It takes between 4 days and 4 weeks for your brand new website to be crawled and indexed by Google. This range, however, is fairly broad and has been challenged by those who claim to have indexed sites in less than 4 days. Even though Google’s inimitable search engine works on an algorithm, the eternal math that’s happening behind the scenes can’t produce a single, solid answer for us. Still, a guideline of 4 days to 1 month gives webmasters a small amount of comfort while they wait to see where their page will appear in the search giant’s results pages.
How Sites Are Crawled and Indexed by Google
The entire process of indexing is handled by Google’s search algorithm and bots like the Googlebot, which have real-world limitations of hardware speed and physical space for servers. The bots run constantly as they turn the endless digital fields of lost information into over 100,000,000 gigabytes of index. In this way, Google creates a map of the infinite library of the visible Internet.
- Googlebot, the algorithm-equipped web-crawling digital robot, sets out to explore the Internet and stops at websites.
- When it encounters a site, it reads the information on the website according to instructions outlined in the site’s robots.txt file. Bots like Googlebot prefer to read text and follow links that they find to bank more information, and will follow sitemaps provided by webmasters.
- The content the bot discovers and what that content contains is sent back to Google servers, where it is added to a database.
- Information in the database is fed to computer programs that keep track of which sites should be crawled, how often bots should visit them, and the number of pages to fetch.
- Other programs determine the relevance and value of the content on crawled sites and reward the ones that meet Google’s strict criteria with rankings near the beginning of search results.
Googlebot has an affinity for new sites, changes to existing sites, and dead links. If you’re a new site owner and want your site to be indexed as quickly as possible, you may want to put the spotlight on your site using some of the methods listed below so that the bots looking for fresh reading are drawn to your domain.
Can I Make Google Index Faster?
Yes, many webmasters have found that taking steps to signal to Google that you’ve got a new, real website brimming with potential keeps the indexing time closer to the lower range of 4 days to 4 weeks. The steps follow the logic that making your site visible in the digital realm will also make it stand out to Googlebot.
Build a Site That’s Indexable
Before connecting your site to existing channels on the Internet, make sure your site’s structure is prepared for its very first presentation. Provide the following to the Googlebot:
- Value – Produce content with text that a Googlebot can crawl
- Ease-of-Use – Make sure you have a high ratio of text to code in favor of text
- Navigation – Include a navigation bar that links to all of the major and permanent content on your site
- Real Language – Use URLs on web addresses and alt text on images that explain the site content
- Direction – Check your robots.txt to see if it allows the Googlebot to crawl your site properly
These are search engine optimization basics that unlock the door to your website once the bot finds it. Delays in indexing may be caused when Googlebot can’t gain entrance even if it sees your site clearly.
Set up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the comprehensive, free web analytics tool that collects and organizes website traffic data into customizable reports. Connecting Google Analytics to your website is a way of saying “Hello!” to Google. Though data may not appear in Google Analytics until your website is indexed, it still sends a signal to Google that you’re serious about building your web presence.
Set up Search Console
Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, gives you more in-depth information about how your website appears in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and reports to you when Googlebot has a problem crawling and indexing your site. Before your site is initially indexed, you won’t receive any search console data. But showing Google that you are manually activating Google services sends another green light to Googlebot, who is on the search for all the green lights it can find.
As a bonus, setting up Google Search Console will also help you look for crawl errors so you can find ways to fix them.
Submit a Sitemap
If you want to create a sitemap, which is a rough outline of your site optimized for bots, take advantage of the Google Sitemap Generator. Though many content curation tools and website development kits now generate their own sitemaps, you’ll still need to submit one through Google Search Console. To do so, choose Sitemaps under Crawl in Google Search Console and click the Add/Test Sitemap button.
Google Fetch & Render
You can ask Google manually to send a bot out to your website via the Fetch & Render option or the Submit URL option in Google Search Console. Google makes no guarantees that submitting your URL will result in a crawl or indexing. Additionally, even if Google is able to render your website, having it fetched may not produce fast results. However, doing one or both increases the odds of an early detection by Googlebot.
Note: After performing a fetch & render, Search Console will provide an option to index what was fetched. Clicking this option further raises your chance of becoming visible.
Grabbing links to your site before it is indexed creates pathways to your site on websites that Google is already crawling. Just getting links is not as easy as it sounds, though. You’ll have to search the web for places that you trust, trust you in return, and believe in your website enough to offer you a link. Traditional networking and marketing approaches may help you earn links, so don’t be afraid to hit real pavement in search of links that will accelerate indexing.
While you’re searching for links, start developing digital relationships with your target audience, other business owners, webmasters through outreach. You can:
- Send emails to potential connections
- Look for guest writing and blogging opportunities
- List your site on directories (blog directories, business directories, etc.)
- Send out press releases
We are in an age of rule by social media, and whether you enjoy it or not, those who want attention to their websites and fast indexing must embrace social media tools as a means of creating links, customers, and fans.
Set Up Social Media
Choose social media outlets that you have the capacity to manage and make accounts for those. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn are among the most popular and well-used, but you’ll need a social media manager, a team of social media specialists, or the willingness to sacrifice the majority of your free time if you expect to keep a constant social media presence.
Create accounts with your business name and post links to your site as soon as it’s up. Most links created on social media are called nofollow links, which instructs bots not to go down the link’s path. However, Googlebot crawls social media quite a bit, and it will notice follow as well as nofollow links.
Anything Else I Should Know About Google Indexing?
Don’t fear the 4 days to 4 weeks range. Even 4 days gives you time to optimize your site so that when it finally gets indexed, it will top the SERPs. Before you begin signaling the Googlebot, read Google’s guidelines for valuable content and make sure each word you write adheres to them. Have patience, be active, and trust that Google and its hard-working team has the best interests of searchers in mind when it crawls and indexes.
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