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Everything You Need To Know

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Everything You Need To Know

Crawling and indexing websites is the first step in a complex process of understanding what webpages are about in order to present them as answers to user queries.

Search engines are constantly improving how they crawl and index websites.

Understanding how Google and Bing approach the task of crawling and indexing websites is useful in developing strategies for improving search visibility.

How Search Engines Work Today: Indexing

Let’s look at the nuts and bolts of how search engines operate.

This article focuses on indexing. So, let’s dive in…

Indexing

Indexing is where the ranking process begins after a website has been crawled.

Indexing essentially refers to the adding of a webpage’s content into Google to be considered for rankings.

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When you create a new page on your site, there are a number of ways it can be indexed.

The simplest method of getting a page indexed is to do absolutely nothing.

Google has crawlers following links and thus, provided your site is in the index already and that the new content is linked to from within your site, Google will eventually discover it and add it to its index. More on this later.

How To Get A Page Indexed Faster

But, what if you want Googlebot to get to your page faster?

This can be important if you have timely content or if you’ve made an important change to a page you need Google to know about.

I use faster methods when I’ve optimized a critical page or I’ve adjusted the title and/or description to improve click-throughs. I want to know specifically when they were picked up and displayed in the SERPs to know where the measurement of improvement starts.

In these instances, there are a few additional methods you can use.

1. XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps are the oldest and a generally reliable way to call a search engine’s attention to content.

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An XML sitemap gives search engines a list of all the pages on your site, as well as additional details about it, such as when it was last modified.

A sitemap can be submitted to Bing via Bing Webmaster Tools and it can also be submitted to Google via Search Console.

Definitely recommended!

But when you need a page indexed immediately, it’s not particularly reliable.

2. Request Indexing With Google Search Console

In Search Console, you can “Request Indexing.”

You begin by clicking on the top search field which reads by default, “Inspect and URL in domain.com.”

Enter the URL you want to be indexed, then hit Enter.

If the page is already known to Google, you will be presented with a bunch of information on it. We won’t get into that here but I recommend logging in and seeing what’s there if you haven’t already.

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The important button, for our purposes here, appears whether the page has been indexed or not – meaning that it’s good for content discovery or just requesting Google to understand a recent change.

You’ll find the button as shown below.

Screenshot from Google Search Console, October 2019

Within a few seconds to a few minutes, you can search the new content or URL in Google and find the change or new content picked up.

3. Participate In Bing’s IndexNow

Bing has an open protocol that is based on a push method of alerting search engines of new or updated content.

This new search engine indexing protocol is called, IndexNow.

It’s called a push protocol because the idea is to alert search engines using IndexNow about new or updated content which will cause them to come and index it.

An example of a pull protocol is the old XML Sitemap way that depends on a search engine crawler to decide to visit and index it (or to be fetched by Search Console).

The benefit of IndexNow is that it wastes less web hosting and data center resources, which is not only environmentally friendly but it saves on bandwidth resources.

The biggest benefit, however, is faster content indexing.

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IndexNow is currently used only by Bing and Yandex.

Implementing IndexNow is easy:

4. Bing Webmaster Tools

In addition to participating in IndexNow, consider a Bing Webmaster Tools account.

If you don’t have a Bing Webmaster Tools account, I can’t recommend it enough.

The info provided within is substantial and will help you better assess problem areas and improve your rankings on Bing, Google, and anywhere else – and probably provide a better user experience as well.

But for getting your content indexed you simply need to click: Configure My Site > Submit URLs.

From there you enter the URL(s) you want indexes and click “Submit.”

bing-webmaster-submit-urlsScreenshot from Bing Webmaster Tools, October 2019

So, that’s almost everything that you need to know about indexing and how search engines do it (with an eye towards where things are going).

More details at the Bing Webmaster Tools URL Submission Tool help page.

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There is also a Bing Webmaster Tools Indexing API that can also speed up the time that content appears in Bing’s search results to within hours.  More information about the Bing Indexing API here.

Crawl Budget

We can’t really talk about indexing without talking about the crawl budget.

Basically, crawl budget is a term used to describe the amount of resources that Google will expend crawling a website.

The budget assigned is based on a combination of factors, the two central ones being:

  • How fast your server is (i.e., how much can Google crawl without degrading your user experience).
  • How important your site is.

If you run a major news site with constantly updating content that search engine users will want to be aware of your site will get crawled frequently (dare I say… constantly).

If you run a small barbershop, have a couple of dozen links, and rightfully are not deemed important in this context (you may be an important barber in the area but you’re not important when it comes to the crawl budget), then the budget will be low.

You can read more about crawl budgets and how they’re determined in Google’s explanation here.

Google Has Two Kinds Of Crawling

Indexing by Google begins with crawling, which has two kinds.

The first kind of crawling is Discovery, where Google discovers new webpages to add to the index.

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The second kind of crawling is Refresh, where Google finds changes in webpages that are already indexed.

Discover How Search Engines Work

Optimizing websites for search engines begins with good content and it ends with sending it off to get indexed.

Whether you do that with an XML sitemap, Google Search Console URL Submission Tool, Bing Webmaster Tools, or IndexNow, getting that content indexed is the moment where your webpage begins its journey to the top of the search results (if everything works out!).

That’s why it’s important to understand how search indexing works.

How Search Engines Work tackles how search engines function and the key factors that influence search engine results pages.

Download it here.

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SEO

What You Need To Know

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What You Need To Know

How do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns?

Have you ever felt that some marketing channels’ data seems to be located in “a void” – meaning it’s hard to discover their actual impact?

Channels like connected TV, satellite radio, digital advertising, email, and social networks have made marketing campaign analysis a complex field for marketers.

But you can find valuable insights for your strategies – if you know where to look.

Luckily, you’ll uncover precisely where this hidden data lies, right now.

On September 28, I moderated a webinar by Shaubhik Ray, Senior Director of Digital Analytics at iQuanti.

Ray explained how you can improve your ability to predict the success of your marketing programs.

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Here is a summary of the webinar.

To access the entire presentation, complete the form.

The What, Why & How Of Marketing Effectiveness

Marketing effectiveness goes hand-in-hand with efficiency. If your marketing is performing effectively, the cost of acquiring or executing a campaign is more efficient.

The underlying goal of all marketers is to understand the actual return on their investment in different channels.

It’s important to measure marketing effectiveness because you want to optimize:

  • Marketing performance.
  • Marketing budget.
  • Business performance.

However, isn’t always easy to track due to external and internal factors.

[Learn Your Barriers Of Effectiveness] Instantly access the webinar →

Measurement Techniques To Use To Guage Success

First, create a KPI framework to identify your important business KPIs.

Next, design a solution to capture your company’s KPIs accurately.

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Then, standardize your channel data collection.

Finally, develop a structured approach to identify what marketing KPIs should be collected for measuring business success.

iQuanti, September 2022

Once you understand the different metrics you’re capturing, focus on standardizing how you capture this data.

These methods can include:

  • Campaign tagging framework.
  • Campaign naming conventions.
  • Roll-out of a campaign tracker.

[Easy Technique: Learn How To Use Google & Facebook For Data Collection] Instantly access the webinar →

Advanced Techniques For Measuring Effectiveness

You can measure marketing campaign effectiveness by tracking:

  • Attribution.
  • Cause & Effect.
  • Marketing Mix Modeling.

Digital Attribution

Digital Attribution is the science of assigning credit to each marketing touch point of the customer journey based on that touch point’s influence on their ultimate conversion decision.

Measuring Marketing Effectiveness: What You Need To KnowiQuanti, September 2022

Approaches include rule-based and algorithmic attribution.

[Learn What These Are & How They Help] Instantly access the webinar →

Incrementality: Proving Cause & Effect

Incrementality in marketing is the lift or increase in the desired business outcome (e.g., awareness, web visits, conversions, revenue) resulting from a marketing intervention.

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You can approach this on a user level or geo-level.

[Learn More] Instantly access the webinar →

Marketing Mix Modeling

Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) is a statistical technique used to identify and quantify the relationship between a pre-defined KPI like sales and the factors influencing them.

This approach is privacy friendly, holistic, and flexible.

[See it in action] Instantly access the webinar →

Metrics For Measuring Marketing Spend

By analyzing the spend metrics you’re tracking for the particular campaign, you can get a good understanding of how effective different campaigns are.

There are a lot of spend metrics, but the three cost metrics that help you understand how well each of your campaigns is performing are:

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  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).
  • Cost Per Incremental Acquisition (CPIA).
  • Marginal Cost Per Acquisition (MCPA).

[Take a closer look at each metric] Instantly access the webinar →

Now that you know the techniques and metrics, you can go on selection.

How To Select The Right Measurement Techniques

Consider the following factors while selecting the proper measurement techniques:

  • Availability Of Data
    • Is the data foundation in place?
    • Availability of historical data and granularity of data.
  • Availability Of Resources
    • What’s the current tech stack for measurement?
    • Access to skilled resources.
  • The Use Case
    • The primary objective of the analysis.
    • Industry and customer journeys (path to conversion).

Knowing where to look allows you to find valuable insights for your strategies, gain clarity, and move in the right direction with your campaigns.

[Find Your Best Measurement Technique] Instantly access the webinar →

Measuring Marketing Effectiveness: What You Need To Know [Webinar]

Here’s the presentation:

Join Us For Our Next Webinar!

6 Keys Your Business Needs To Win With Your Marketing Agency

Building trust with your agency and establishing a strong marketing foundation is a sure-fire way to take your business to the next level. This webinar will walk you through ways to have a clear, transparent and trusting partnership with your agency and drive results.


Image Credits:

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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