Today we’ll look at the impact of two important factors on SEO: search engine crawability (visibility) and indexability. But first, let’s see how search engines find web pages on the Internet.
How search engines find pages on the Internet
To find new web pages, search engines use special bots that search and index content. They browse sites like regular users, following links.
But search bots also see code that is not accessible to users. For example, alt attributes, description meta tags, structured data, and other elements that help search engines index content.
Brief meaning of the basic concepts:
- Site crawlability – the availability of web page content for scanning by search robots.
- Indexability – the availability of site content for indexing and display in search results.
Determining site availability for crawling and indexing
If the site is not displayed in the search results for queries related to your goods or services, then its content is not indexed or inaccessible to search robots.
What affects the availability of the site for search engines?
Here are just a few of the factors:
- Site structure: Can you get to the main page of your site from any other? Think about how you can optimize navigation through sections of the site and make it more convenient.
- Internal links to useful information: If the site has a blog post on a topic that you already wrote about in another article, make a link between these pages. This will allow search bots to see that the content is interconnected and will help them crawl the site more accurately.
- Code errors that reduce the availability of the site: txt is a file through which the availability of content for scanning by search robots is configured. But the content may not be available for indexing due to errors in the layout of the web page.
- Server errors and broken redirects: Such redirects not only increase the bounce rate but also do not allow search bots to access the content.
How to help search bots find and index a site?
After you solve the above problems, use the following recommendations:
Step 1: Submit Sitemap to Google
It is important to form a site map correctly. This will increase the visibility of the site in the search results.
The sitemap is located in the root folder of the resource. It contains direct links to each page of the site. Whenever content is updated, it warns search engines of the need to crawl the updates that have occurred.
Step 2: Update Your Content Regularly
Diversify your content. Add images, videos, slides, audio, and other formats to it. It will also allow you to index your content faster. Since Google and other search engines spend more time crawling and indexing sites that are regularly updated.
Step 3: Increase The Number Of Internal Links
Step 4: Speed up page loading
Page loading speed and site speed are different concepts. Page loading speed is the time it takes to display content hosted on a specific web page.
Google provides a tool for determining download speed measurements. Search engines allocate limited time to crawl and index any site. This is called the crawling budget of the search robot. Therefore, it is important to load the page as quickly as possible until the allotted time limit runs out.
In addition, a long load increases the number of failures and reduces conversion rates. It can also pessimize the position of a resource in search results.
Step 5: Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is a copy of the same material published on different resources. It’s hard for Google to figure out which instance of an article is more relevant to a given search query. Therefore, it is recommended to completely avoid duplication of content. In general, it is better to avoid duplicate content.
What else can be done?
# 1 Extra Tip: Limit Redirects
Redirects are automated using special status codes defined by the HTTP protocol. They are usually used in the event of a company name change, merging of two sites, conducting split testing of landing pages, etc.
On each page of the site should be no more than one redirect. Always use 302 redirects for temporary redirects and 301 for permanent redirects.
Extra Tip # 2: Turn on Compression
Compression is used to provide the server with smaller site size. Thanks to what its loading takes less time. As a rule, GZIP compression is already activated on the hosting. If this tool is not available, try using other compression tools.
# 3 Extra Tip: Optimize Your Images
On average, 60% of a web page’s volume is in images. A large amount of heavy graphic content significantly reduces page loading speed. Therefore, make sure all images are compressed.
Other recommendations for using images:
- Use unique images that are relevant to the web page.
- Strive for the highest quality possible.
- Use alternate texts for accessibility.
Additional Tip # 4: Watch for the size of the content shown above the first-page fold
The top half of the page is what the visitor sees as soon as he gets to the site. Put in this area the most interesting and compelling information you can provide. Verify that you have properly organized your HTML markup to quickly render any content. At the same time, its size should not exceed 148 KB (in compressed form).
Additional Tip # 5: Configuring Caching
Caching can reduce the loading time of web pages. This reduces the bounce rate and improves the SEO performance of the site.
Google experts found that increasing the download time by half a second can reduce the volume of attracted traffic by 20%. Therefore, download speed is an important ranking factor.
Additional Tip # 6: Minimize Resources Used
Minification includes removal of gaps and comments from the code. As well as other elements of the code that do not affect the operation of the site.
It is necessary to constantly optimize and effectively manage your site in order to improve its accessibility for search engines. The tips and tricks given in this article will help you with this.