Search Engines use web crawlers (computer programs that browse the World Wide Web in an automated way) to create a copy of all the visited pages that will later be processed and indexed to provide the basis for the search results.
When the crawler, also called spider, visits a web page, reads it, and then follows any hyperlinks it finds to other pages within the same domain. This is in short the basic procedure followed when a site is being “spidered” or “crawled.” The spider returns to the site on a regular basis to look for changes. How often it returns depends on the frequency of updates and overall importance of the site.
Everything the spider finds goes into the second part of the search engine, the index. The index, sometimes called the catalog, is a giant database containing a copy of every web page the spider comes across. Every time a web page changes the database is updated with the new information, allowing search engines to take a query from users and return all the pages on the index that match it.
Sometimes it can take a while for new pages or changes that the spider finds to be added to the index. Thus, a web page may have been “spidered” but not yet “indexed.” The big difference is that if a page is not in the search engine’s index, it will not appear in search results.
Among the common issues inexperienced webmasters encounter when trying to index their site are missing submissions, that occur when search engines are prevented from indexing a website because they simply don’t know the site exists. One way they find a website is if through links from other sites. Another is by submitting directly to those search engines where you wish to have the site crawled and indexed.
Once it has been already indexed your site might already be coming up as a search result, but might be buried behind the competition. To see if your site is indexed, go to a search engine and type site:www.yourdomain.com (where ‘yourdomain.com’ is your domain name) in the search field. If your site displays as a result, it’s indexed. Your next step is to optimize your website and improve its search engine rankings.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving internal and external aspects of a website, or Web page, to increase its organic visibility for search engines. SEO involves editing the website’s HTML code and content to make it more search engine friendly, and then promoting the site to increase its relevance on the Web.
Another common problem is encountered when the site contents aren’t accessible because it requires registration or its pages are protected with a password. Just like a site is programmed to keep non-registered users out, it also blocks search engines from crawling content. To by-pass this barrier you could submit a site map and tweak the code to correctly identify accessible key pages of your website for search engine review.
Last but not least you must always remember that on the Internet “Content is King”, and your copy should always target your audience group. That will help search engines classify your website and index it accordingly, improving your chances of having the site appear high on search result pages for queries related to your content.
If you decide to do it on your own keep always in mind that it can take weeks, even months, for search engines to index the contents of your website. Our SEO team at RackNine can analyze your website and help you develop an adequate strategy to cut those times considerably. Contact us for more information.
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- Why isn’t my site showing up on search engine results pages?