How Google Indexes Web Pages

Have you ever wondered how Google crawls and indexes web pages? If you haven’t and don’t know, you should. Why? Because knowing how Google indexes web pages will help you understand how to rank better on Google.

First you’ll need some facts.

Google has had a search engine since 1998 and it has the largest database of indexed websites. Google’s database is twice as large as Yahoo or Bing. When you search for something on Google, you’re not actually searching the entire Internet, you’re just accessing Google’s database of indexed websites.

What is Google’s Index?

The Google Index is the list of all the pages and sites that Google has crawled and cached or stored on its servers. When someone performs a search, Google pulls out pages from this data. More than 40 billion web pages are indexed by Google.

Less than 10% of the entire Internet is indexed. That means there are more than 450 billion web pages that are not indexed by Google.

Google uses programs called “Spiders” to index your site.

Spiders have the following characteristics:

  • they browse the web just like people browse the web
  • they move from page to page and link to link
  • they try to find and index every page on the web

This process is called crawling.

Crawls can happen several times a day or once every few months.

Update or change your content regularly and Google will crawl your site more often.

Fun Fact: Google needs more than 1 million servers to crawl the web and deliver search results.

  • Facebook only has 181,000
  • Intel has only 75,000
  • eBay has only 54,000

7 most common reasons Google can’t crawl your pages:

  1. No or incorrectly configured robots.txt file
  2. A badly configured .htaccess file
  3. Badly written title, meta, and author tags
  4. Incorrectly configuring url parameters
  5. Low pagerank
  6. Connectivity or DNS issues
  7. Domains with bad history

How to help Google crawl more pages:

  1. Check out crawl errors and address them
  2. Be careful with Ajax applications
  3. Add a robots.txt file and make sure it’s working
  4. Add a sitemap to your site

We can help you address these four critical steps to make sure you are doing everything you can do to help Google crawl your pages.

Contact us today by emailing [email protected] or calling 202-236-2968 for more information.

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