What if I say, that you can spend hours and hours to create high-quality content, you can spend nights to build links and citations around the internet, but it will land to nothing.
A lot of websites have been facing crawlability and indexability issues on their multiple pages recently. Several factors can cause poor crawlability and indexability to a website.
And if your website suffers through the same, your pages won’t be crawled or indexed much often, which will lead your website to a dark corner as you won’t rank anymore with that.
The importance of crawling in SEO is quite higher and one should consider it in the top priorities.
So first of all, let’s start with what is crawlability and indexability of a website. Then we will discuss what causes the issues and how you can fix them easily and fast.
Get on the ride, we’re going on a hunt to find the easiest solutions.
Let’s start with the basics,
What Is Crawlability And Indexability?
You can create some excellent content with targeted keywords, worthy of ranking high on SERPs, but they still won’t rank if they aren’t crawlable.
The Crawlability of a site is how well the bots of search engines can crawl your site’s content without ending up on a broken link or dead end. If the bot ends up too often on broken links or a robots.txt file stops it to go further, the bot won’t be able to crawl your site correctly. In that case, Google won’t be able to know about your website pages and searchers won’t be able to see them.
Indexability is the next step of the process.
Indexability means: It measures the ability of Google to scan and add your website’s pages to its index. Indexability is quite important as if Google has crawled your site but hasn’t indexed it, it won’t show on your website on the search engine result pages, you need to get it done to rank.
What Cause The Problems For A Site’s Crawlability and Indexability?
There are a number of factors that can cause issues to a site’s crawl ability and indexability. Some of them are listed below to keep an eye on:
Structure of website
The structure of the website is an important factor. Check whether a user can get to the main page of the website from any other page. You need to make sure that one can easily move around your website and he doesn’t find a dead end.
Internal linking helps crawlers a lot to easily navigate and scan your website. If your website has a service page or a blog that mentions a topic that you have already written about on some other blog or page, you can add a link there to that page of your website. This helps bots to think your pages are interrelated, which is a quite good thing.
There are some of the website technologies out there that do not support or are no longer crawlable by search engine bots. So make sure you are not using one of them, two examples of them are Ajax and JS, which really do stop bots from crawling your website. Likewise, check the programming language of the website and make sure you’re using a new/updated one.
Robots.txt is a text file that is used to stop or instruct bots about which specific page you don’t want to get crawled. As there are some instances when you don’t want Google to crawl some specific pages. But you have to check that the pages you do want to get crawled do not have any code error preventing bots to go through.
If server errors do happen often on your websites, the visitors will more likely leave your site and hop on to another one, as they want information fast and easy. This will do a lot of bad to your website as it will not only increase bounce rate but it can also stop crawlers to access your website content and index it on Google.
Likewise, keep an eye on broken redirects as they lead to the same problem. If you find these issues, you must solve them as fast as possible.
5 Ways To Make It Easier For Google To Crawl And Index Your Website? (+ Bonus Tips)
As we’ve already discussed some of the factors that lead a site to serious crawlability and indexability issues. So, first, you need to take care of them.
Now, if your website doesn’t have all those issues, let’s talk about the things that can help you make it easier for Google to crawl and index your website’s pages.
Submit Your Website’s Sitemap
A sitemap is basically a small file, that is kind of a map of your website and contains direct links to pages of your website. You have to submit a sitemap of your website to Google through Google Search Console.
The sitemap will keep Google aware of your content and all the updates that you make to it.
I know, we’ve already talked about how internal links can cause issues to your website’s crawlability. It also helps Google to crawl your website faster and easier when you have strong interlinking between the pages of your website.
Keep Updating Your Content
Content is no doubt the most important part of your website. It doesn’t only attracts visitors and convert them to your customers but it also improves a site’s crawlability.
Google Bots do visit the sites more often that keep updating and adding new content, which increases the frequency of the bots crawling and indexing them.
Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content can cause much harm to your website. It can make your pages lose rankings on search result pages. But also it decreases the frequency with which a bot crawls your site leaving your pages unindexed.
Fasten Your Website
Web crawlers actually have a limited time period to crawl and index every website. This is called the google crawling budget. So, if your website ain’t fast enough the bot will crawl your pages slowly and will leave your website once the time of its crawling budget is up.
So, the simple equation is quicker your pages load, the more of them will be crawled and indexed before the time runs out.
What Else Can Be Helpful?
Now, if you’ve completed the above list and still finding ways to improve your website’s crawlability and indexability, let’s dive deeper.
Now let’s look up to the deeper part of the website and the factors that affect the crawlability and indexability of a website. But before doing these, make sure you’ve completed all the things mentioned above.
A URL redirect is a web server function that takes the visitor from the searched URL to another one. They are automated through HTTP protocol. They usually come in handy during a change of business name, merging of two websites/companies, and various other reasons.
The more redirects a page would have, the less a bot would be able to crawl or index that page. Even if you’ve to use the redirects, use a maximum of one redirect on a page. And you should always use 302 for temporary redirects and 301 for permanent ones.
Compression does help a lot as it reduces the load time of the website. Usually, gzip compression is used as a standard practice. What compression does is eliminate the unnecessary data which makes it easier and faster for the webserver to load your website for the visitor.
As per the surveys, a website’s 60% size is taken up by images. This can considerably slow down your page’s load time. So you have to keep an eye on images, make sure you’re not using unnecessary image resources, keep sure they are always compressed, scaled to fit, and resized. Some of the other practices for using images in content properly are :
- Only use those images that are relevant to the page.
- Aim for the compressed and possible highest quality format.
- You can add captions down the image to make them easily understandable.
- Never forget to add “alt text”.
Look For The Caching Policy
Page caching helps you to shorten the time it takes for your web pages to load, lowering bounce rates and improving your site’s search engine rankings.
According to Google, a half-second variation in page load times can lower online traffic by up to 20%. As a result, many search engines consider page load speed to be a critical element in determining where your website should be ranked.
Make sure you’re using browser caching to restrict how long a browser can cache a response when you set up a caching policy. Tags can also be used to ensure that efficient revalidations are available.
Now that you’ve done all the hard work to create a crawlable link(s) and a complete crawlable website. Let’s see how to run a Google crawler test to determine if your website’s pages are getting crawled and indexed or not.
How To Check The Website’s Crawlability And Indexability?
The procedure’s quite simple:
Step 1: Go to Google Search Console.
Step 2: Open/Add your website’s property into it using the email account made to create the website.
Step 3: Click on the search icon showing on the header “the index checker”.
Step 4: Paste the link you want to check and check website Crawlability and Indexability.
Or you can add the Sitemap into the Google Search Console and it will show you all the pages that are having issues.
Why You Should Get A Crawling And Indexing Audit?
Getting crawling and indexing audits done can literally decide your SEO campaigns’ future.
If Google doesn’t know that you exist or if it ain’t indexing all your pages, all the hard work that you would put in content creation and link building will go to nothing.
We suggest you should get it done every 3 months and every time you make big changes to your website to keep the relationship between your pages and crawler bots happy.
There are tools namely Screaming Frog and Ahrefs’ site audit feature that can detect most of the above-mentioned problems easily and free, so you don’t have to bug yourself out.