google search database. Indexing might involve the analysis of specific elements like ALT attributes and title tags. When we worked on the indexing of our very own site, we targeted the big three search engines of Yahoo, Bing, and of course Google, but you can emphasise others if you want.
How Search Engines Index Your Site
The process the search engine starts with involves using a search engine spider, also known as a web crawler. It visits your site and then accumulates very detailed information.
Web crawlers start by finding a website’s home page, reading the head section first, then reading the page content, before following the links all across the web page. As such, you need to make sure that all of your links in your blog and website are active and working, as it helps the search engine bots find your updated or new content that needs to be indexed.
Once the global checking of all available websites is done, the bots go “home” to their master search engines.
At this point each search engine takes in all the detailed information that the web crawlers and search engine spiders brought them, analyzing all this new information. Every search engine has its own way of doing things. Having said that, most search engines will create a list of words based on the content and subject matter of the website, and this is used to index each site within the larger search engine system.
The encoded data gets saved in a storage space, where it waits until a search engine user prompts a response with a relevant search. When someone does search, the results returned are based on the words they type in, with the most relevant indexed results from the database showing up with the corresponding website links. You can take advantage of this by adding blog or site content regularly so that the search engines have a reason to keep looking over your site for things to index.
Before you try and index any new site, make sure you have enough content ready, since you don’t want Google bots crawling empty pages.