If you want to be listed on Google, Google must be able to discover, evaluate, and index your content. What’s the difference between these steps and how can you facilitate the process?
1. Web page discovery
Google must be able to find your web pages somehow. In general, new pages need at least one link from another web page before Google can find that page.
When you publish a new page on your existing website, it’s usually enough to link to the new page from one of your existing pages. If you have a brand new website, you need links from external websites.
Without links from other pages, it’s unlikely that Google will discover your web pages. The better the linking web pages are, the faster Google will discover your pages.
2. Web page evaluation (this is where things can go wrong)
After discovering your web pages, Google will evaluate them. Google will parse the HTML code of your pages. There are many things that can go wrong at this point:
- Your web page might deliver the wrong HTTP status code. If your web page looks fine but sends a 4xx or 5xx HTTP status code to search engines, then Google won’t consider your page.
- Your web page might contain unwanted indexing instructions. For example, the page might contain a canonical URL that points to a different page, or it contains a robots meta tag that tells search engines to ignore the pages. In both cases, Google won’t consider your page.
- Your web pages might contain low quality content. If the page does not contain many words, or if the page contains content that Google finds dubious, Google might not consider your page.
- If your web page is password protected, Google won’t be able to evaluate the content.
- If your robots.txt file does not allow search engines to access the pages, Google won’t evaluate your pages.
There are many things that can go wrong when Google evaluates your web pages. Use the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to remove all errors that can have a negative impact on your rankings.
When Google has evaluated your content, it will add your pages to the index (if there haven’t been any problems). To check if Google has indexed a particular page of your website, enter site:https://www.yourwebsite.com/page-url/ in Google’s search form (replace everything after site: with the actual URL of your page).
The actual positions of your web pages depend on many different signals
Being in Google’s index doesn’t mean that your website will get a particular position in the search results. The position of your web pages depends on many different factors. The most important factors are the relevance of your content to the search term and the quality of the links that point to the page.
SEOprofiler offers many more SEO tools that help you to improve the position of your web pages in Google’s search results. You can try SEOprofiler here: