If you are planning on launching a new website, did you know that the first thing you need to do in order to gain traffic is to get your site indexed by search engines like Google as soon as possible? It doesn’t matter how much work you have put into making your site look good, or writing brilliant SEO-friendly content – without indexing, you would have to wait for traffic to find your site. Early indexing allows your target audience to find you for relevant search queries more quickly.
Here, we take a look at the main reasons for getting your website indexed as quickly as possible, why it’s important and how to do it.
Why does quick site indexing by search engines matter?
There are lots of reasons to get your site or specific pages indexed in search engines before it ‘officially’ launches. These include:
- Your site needs to render and index properly to attract new customers via search engines. If it is being indexed before launch, you can easily check the cache and troubleshoot any issues that might occur.
- Completely brand-new sites can take weeks to get fully indexed. By that point, the ‘newness’ has already started to wear off – especially as new sites and businesses are launching on search engines all the time.
- On launch day, you want people to be able to find you – if you’ve reached out to journalists or experts in your sector to ask them to spread the word about your launch, they have to have the right links to be able to share.
- If new product pages aren’t indexed by launch, you run the risk of your target audience having to navigate to the correct page(s) via your site’s search function – which is more likely going to result in them bouncing straight off the site, damaging your conversion rate.
How long does it take to get indexed by Google?
According to Google’s SEO documentation, “crawling can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks”. It’s worth stating that Google doesn’t guarantee that all webpages will be indexed. Plus, not everything that is indexed is shown to users. Evidence does seem to show content that is deemed more ‘suitable’ is generally indexed more quickly, but again, that isn’t something Google would openly admit.
How to get Google to index your site
Request indexing from Google
As a website owner, you can use Google Search Console to notify Google of a new website and ensure that the most important pages are crawled and indexed first. To get started, submit a sitemap and create a robots.txt file.
You can also ask Google to crawl your URLs with the URL Inspection tool. Indexing this way can take a couple of weeks.
You’ve probably noticed how quickly Tweets arrive in Google’s search. It seems that the search giant is constantly, and rapidly, crawling Twitter for new content.
Twitter’s Help Center says:
“Keep in mind that the words you write in your Twitter profile or public Tweets may be indexed by Google and other search engines, and cause your profile or Tweets to come up in a search for those terms.”
Google now indexes Tweets to show in search results. So it’s worth putting a Tweet out there to announce your site’s launch to see if Google crawls and indexes it.
Search indexing: more top tips
Here are some main things to check before search engines begin to index your site’s pages:
- Your robots.txt should disallow duplicate pages, site search results and parameter-based URLs like variants.
- Test a spider and see how it crawls your website. There are lots of free spiders available online, many of which work quite well. Alternatively, you can hire an SEO consultant to take the stress away!
- Test “live URLs” in Search Console to ensure they render properly and that there are no errors.
The bottom line
If you are launching a new site, you want users to find you quickly – that means indexing. If you don’t index your website before launch, you could lose out on valuable traffic, turning your launch into a bit of a damp squib.