Indexing a website is a rather complex but indispensable step. It consists of saving it in the database of a search engine. In our article, we explain in detail how to properly index your website on Google .
There are many cases that can lead us to check whether our website is well indexed on search engines, and Google in particular:
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- in the case of the creation of a new website, once finalized and open to the public, it is hoped that all the pages that compose it can appear on the engine on relevant keywords and receive qualified traffic,
- in the case of a redesign of a website, if this redesign is not only graphical order (improvement of design), but also involves a change of CMS platform for example, such as passing from a blog under Blogger to a WordPress blog, it will be interesting to check whether the new site has been indexed by search engines
- and finally, in the case of a drop even a drop in traffic and audience on its website, observed for example by checking its visit statistics on an analytics tool (Google Analytics by example), or just because you notice that you receive less order, fewer calls or less request for quotation
So let’s find out the different methods to check if the pages of a website are well indexed.
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1- The easy method: ordering site:www.siteweb.fr
Google offers many commands that can be used within its engine to refine search results. The one that will help us in our current need is the order “site:www.siteweb.fr”. Indeed, by entering this command on the engine, you tell the latter that you want to display all known pages in their database that are an integral part of the website in question. The engine will therefore return an overall result, followed by a list of all the pages of which it is aware of. An example with site:emarketerz.fr, to know the number of pages indexed on Google concerning our website: the result is 562 pages indexed
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This trick is convenient because it does not require any particular technical skills on your side, and above all it also offers you the ability to check the same for any website, especially those of your competitors. Indeed, knowing the number of pages of a competitor site , you will know, from a quantitative point of view, how many pages it would take to compete with it.
Note that the number of pages of a website is a good indicator for estimating the weight of a competitor. However, it will be necessary to check in a second step whether these pages are of quality and well positioned on relevant keywords, as this data in absolute does not necessarily mean that the site in question is 1st on the targeted keywords .
2- The technical method: the use of Google Search Console
If you want to have more details on your pages, including detailed statistics to track the evolution of your SEO, Google has been offering for many years a free tool called “Google Search Console ” (which was previously called “Google Webmaster Tools”). This service allows you to check the health status of a website: you can see in a few clicks the number of pages indexed, but also the possible indexing errors, the problems encountered on pages that can impact your SEO (duplicate title tags, for example, or some pages that return a 404 error).
In addition, you will have access to very valuable information on your website, such as:
- Check the number of engine bots (called crawlers) whose role is to index and update the content of the pages on the engine,
- Identify incoming links, called backlinks or netlinking in SEO jargon, and pointing to your website
- Be alerted by Google in case of problems encountered on your website which could negatively impact your SEO,
To obtain this access and valuable information, you will need to follow a simple procedure to prove to Google that you are the owner of the website.
Google Search Console: the step by step to index your site
The Steps main ones to follow are the following:
- register on Google Search Console
- add the URL of your website
- authenticate the ownership of this website with Google (it offers several methods: adding a file that it will read on your server, authentication via your Google Analytics account, adding a tag in your html code…)
After registration and authentication, the data will not be accessible immediately, but will be populated as the start date of the creation and validation of your Google Search Console account. Unlike the first “site:” method seen at the beginning of the article, accessible to everyone (even to your competitors), the second method via “Google Search Console” is private and the data present on the platform will only be accessible only by the owner of the website , or any persons with whom he will have shared access.
Indexing and positioning, two different but complementary steps in SEO
Indexing is the first step, then remains positioning on relevant keywords. It should be noted that the notion of indexation must be differentiated from the notion of positioning. A website can have all of its pages indexed on a search engine, but do not receive any visits and appear nowhere in the first position in the SERP. We know, from statistics, that the majority of users will simply click on the first results without deepening the search or even going to the deep pages of the engine.
Google SEO: how to position your site in the first results
For position your website at the top of the search results, many points will be to work, including:
- the source code of your pages in order to facilitate the reading of its content by engine crawlers, and also the structure of your website,
- the quality & quantity of text uploaded, as well as the enrichment of the website with new regular content and/ or updating existing content,
- popularity of your website through relevant and regular inbound links (backlinks)