What’s worse than your website being a drop in the bucket? Not being in the bucket at all!
When users search for information online, Google sifts through hundreds of billions of sites via its index. However, not all sites are indexed, meaning there are even more websites out there that the average user will never find.
How can you make sure your important websites get added to the index? And just how long does it take Google to index a new page? Keep reading to discover the answers!
How Does Google Indexing Work?
Google adds pages to its index based on dated reported by the company’s Google crawler. Once a page has been added to the index, users will be able to find the page via Google search results.
Of course, this helps to underscore the importance of Google indexing. If your own pages don’t get added to the index, then nobody will be able to find your sites via a Google search!
If you want your site to succeed, it’s important to understand how to index a page on Google. And that means understanding how Google website indexing actually works.
The Google Indexing Process
Earlier, we touched on the fact that Google uses a special crawler to index sites. And it all starts when this bot scans the robots.txt file on your site.
This text file transmits special information about your site to the bot (more on this later). Between this file, links on your page, and any sitemap you provide, the bot will learn more about your page.
Afterward, the bot sends the information it has gathered back to Google. From there, Google stores the info in a database. The company also calculates which sites to crawl and which to skip, how many pages to get information on, and how frequently the site needs to be recrawled.
Once this is over, the traditional process to index a new page is complete. From here, Google uses other algorithms to calculate where your site will land on Search Engine Results Pages. This is the foundation of SEO, which is always important for any site to succeed.
How Long Does It Usually Take to Index a Page?
A site may be indexed in as little as a few hours. However, it could also take as many as several weeks. And there is always a chance that your site will not be indexed.
This variability is frustrating to new website owners as well as veteran webmasters. When you have a new site, you want to show it off to the world. But it could be nearly a month before you are able to do so.
However, there is good news. It seems the Google crawler indexes certain pages quicker than others based on their content. If you want to know how to index a page on Google, our guide is going to walk you through everything you need to know to speed things up.
Why Is It Hard to Estimate How Long Indexing Will Take?
It is difficult to know how long it takes to index a page on Google because the automated crawler can be difficult to predict. On top of that, Google often doesn’t disclose much information about how the process works.
It is likely Google keeps this information closely guarded in order to increase the quality of indexed websites. Right now, the Google crawler is likely to ignore sites that provide very low-quality content or sites that are nothing but duplicate content.
If everyone knew exactly how to game the system, the index would be clogged by low-quality sites. With the current system, every site owner has an incentive to make their content as relevant and high-quality as possible.
Related: Redesign your website without losing SEO rankings
Will My Site Definitely Get Indexed?
There is technically no guarantee that your site will get indexed. However, there are certain steps you can take to improve your odds of Google indexing.
One bit of good news is that if something has gone wrong or your indexing is taking longer than usual, it may be easy to tell. The vast majority of sites that get indexed are indexed within the first week. Therefore, if your site isn’t showing up on searches after the first week, there may be a potential holdup.
You don’t just have to sit around and wait, though. There are certain steps you can take that can make your site easier for Google to index.
The Importance of Frequent Updates
It’s possible to think about the Google indexing process in economic terms: supply and demand. If you want to get indexed quicker (or just make sure you get indexed at all), it’s important to create more “supply” via frequent website updates.
When you push out updates on a regular basis, it sends a clear message to Google. And that message is that your website is going to need to be recrawled on a regular basis.
Compare this to, say, an educational site about the history of a particular college. That history isn’t going to change, and this page is unlikely to get updated often. Thus, it is a low crawl demand site.
By making your own site into a high crawl demand one, you can speed the indexing process along whenever you add new content. However, it is equally important that you have the necessary bandwidth for this entire process.
Related: Pages every website should have
Bandwidth Affects Indexing
Crawl demand isn’t the only factor you should worry about when it comes to indexing. You also need to worry about the crawl rate. This refers to how many requests the Google crawler can make without overwhelming your site.
Why is this important? If Google’s bot determines that you have a low-bandwidth server, it will slow down the crawl rate. This means your new pages will be indexed that much more slowly.
On the flip side, switching to a high-bandwidth server can have an almost immediate impact on your indexing. Google will be able to crawl more URLs, speeding up the indexing process as you expand your site.
Interested in making the process go faster? In that case, there are a few easy steps you can take.
Related: 10 Ways Improve Your Google Search Ranking
Index a New Page: How to Make the Process Faster
From Google’s perspective, indexing a page is a very simple process of letting the crawler do its thing. If you want to speed things up and ensure your site gets indexed, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands. And the tips below will help you get started.
Getting Robots.txt Right
As we noted before, the Google bot will take instructions from the robots.txt file on your site. If you’re not careful, you may tweak a setting in this file to keep your site from getting indexed.
For example, you may have a command like “disallow” in the file next to a certain page. This tells the crawler to ignore that page. Make sure you don’t have this command in your file, and you should be good to go.
If fiddling with the technical aspects of this file gets to be too much, don’t forget that you can always work with digital marketing professionals who can handle things for you.
Using a Sitemap
Want to take a more proactive role in the indexing process? In that case, consider submitting a sitemap for your page directly to Google.
Sitemaps are useful for more than just your website visitors. If you use the Search Console and submit your sitemap to Google, this lets you tell the crawler exactly which websites you want it to index.
In addition to submitting this sitemap via the Google Search Console, you should also reference the sitemap in your robots.txt file. This further improves the odds that your pages will be indexed as you have requested.
Related: How to use Google Search Console
Ask for a Recrawl
A sitemap isn’t the only way to ask Google to crawl your sites. You can also do so using the Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that doing this, just like submitting a sitemap, does not guarantee indexing. If indexing happens, there is no guarantee of how long the process will take.
Don’t let that discourage you, though. Think of these various steps as different ways you can get Google’s attention. The more steps you take, the better your odds of getting indexed.
Finally, don’t forget that you don’t have to handle everything on your own. With the right third-party professionals, you can ensure indexing while also improving the overall marketing of your brand.
Improve Your Indexing Today!
Now you know how long it takes Google to index a new page. But do you know who can help with indexing, SEO, web design, and so much more?
Here at heyTony, we specialize in taking brands just like yours and helping them to reach their full potential. Are you ready for your own brand to take things to the next level? In that case, all you have to do is contact us today!