How does Google index a website?

How long does Google take to index a website?

Once your website is uploaded to the internet, the next step would be to tell Google that you have a new website. Google will visit your website to read the content, images, links, headings, tags, keywords and so on. This information is then added to all the other information gathered from websites around the world.

Google states that indexing a website may take anything from 4 days to 4 weeks. In my experience it takes around 2 weeks for indexing to complete.

Once indexing is complete, your website will appear on organic Google searches. Take note your website will probably not be on top nor even on the first page. It has just been indexed (added to the billions of websites already listed).

The next step is Page Ranking – only from this point forward your website starts to compete for a spot on top of the list.

how does google index websites

How does Google index my website?

Now that your site is live and you have invited Google to crawl (visit) your website to categorise the content, the next step is to compete for a spot (ranking) on the list of search results.

Exactly how Google works is a company trade secret.

This secret sets them apart from all other search engines like Yahoo, Bing and so forth. Google is just a company after all and want to retain and increase their market share. It also prevents people from abusing the system or finding loopholes by knowing too much. Google has various protocols in place to prevent people from cheating the system to get a higher placement on search results.

When a user enters a query, our machines search the index for matching pages and return the results we believe are the most relevant to the user. Relevancy is determined by over 200 factors, one of which is the PageRank for a given page. 

Google Webmaster website

The disclosed elements that Google considers when listing your website

Age of your website

New websites and web pages are created and deleted every day, therefore Google pays attention to the age thereof. Established websites have a higher value than brand new websites.

Content, Keywords and Code

Google doesn’t care if your website looks beautiful or not, it only cares about the content (information) and the code behind the scene.

Content that is rich with keywords, relevant and original attract more attention from Google. Content (typed text) should be relevant and well written since Google reads it and categorises the content by topic. Google search aims to provide people with the best and most relevant search results available. If your website contains poor content, you will have a poor result.

External Links

Where possible it is a good idea to create links from your website to others and better yet, if they link back to you. When another relevant website links to yours, Google counts it as a vote in your favour.

Avoid linking to random websites or allowing random websites to link to yours. Linking up with poor or irrelevant websites could actually damage your Google score.

A good link would be between the websites of a supplier and agent for a particular product or service. A bad link would be between the websites of a retirement home and a surfboard company.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Apart from keywords, there are many additional elements that Google considers when indexing your website, such as the quality of the code that sits behind your website, onsite elements such as headings, tags, image sizes and also elements such as website loading times and geo locations.

Compatibility

Websites should conform to compatibility standards, meaning that your website should be mobile friendly and responsive in adapting to any screen size it is viewed on.

Social Media

In recent years social media has been added to the list of known factors that influence where on the list your website appears. This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ among others.

Market Share

When your site is optimised and meet all the criteria that Google set out, your website has a final hurdle – popularity among the people out there.

Each product and service is unique and has its own market share in the real world. Certain companies will naturally appeal to a larger chunk of the population than others based on what they offer and who they are.

Those same real world people use the internet and Google. Be realistic in your expectations from your website and remember that a website is not a business – it is an information and marketing tool just like the newspaper, a brochure or advertisement on TV.

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