Search Experience Optimization (SXO) is becoming increasingly important every year. And this is due to the growing expectations of recipients towards websites, as well as intense competition. UX activities largely coincide with the elements of positioning. What are these activities? You can read more about it in the SEO for a User Experience Specialist article.
If you are interested in SEO and SXO, you should be aware of basic concepts such as crawling, page indexing, and ranking are worth knowing. Knowing these concepts is very important — it will help you better understand how Google works and thus also work more effectively with your SEO strategy.
What is crawling?
Crawling is the process of scanning your site. The purpose of crawling is to scan a website to correctly define its content. Google can find new websites on its own, but website owners often send information about their creations to Google to make the scanning process faster. The hosting provider may also be responsible for sending the message, for example, if the website is hosted on the Wix platform.
The crawling begins when the information about creating a new page reaches Google. Then, the content and visual elements of the website, as well as the website layout itself, are analyzed. Scanning your site will allow Google to decide which visitors and queries your site will be relevant to. That is why it is so essential to create a coherent, well-planned website — it has a significant impact on whether you manage to reach the group of network users interested in your offer.
The crawl budget directly impacts how quickly your site is scanned. It indicates the number of subpages the Google robot can check in a given time. Individual crawl budget is a result depending, for example, on the number of resources the search engine will have to use and how much crawl is handled by your server. If you want to improve the scanning speed of your website, take care of:
- improving the speed of the site,
- increasing the number of internal and external links,
- elimination of duplicate content,
- removing redirects to damaged pages.
What is Web Indexing?
Indexing the website is about thoroughly getting to know the website’s subject by Google. For this purpose, the content is analyzed, and the images, videos, and other data available on the website are cataloged. The structured information is then stored in a vast database owned by Google. Because the data concerning the website is included in such an index, the website can be displayed in the Google search engine.
The indexing process can take from several days to even several weeks. You need to be patient in this aspect — the content you create will not be immediately displayed in search results. However, there are proven ways to crawl your site faster.
How to speed up the indexing of your site by Google?
If you want to index your website quickly, do not wait for Google to notice it — make sure to inform the crawlers about the new content. You can use Google Search Console for this purpose. To do this, you need to copy the URL of the newly created page and paste it into the search window in the Indexing tab in Google Search Console. Then, if you see the information that the page is not indexed, click the “Request indexation” link to start the process. Thanks to this, you will inform Google machines about the new content for it to be checked.
Additionally, you should ensure that your website is technically easy to index. This will help Google machines move around your site, so you need to ensure that there are no usability barriers and improve URL detectability. To do this, focus on the following elements:
- Appropriate use of robots.txt files;
- Good internal link structure;
- Updating your XML sitemap (if needed);
- No unnecessary page blocking,
- Improvement of low-quality pages;
- Regularly reviewing Google Search Console reports for errors on the page.
If your domain doesn’t appear in search results, there are several possible reasons:
- Your site is brand new and has not been indexed yet,
- Your website is not linked to any external websites,
- Navigating your site makes it difficult for a crawler to index it effectively,
- Your site contains basic code called robot directives that blocks search engines,
- Google has blocked your site for spamming tactics.
What is Search Results Ranking?
Usually, ranking in search results is most interesting to website owners. This is Google's last stage of website analysis, which defines the website’s position in search results. The website is placed in the selected position by analyzing the data included in the index — Google tries to combine it with the appropriate user queries. For this purpose, Google also analyzes the personal preferences of users, such elements as, for example, location, language, and type of device used. Based on such analyzes, the website is automatically ranked.
- Crawling — is an analysis of websites by Google. The search engine scans the content of each URL that it finds (or reports).
- Indexing — this is the collection of found content on Google drive. If a page is indexed, it means that the page may appear in the search results for queries related to its content.
- Ranking — This is the order in which indexed results appear on the results page. The position in the ranking depends on the adequacy of the website content to the query entered by users.
Each of these factors is responsible for a different action, and what they have in common is that each of them affects your website's position in Google search results. That is why it is essential to understand them to run an effective positioning strategy.