Did you know that you have spiders crawling over your website? At least, you hope you do. Search engine spider programs automatically crawl the web to fetch websites to add to their indexes. Crawling, or website index frequency, refers to how often your website gets crawled by these spiders.
Website Index Frequency – Why It’s Important
You can spend years putting together an amazing business and then build a stellar website to promote it – but if your site isn’t index-friendly, it won’t get many visitors. If spiders crawl your website frequently, it’s a good sign that it appeals to major search engines like Google. Of course, the more important your site is to Google, the more readers you’re going to get – and the more business you’re going to get!
5 Simple Steps to Improve Website Index Frequency
Make sure your website gets the priority it deserves from major search engines. Use these simple steps to attract more frequent and deeper crawls.
1) Submit your website to the search engines
It can take several weeks for a site to show up in search engine indexes. If your website is new, submit the URL to search engines like Google, Yahoo and AltaVista. To find out whether your site has already been indexed, enter your URL into the various search engines. Register your site with Google Webmaster Tools to get detailed reports about how Google sees your website. You’ll be able to find out your crawl rate, any crawl errors Google has encountered and search query statistics.
2) Update your site regularly
Search engine indexes evolve constantly as content changes on the web, and URLs can switch positions in search results. The more often you update your website, the more often search engines are likely to crawl it. Search engines perform both deep and shallow crawls. On one visit, a search engine might only travel the home page of your site. If it finds new content since its last visit, it might be inclined to crawl deeper into your site next time. Add fresh content to your website as often as possible. Aim for at least three times a week.
3) Add valuable content
It’s not enough to update your pages several times per week – you have to also provide original, valuable content. Sites that are well trusted will be crawled more often than less reliable sites. Low quality, spammy material and lots of duplicate content can cause a site to be crawled less frequently or even removed from search engine indexes. Create useful, information-packed text. Avoid filling pages with lists of keywords. Use text to identify important names, content or links. Crawlers won’t recognize text contained in images.
4) Submit a sitemap
Create and submit a sitemap to major search engines. It will help crawlers to discover more content on your site. Search engine giant Google recommends sitemaps.org to create a sitemap in a format the can be submitted to most major search engines. Be sure to link to your sitemap on the homepage of your website. We almost always put a link to the sitemap in a footer of any website we design.
5) Increase backlinks
Spiders crawl from site to site using links. The more backlinks, or incoming links from other sites, that you have on your pages, the more likely search engines are to crawl them. Ensure that your site is well-linked from other sites, particularly reliable, frequently crawled sites*. See what your competitors are doing to create backlinks using linkdiagnosis.com. Find a competitor who ranks well in search engines and enter their URL into the tool. This will show you which high profile sites link to your competitor’s website. Be sure to also comment on other blogs in your industry, including your web address in your signature.
*For the record, backlinks are having less impact over time as a factor in search engine rankings. In fact, poor quality backlinks have a negative ranking effect.
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