How To Index a Page: Tips, Tricks, & Tools To Use
To a stranger, the internet may appear to be a never-ending reel of connecting page after connecting page. To someone well-versed in the intricacies of the internet, the internet is a never-ending web of connections. Simply put, no matter who you are, the internet is impossible to wrap your head around to say the least. And yet, there are many attempts to do so. If you have ever used a search engine, such as Google or Bing, then you have firsthand experience of utilizing a tool which tries its hand at just this. These search engines, like nearly all, use indexing to organize every web page they come across. Another way of looking at this is as a digital library – on-demand information for those in search of it paired with the addition of new information every day.
When it comes to running a business, this is an important concept not only to realize, but become part of as well. Even the most functional, appealing, and well-designed websites will be rendered useless if they are not indexed by a search engine. Why? Well, say you run a website selling a very specific health and wellness product. Obviously, you want to attract customers and make money on your business venture. But if people search the web for something directly related to your business and nothing directly linking to your business is shown to them, they will never become those customers you desire. Author and entrepreneur Brian Carter summed this up, “You cannot get anybody to do something if they’re not paying attention to you.”
How exactly can you make this happen? Continue reading as we have more than a few tips, tricks, and tools to index a page.
Before anything else, know your stuff
The complex nature of the internet can quickly lead to confusion. Especially when dealing with all that happens behind the scenes of popular search engines. Before we move any further, there are a couple of things to get straight. First of all, indexing and site ranking are two very different things. While they are dependent on one another, the presence of one does not equate to the presence of another.
“When your page gets indexed, it joins the laundry list of other websites known by Google,”said Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB Sports. “In no way shape or form does it move up the ranks. That’s another game but one that can’t happen without indexing.”
The game being referred to here is known as SEO, or search engine optimization. After an engine has become aware of a web page through indexing, it ranks them according to relevancy by keywords and backlinks. SEO is the practice of designing web pages to rank highly. At this point it should be obvious why the two are so interdependent and why indexing needs to occur in the first place.
“There are no shortcuts to finding your footing online,” said Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer of Paradigm Peptides. “Indexing and SEO go hand-in-hand but it truly is a two step process.
Configure every single page correctly
Like it or not, indexing is all about what is happening on the technical end. Without an understanding of the intricate details, any effort you put forth will fall apart immediately. To get to the heart of the matter, each and every web page you post online has the ability to be indexed – but only if you have allowed this to take place. If you’re familiar with the early stages of how this works, you’ll know the term crawling – when a search engine’s backend scrolls through the web looking for new content to display when someone searches for a keyword. But, if you haven’t allowed your web pages to be crawled, they will never appear for curious people.
“A crawl block refuses Google’s request to add your website to their index,” said Asker A Ahmed, Director of iProcess Global Research. “It’s up to you to make sure it gets removed across your site.”
But this is not the only aspect of configuration that you are responsible for if your pages are to be indexed. Like the rest of the world wide web, your website will likely be evolving at every turn. The creation of new pages will eventually come to an end. Leaving you to routinely update your existing pages as time goes on. Failure to do so will only bring about negative outcomes. For instance, if your company has been selling a product long enough to where it has become a staple for customers, there will come a time where you upgrade and release an improved version of the product. But if a search engine continues to link to the old product listing, what good does this do you?
“Take the time to get to know all you can about canonical indexing tags,” said Kirin Sinha, CEO of Illumix. “Because if you don’t, the internet will update without you.”
Did you make the digital directions available?
If there was a sole be-all-end-all allowing the entirety of indexing to happen it would be the site map. To keep things simple, this is how Google and other search engines know how to navigate your website upon their arrival. Without it, these engines are more than happy to leave your site in the dust and begin indexing the sites from other companies as they have both designed and made public their site maps. Needless to say, don’t let this one slip through the cracks.
“Priority number one in any attempt to have your pages indexed should be to create a site map,” said Alex Novak, CEO of SLR. “There’s really nothing more fundamental to indexing than this element.”
Like so with numerous pieces of digital technology, this is far easier said than done. As we dig a little deeper into what makes a site effective, you will see why this is the case. There are multiple moving parts to a site map. Ideally, your map should give the search engine crawling your site an idea of which pages are more valuable than others. In turn, this means the engine will give priority to pages with higher value. Assuming you organize your pages correctly, this act can do great things for your indexing needs.
“Potential customers are interested in your product listings much more than your ‘contact us’ page,” said Jae Pak, Founder of Jae Pak MD Medical. “Site mapping gives you the capability to do just that via search engines.”
Become a student of Google Analytics
Learning curve and digital literacy may as well be synonymous in the dictionary with all they have in common. Suppose you were faced with a topic you are entirely unfamiliar with. To understand it completely, you have to accept the learning curve that comes with this. Otherwise, you will never make any progress in gaining the knowledge necessary to overcome said learning curve. That is the goal after all – to make the learning curve for a given topic a thing of the past for yourself. But what if the learning curve is constantly changing? As someone who relies on the internet for your income, you’re living this. And Google is here to help.
“Google Analytics should be your best friend in the world of web page indexing,” said Sean Doherty, General Manager of Box Genie. “As with any good relationship, it’s gonna take some work. “
Taking this a step further is necessary here as well. Google is not the only search engine and they are not even close to the only outlet providing insight and statistics about the indexing taking place within your proverbial walls. The long and short of this is, consider your options when choosing what to do about your indexing web pages.
“indexing has morphed into this absolutely vital part of e-commerce,” said Andrew Meyer, CEO of Arbor. “It has reached the point where there are indexing specialists and you might want to think about this.
Seek out and repair any orphaned pages
The internet is far too vast and complex to assume that it will continue on in perpetuity without a single hiccup arising. The widespread presence of numerous IT experts and even companies support this idea – there is always something technology-related to be repaired. Indexing is no different. The frequency and drastic way in which every nook and cranny of the internet changes leaves a wake of problems in the rear view mirror. Unfortunately, you’ll have some pieces to pick up related to your web pages from time to time.
“Orphaned pages happen when there are no longer links in existence which bring users there,” said Marcus Hutsen, Business Development Manager of Patriot Coolers. “This isn’t a worst-case scenario but it’s pretty high up on the list.”
Should this happen to you, and it likely will, it is not the end of the world. Not all content will live forever so there is a time and place to let a web page go quietly. However, some pages are worth saving though the solution to this is unlike flipping a light switch.
“To resurrect an orphaned page, you’ll have to go in and retool some of the content for it to appeal to others,”said Matt Masiello, Chief Marketing Officer of BabyBuddha. “From there, you have to establish new relationships for new web page links to be possible.”
Like the rest of online and digital marketing, you must be head and shoulders above rival businesses in your indexing efforts and plans if you are to find success. Canadian writer Arjun Basu had thoughts on this, “Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.”