When getting started in SEO and digital marketing, many businesses ask, “What is the difference between crawling and indexing in SEO?” as the terms are often linked. Major search engines use crawling and indexing to learn about new websites and content and add them to their ongoing collection of known sites. Crawling and indexing a site is essential to reaching maximum audiences, and all search engines need these practices.
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What Is Crawling in SEO?
Crawling is when search engine bots look for the most updated, relevant content on a site. Search engines use crawlers to find relevant content related to a search query and connect searchers with the information they need. Spiders or crawlers will travel from site to site and analyze all of their elements.
A search engine crawler is not a live person but rather a bot that mimics the experience of a user. Typically, search engines use two versions of the same bot for desktop and mobile user experience. Some websites are not mobile-friendly and need modification for better crawling and indexing.
What Is Indexing in SEO?
Indexing is the step that follows crawling and is the cataloging of the data the crawler collects. Google maintains a collection of each site it knows, and as new sites develop, the search engine adds it to its index library. The search engine needs to reference the index when deciding what will show up when a user searches for something.
You don’t need to index a site with duplicate content because Google is already aware of a site with that exact information. Indexing allows search engines to pair searches with relevant information after careful analysis. Indexing can also improve your ranking for specific SEO keywords.
How Do Crawling and Indexing Differ?
What is the difference between crawling and indexing in SEO? Indexing relies on crawling to get data for its index. The growing list of websites helps the search engine decide which are relevant to show for a specific query.
Crawlers must be able to access a site and not experience roadblocks to move on to the indexing stages. Not all websites are suitable for crawling and indexing, and end up missing out on valuable visitors. You might have an excellent website with great information, but without crawling and indexing, no one is seeing your content, and you’re missing out on opportunities.
How to Optimize Your Site for Crawling and Indexing
A search engine’s index does not need to store duplicate content and favors original content from a site that is constantly creating and updating information. An inactive, out-of-date, or old site is not going to do well and requires an overhaul or updating to get the best results.
You can take the following steps to improve your experience with search engine crawling and indexing:
- Work on increasing your website speed
- Revisit and revise old content to encourage search engines to return
- Craft original titles and use meta tags
- Resolve any 404 errors or broken links (crawling will decrease if you have these)
- Ensure your content and titles are keyword rich for better ranking
- Promote your site and content on multiple social media platforms
- Make your website desktop and mobile-friendly to reach crawlers
- Connect your website pages with logical internal linking
- Produce an XML sitemap for your website and submit it to Google Search Console
- Use Google Analytics as a tracking tool to see how you’re doing
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Pure Digital Marketing to Improve Search Engine Crawling and Indexing for Your Site
Pure Digital Marketing answers many important questions for online marketing strategies, including “What is the difference between crawling and indexing in SEO?” You can implement trusted methods for increased crawling and indexing for your site and implement landing page optimization for SEO. Contact the team to speak with a professional from Pure Digital Marketing today.