Optimizing a site without knowing how search engines work is very much like publishing your book without knowing the specifics of book writing. Search engines like Google provide information to the users’ queries through a specific process. If your site or its pages aren’t according to those practices, your site won’t show to the targeted audience, wasting all other efforts.
Thus, it’s always a lot easier and beneficial to understand the core elements beforehand so that you can center your hard work in the right direction and manner.
In this blog, we’ll take you through the crucial aspects of technical SEO, explaining what makes your site more efficient to crawl, render, and index, so Google delivers appropriate content to the users from your site at the right time.
How Google Search Works?
Here’s a quick explanation of how Google search works:
Google gets all the information from various sources, including web pages, book scanning, public database, user-submitted content, etc. It’s ideally a three-step process to generate the final results: Crawling, rendering, and indexing.
To put it simply, crawling refers to scouring the internet for different code or content, rendering is when Googlebot retrieves content to understand the structure, and indexing indicates organizing and storing the fetched data. This allows Google to provide useful information to the searchers in the most helpful format.
What Is Crawling?
The first step to discovering the different pages on the web is crawling. Googlebot, a team of robots, is sent out by Google to continuously search for pages and add them to its list of known pages (called Caffeine).
The content can vary, so the pages are discovered through links. Once Google ascertains the URL, it crawls or visits the page to know about textual and non-textual information. Google fetches a few pages and follows links on those to get to new URLs. This kind of hopping allows Googlebot to find new content and keep updating the Caffeine.
All of this helps determine if the page must make it to the search results or not. The better Google understands a site, the quicker it can match people’s queries. Different strategies allow bots to crawl a page more effectively. These may include:
- Creating a sitemap – to hold a complete list of the site pages
- Adding schema – a roadmap for productive crawling
- Fixing site speed – so the bots don’t leave the page without crawling
- Disallowing robots.txt content
You can also partner with reliable SEO Experts to know more about what is crawling and how you can perfect this first step! Because if Google is missing out on the primary content or crawling the unimportant pages, you’re knocking off the potential opportunities.
What Is Rendering?
Thus, it’s simply not okay to open your browser and see things working. To keep up with the pace of the advancements, rendering is Google’s second wave of indexing. So Google performs an initial crawl and index of the known pages; later on, as resources are available, it goes back to render any script found on the site. If you use dynamically created content, make sure you’re following the basics, or else it can harm your organic performance.
You wouldn’t want Google to encounter errors, timeouts, or blocked files. Therefore, there are quite a few SEO ranking factors that’ll help you keep up with your site’s distinctive elements. You can also use tools that provide screenshots to display how your site or content looks to Googlebot. But this doesn’t always guarantee that your page would be indexed.
Speak to an expert to know what is rendering and how it can make or break your SEO strategies.
What Is Indexing?
When the pages are discovered, it’s time to make Google understand what the pages are all about – that’s what is indexing. But just because your site has been found and crawled doesn’t mean it’ll also be indexed.
Google catalogs the embedded media files, analyzes the text, tags, attributes, and tries to gain as much information about the page as possible. The crawler renders pages similar to a browser while examining all data, which is then stored in the Google Index database.
How Google can be indicated to index your pages involves a few critical steps. Meta directives can instruct the search engine on how you want different pages to be treated. Robots meta tag, including index/noindex, follow/nofollow, noarchive, etc., is another crucial element that excludes specific or all search engines. X-Robots-Tag presents more functionality to block search engines at scale.
Besides, you need to have updated content, create a blog, use XML sitemaps (definitely recommended), host content directly on Google, and adopt more such methods to ensure the pages are indexed.
If the URL returns a ‘not found’ error, has a noindex meta tag, been penalized, or is blocked with additional passwords from crawling, the pages may be removed from the index.
Google is particularly strict with its algorithms and SEO practices. So you need to put in plenty of effort if you want to rank well. Google doesn’t crawl sites just once – it’s an ongoing process and requires you to stay on your toes.
Want to optimize your personal or business site the correct way and set its content up for success? It’s crucial to know how Google search works and other essential factors of technical SEO to reach your goals.
We at SEO Recyclers understand the nuts and bolts of search engine functioning along with the key factors that influence SERP. Get in touch with our seasoned SEO experts, and we’ll help you come up with a solid plan of action to make your game much more robust.