Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Today, we talk about how Google Search Engine works in order to improve your SEO. Last week, we talked about how you can use Google Trends to improve your SEO. Don’t forget to check out our article on Google Analytics and Search Console are if you don’t know what they can help you with. These tactics are frequently employed by SEO professionals.
Google scours tons of web content and evaluate many factors to determine what content is relevant to your search query. It gets such information from web pages, user-submitted content such as Google My Business and Maps user submissions, book scanning, public databases on the Internet, and many other sources.
Google follows three steps to generate web page results.
Google Search Engine: Crawling
Crawling means Googlebot (also known as a robot, bot, or spider computer program) visits new, updated, and dead web pages to be added to the Google index. It is an algorithmic process to determine which sites, how many pages on each site, and how often to crawl.
There are two crawler types namely mobile and desktop. Each simulates a user visiting your page with a device of that type. Only one crawler (mobile or desktop) crawls all the pages of your site known as the primary crawler. The primary crawler for all new websites is the mobile crawler. Besides, the other crawler (mobile or desktop) recrawls a few pages on your site known as the secondary crawler to see how well your site works with the other device type.
Google will not crawl pages that are blocked in robots.txt, and are not accessible by login or other authorization protection. Google less frequently crawls duplicate pages e.g. different URLs to reach the same page or mobile and desktop versions of the same page.
To help Google crawl your web pages, you should:
- Submit a sitemap
- Submit crawl requests for individual pages
- Use simple, human-readable, and logical URLs e.g. yoursite.com/real-estate-websites than yoursite.com/123abc
- Tell Google using robots.txt which pages you want Google to crawl first to, for instance, protect your server load but not to block Googlebot
- Use hreflang e.g. <link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”fr” href=”http://fr.yousite.com/yourpage.html” /> to point to alternate versions of your page in other languages
- Identify your canonical pages
- Be sure that Google Search Engine can access the key pages, images, CSS files, and scripts
- Confirm that Google can access and render your page properly by using URL Inspection tool
- View your crawl and index coverage using Index Coverage Report (applicable to websites with more than 500 pages)
- use URL Parameters tool to tell Google if your website uses URL parameters e.g. yoursite.com?product=black_shoes and yoursite.com?category=shoes&color=black (applicable to websites with more than 1,000 pages)
Google Search Engine: Indexing
Indexing means Googlebot processes each page it crawls to understand its content which includes text, tags and attributes, images, videos, etc.
Similar pages like canonical and duplicate pages with different URLs are grouped together into a document. Google chooses one of the URLs in the document as its canonical URL which Google crawls and indexes most often.
Google does not index pages with noindex. Pages blocked by robots.txt, login, or authorization protection might be indexed even if Google didn’t visit them.
To help Google Search Engine index your web pages, you should:
- Use noindex to prevent Google from crawling pages that you want to hide but not robots.txt-blocked pages
- Use structured data
- Follow Google Webmaster Guidelines
Google Search Engine: Serving & Ranking
When a user enters a search query on Google Search Engine, Google searches the index to match pages and return the most relevant results. Relevancy is determined by hundreds of factors i.e. algorithm based on user experience.
To help Google serve your web pages, you should:
- Tell Google your multilingual or multiregional site preferences for users
- Be sure that your website loads fast and is mobile-friendly responsive
- Follow Google Webmaster Guidelines
- Design your website for better user experience rather than for Google Search Engine algorithm changes
To Be Continued……
Now you know how Google Search Engine works. In the coming week, we will share with you in our SEO series more SEO topics in layman’s terms to help your SEO as featured on the websites of SEO professionals. Stay tuned.