This article looks at how Google search works and how Googlebots crawls the web. Alex delves into the importance of submitting sitemaps for indexing and optimization of your page.
How Google Search Works – Why Nobody Should Miss This Opportunity
Google is used by billions of people around the world. Data from Internet Live Stats shows that the search engine now processes over 3 billion search queries every single day. That equates to almost 35,000 searches a second! Whether you’re searching for the latest headlines or researching different products, you get relevant search results in a fraction of a second.
Ranking your products or services means more traffic and sales for your business. Increasing visibility in the search results starts by understanding how Google crawls the web and organizes that information in its index. Here we’ll breakdown the major aspects of how Google search works.
How Google Crawls the Web
Automated programs called crawlers or Googlebots scour the entire web. This process is known as crawling and starts with pages that have already been crawled before. Googlebots go from link to link, and continually add newly discovered pages to its ever-growing search index. Algorithms determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many pages to fetch.
The first step to driving traffic from SEO (search engine optimization) is for Google to crawl your site. You can submit a request to have Google crawl your site but it can take up to a week or two. You’re much better off doing the following:
- Submit a sitemap: A sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on your site. Think of it as the table of contents for a book. Once you create a sitemap, you can then submit it through Search Console.
- Build new links: Googlebots work by following the vast network of links that sprawl the web. By building links to your site, you’ll make it easier for Google to discover and crawl your pages. Ways to build links include submitting your site to directories and doing outreach with other relevant sites.
How Google Indexes New Pages
Google doesn’t crawl the whole web whenever you perform a search query. That would be incredibly inefficient. Instead, results are returned from an existing database known as the index. The index itself contains hundreds of billions of pages and continues to grow in size as more pages are discovered.
Just being in the index isn’t enough to rank though. As new pages are crawled, key signals like title tags and even how fast a site loads are noted. Google relies on complex algorithms that weigh hundreds of these signals when determining which pages are relevant for a search. This all happens behind the scenes in a fraction of a second.
The algorithm is constantly being updated to make it easier for users to find relevant results. It’s estimated that Google makes hundreds of changes to its ranking algorithm each year. Some are major changes like when Google made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor while others are minor.
Understanding how pages are indexed means that you can optimize individual aspects of your site to increase its visibility for relevant keywords. These include:
- Optimizing your title and headings to include your keywords
- Adding rich media like images and videos to your content
- Implementing a mobile responsive design
- Improving your site load time
These are just some ways that you can improve your site’s visibility in the search results. Others like building links from relevant sources also have a positive impact on your rankings.
Whether you own a local storefront or sell products online, you simply cannot afford to overlook the importance of optimizing your site. Otherwise, you risk losing a major competitive advantage online. And that means leaving sales on the table.