Whether you are a small business owner who has just launched a new website or an established business that has had a redesign, you are likely anxious as to how quickly your new (or refreshed) website will take to appear on and be indexed by Google. It is important to remember that it will not appear instantly on page one of Google (or any other search engine, for that matter) immediately after it has been launched.
Once you have launched your new website design you will need to wait between four days and four weeks for Google to index it. This might seem like a broad range of time to wait for your website to be indexed, but during this time Google is working hard to index it correctly so that it appears in the right search results.
Below we take a deeper dive into how long Google takes to index a website and what goes into this process.
Firstly, How Does Google Index A Website?
To understand how long it will take Google to index your brand new website design, you must first understand the process behind this indexing. It is handled by a search algorithm and robot which will “crawl” a website (in simple terms, browse it in a methodical manner) in order to find and index all of the content on the site. The process can be thought of as follows:
- The algorithm or “robot” explores the internet and stops at websites that provide a sitemap to follow.
- When this robot encounters a website, it will read the information that is provided according to the instructions from the robots.txt file. These bots prefer to read text and follow links that they deem to have more information than others. It is important to provide a sitemap for these robots to follow for more accurate results.
- The content that the bot discovers and what the content contains (this can include articles, blogs, images, videos, and so forth) is sent to the Google servers and is stored on a database.
- The information in Google’s database is then sent to programs which keep track of which sites should be crawled, how often they should be crawled, and how many pages to fetch.
- The relevance and value of the content found on the website are determined and those that meet Google’s criteria are shown at the top of search engine results pages.
You should always have a sitemap in place to make it easier for these robots to understand what your website is about.
Indexing Versus Appearing In Search Results
Now, having your website indexed by Google and having your website appear in their search results might sound similar but they are, in fact, two different things. For those who are new to the world of digital marketing, this can be extremely confusing. Both of these are important if you would like to improve your online visibility, but they are achieved in different ways.
When a website is indexed by Google, a page or several pages of the website has been sent to Google’s database, which is a positive first step to appearing in search results. However, simply because your website has been indexed by Google, this does not mean it will appear on page one of their search engine results. This is done by performing both onsite and offsite SEO using relevant keywords.
There are some search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics that you can use to help improve the visibility of your website to these robots, as we discuss below.
Use Google Analytics
Setting up Google Analytics on your website is an ideal method of improving the indexing process for the Google robot algorithms. It is a free tool that collects and organises traffic data into detailed reports. Having Google Analytics on your website makes it more visible and accessible to the robots.
Set Up Search Console
Google Search Console is a highly useful tool to have on your website. It provides in-depth information about how it appears in search engine results and tells you when Google has a problem crawling and indexing your site. When a new site is launched, there will be no data, but Google will see the fact that you have Search Console set up as a “green light” for its algorithms and crawlers.
Submit Your Sitemap
One of the most important steps you will need to take for both SEO rankings and for your website to be indexed correctly by Google is to submit a sitemap. A sitemap is a rough guideline of your website which is optimised for bots and is submitted via Google Search Console. Without this, Google will not be able to understand what your site is about.
If you would like a new website or a refreshed design that will improve your online visibility, speak to NetMechanic today to find out what we can offer you.