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Search Engine Indexing: How it Works and Why it Matters

Nobody wants to be invisible. Even a website shouldn’t be invisible, and if your website does not show up in Google search, there must be a problem. Invisible websites don’t appear in Google search queries, which means they do not get traffic.

Indexing a site ensures its content is displayed in the search engine results after a user asks queries using relevant keywords. So, if you are wondering what is index in the search engine, it is a way in which data is categorized to make it easy to search.

In this article, we shall talk more about search engine indexing, how long it takes Google to index a site, how to get indexed on Google, and how to check if Google has indexed your page. Therefore, read on to learn more about site indexing

What Is Index in Search Engine?

what is index in search engine?

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Google Index is similar to those indexes found in libraries. But, instead of books, Index in search engine lists all the web pages known to Google. Every time Google and other search engines visit your website, they detect all new and updated pages and update the Google index.

What is Search Engine Indexing?

Search engine indexing is how Google and other search engines organize information before a search, ensuring readers get extremely fast responses to their queries. Searching through individual pages would take search engines a lot of time.

Search engines analyze and understand the content and then present it to users in ranked lists on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines crawl content and take the crawled content for the organization in its database.

How Does Search Engine Indexing Work?

Search engines use crawlers (also known as Googlebot, spider, bot, or robot) to explore and categorize content published online. Crawlers are software bots responsible for following links, scanning webpages, and gaining enough information about a website.

How does search engine indexing work?

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Once crawlers have collected enough data about a website, the information is used to index the website in question. Every time you update or publish new content, search engines crawl and index the page, adding its information to their database.

How Long Does it Take Google to Index a Site?

Google can take four days to about six months to index a new site. However, this is only sometimes the case, as it is impossible to predict when or if your URLs will be indexed.

Google Index: How long does indexing take and 11 ways to get your pages  listed faster

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There are several factors that determine how fast Google indexes your website when you site a page or publish a new blog post. These factors include site popularity, overall site structure, and whether the content is crawlable.

Factors Affecting Indexing in Search Engines

a) Site Speed

Your website’s speed affects how long it takes GoogleBot to index your site. GoogleBot aims to crawl the most pages without overwhelming the website’s bandwidth.

If the site is slow or easily overwhelmed, GoogleBot will likely stop crawling or slows down to prevent search engine crawlers from affecting its performance. Googlebot is a web that Google uses to collect all the information needed and build a searchable index.

b) Number of Pages

The number of pages available on your website affects how long GoogleBot takes to crawl your site. This directly affects how long it takes Google to index new pages or for the whole site to be launched or relaunched.

c) Duplicate Pages

Duplicate pages on your website can slow down GoogleBot’s crawling and the site itself. Regular maintenance helps to ensure you do not have duplicate content unintentionally.

Delete duplicates, and if the content was intentional, use a canonical tag to ensure the crawler knows the duplicate was not a mistake. Also, include the page where it is copied from.

d) Indexing Discouraged

If you build your site using services like WordPress, you should check that you have not accidentally checked a box that prevents Google from crawling the site. To avoid such mistakes, check all visibility settings before you go live.

e) Orphan Pages

An orphan page is one which is not linked to any other page on your site. Googlebot crawls pages by following hyperlinks, making it hard for Google to find a page and index it.

All pages should be linked to elsewhere on your site. You can use Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, or SEMRush to find these pages.

How to Get Google to Index Your Website

Google takes a little more time to index a new website. However, before indexing, crawling must first take place. This means that indexing can take longer than expected. So, if you would like to hasten the process, you can do the following;

a) Using Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a Google toolset that lets one check the website’s visibility on Google. It also lets you troubleshoot any issues. Ensure you have a GSC account. But if you don’t, do the following;

i) Sign in with your active Google account

ii) Add your website (new property) to the account

iii) Finally, verify your website’s ownership

b) Create a Sitemap

An XML sitemap is a file listing all the URLs you want Google to index. This sitemap tells Google these important pages, and this helps crawlers to find your main pages easily and faster.

Go to the sitemaps board (it is under indexing) in Google Search Console. Enter your sitemaps URL and submit. Once processing is over, the report will show your sitemap’s link and green success status.

The best thing about submitting a sitemap is that it helps Google to discover all the pages that are important to you. This can significantly speed up the process of indexing.

c) Make the Page Valuable and Unique

Search engines do not index low-quality images as they do not have any value to the users. If your site has not been indexed yet it does not have any technical issues, then the problem is most likely a lack of value.

You can try reviewing the page again and checking if it’s valuable. If you feel a user wouldn’t find any value on the page, it needs improvement. After improving the content, you can request reindexing in Google Search Console.

How to Check if a Page is Indexed By Search Engines

Are you wondering whether or not search engines have indexed your website? There are a few ways of doing this. The best way to check if a single webpage has been indexed is to use a search operator.

a) Using a Search Operator

Here’s how to use search operators to check if Google has indexed your webpage. You can use either info: or site: search operators in Google to show if your website has been indexed.

Copy your web page’s URL from the address bar and paste it into Google with info or site before the URL. Here’s an example;


If it reveals the webpage in the search results, just know that it is among the indexed pages on Google. However, the page is not indexed if you do not get anything.

On the other hand, if you want to check if other pages are indexed under the whole domain, simply use the search operator with only the domain or subdomain. If there are available pages Google has indexed on the domain, they are all shown in a list.

b) Google Search Console

Using Google Search Console is also a different way to check if Google indexing has occurred. First, add and verify the website in the search console. This gives you access to various reports available in the Google Search Console.

you can use Google Search Console to check if your website has beeen indexed

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Ensure you select the correct search property, your website, then the site’s URL. Simply paste the URL of the web pages you’d like to confirm if they have been indexed and click enter. If the web page is indexed, you will see the results in a box.

Frequently Asked Questions On Search Engine Indexing and How it Works

1. How can I get a search engine to index my site?

Indexing a new site could take some time. This is usually because crawling takes more time, which could be a few days up to a few weeks. Mostly indexing happens immediately after crawling.

Despite all these, you can speed up the indexing process by requesting indexing in the Google search console (GSC). GSC is a free Google tool that lets you check if your website is present on Google and then troubleshoot any related issues.

2. What is indexing in a search engine?

Indexing is the process that search engines use to organize information before a search that enables super-fast responses to questions. Searching through the pages for keywords would be slow, and search engines wouldn’t identify relevant information.

3. What is a search engine?

A search engine is a software for finding information online using phrases and keywords. They return results fast by continuously scanning the internet and indexing the pages they find.

4. Why is indexing important in search engines?

Storing indexes is important because it optimizes performance and speed in finding relevant documents for a search query. Without an index, search engines would scan all records in the corpus, which requires a lot of computing power and time.

5. How can I prevent a search engine from indexing some pages?

If you do not want the search engine to index some areas in your web page, you can prevent it by adding a no-index metatag to the <head> section of the page. Similarly, if your content is a media file, you can prevent it from being indexed by adding it to a robots.txt file. Another way is to use Google Webmaster Tools, which enable you to hide a page using the Remove URLs tool.