Indexing is an important part of what a search engine does. Without indexing, all the pages Googlebot crawls don’t have a place to live — and the ranking systems don’t have the input they need to do their work. If Google can’t index your site it can’t appear in the search results.
The Basic of Search
Let’s start by looking at the absolute basics of what a search engine does. A search engine is an amazing technology, but how it works comes down to three main parts: crawling, indexing, and ranking. Crawling is about crawling the web and finding content, indexing is about reading the pages and putting them into a database, and ranking is about determining which page to rank for a specific user query.
A search engine needs to discover content to add it to the big index. The process of doing this is called crawling, as it literally uses robots to crawl the web for new and updated content. These crawlers use links and sitemaps to find content that may be useful to users. After finding that content, the indexing process begins. By improving your crawlability, you can determine how well your site performs with or against these bots.
Indexing is about understanding the content and filing it in the right place. After finding the content, Google has to read and understand it before it can place it in the correct bins. To do this, you must first parse the page or, in other words, translate it into a computer language that you can understand. Once this is done, it renders the page, as a normal browser does, to discover the content and how it looks. When it’s done, it uses the signals and information from that page to archive it to the appropriate location within Google’s index, also known as the large archive.
Lastly, a search engine must have a way to rank results based on a user’s query and present it appropriately to the user in the SERPs. The classification process is about understanding the question the user is asking and retrieving the most relevant content to answer those questions. Classification algorithms heavily influence this process and have many variables to go on.
After finding the most relevant results, a search engine delivers them to the user in a way that makes sense. This could be a regular place in a SERP or something rich like a knowledge panel, or something local if the topic is locally oriented.
Indexing at Google
Indexing is the process of organizing data in a structured way with the goal of helping you find information quickly when requested. Search engines crawl millions of pages, extract the data, and put it into a large container called an index. Without a proper and highly optimized index, search engines would have no way for their algorithms to quickly extract relevant content.
The indexing process has a couple of steps. After discovering a piece of content during the crawl process, an analyzer will examine it and determine what it is. The parser recognizes structural elements such as titles, links, headers, and more. It also identifies the text and tries to connect words to themes and entities. During parsing, you may encounter errors that make it difficult for the parser to fully understand the page.
If the page translates well, the system will use a browser and try to render it to see a more accurate picture of the content, layout, and user experience. All of these factors determine how a search engine views and rates your site. All of this influences your search performance.
After reading the page, the contents (text, images, videos, etc.) will be analyzed and classified in the index. The data will be ranked and weighted to determine its relevance. For that, Google uses an inverted index to assign all words to place in the index, making them easier to discover during the ranking process.
How to Index Faster
Roll out the red carpet for Google, so to speak, if you want your site to be properly indexed. You should do everything you can to make your site easy to crawl. Eliminate technical barriers and improve the visibility of your URLs.
Keep your robots.txt file clean and don’t block pages you don’t need to block. Update your XML sitemap, check the pages you have, accidentally? — not indexed with robots meta tags. Improve your internal link structure. Do you have a lot of underperforming pages? It might be a good idea to do something about these low-quality pages. Also, regularly check Search Console to see if Google found errors on your site. There are more things you can do to optimize your crawl budget.
In other words, make sure your site’s technical SEO is on point. Fortunately, Yoast SEO can help you with many technical aspects.
Please note that it may take a while for Google to index your site. It’s also possible that it won’t index everything you have. In the case of indexing, having better content helps. If Google finds the millionth bad article on a popular topic, you won’t get a high priority from them.
A search engine must do three things before presenting your content to visitors: crawl, index, and rank. In this article, we give you a basic overview of the different processes, with a focus on indexing. By improving your technical quality and the quality of your content, you increase the chance that Google will successfully index your pages.