Creating and launching a website is a lot of fun, isn’t it? That feeling of seeing your site “live” for the first time is exhilarating. But wait – when can other people get to see it? Does Google even know your website exists yet? In order for your site to show up in search results, it needs to be indexed by Google. Otherwise, your website will not be seen by anyone except for you and your computer. So, how long does it take for a website to be indexed by Google?
On an average, it can take Google anywhere between 4 weeks to 12 months to index a new website. Smaller websites with less than 500 pages are often indexed within a month, mid-size websites with 500-25,000 pages can take around 3 months, and larger websites with over 25,000 pages will take at least 4-12 months for Google to index them completely.
Keep in mind that indexing is not a simple process – it is a complex and ever-changing algorithm that Google is constantly tweaking. As a result, the indexing speed of your website can be affected by many factors. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key factors that influence how long it takes for a website to be indexed by Google, along with how you can speed up the process. Let’s begin!
What Exactly Does Indexing Mean?
Website indexing is the process that Google and other search engines use to discover new websites and webpages, and then add them to their search results.
How does this happen? Whenever you create a new website or publish new content, Google’s bots will do something called ‘crawling’ – essentially, they will visit your website and read through your webpages to try and understand what your site is all about.
They will then add your pages to their search index, which is a huge database that contains all the websites and webpages that Google knows about. This process is basically what’s called indexing. Once your website is indexed, people can find it by searching for relevant keywords on Google.
Fun Fact: The bot that Google uses to crawl and index web pages is officially called the Googlebot (go figure!). However, it’s also fondly called the spider or spiderbot, since it is essentially a “web-crawler”.
Difference Between Indexing and Crawling
A lot of people seem to get these two concepts confused, so let’s clear things up really quick. Take a look at this table that shows the difference between indexing and crawling.
|Crawling is when Google (or any other search engine) sends out their bots to visit websites and read through their pages.||Indexing, on the other hand, is what happens when they take all the information they’ve gathered from crawling and add it to their search index.|
|It is a process of discovery.||It is a process of data storage.|
|Is often the first step in the process.||It comes after crawling.|
It’s interesting to note that websites can be indexed even if you’ve blocked Google from crawling it. Think of it like this – imagine there’s a sign outside your website that says “Google, do not enter”! Google will be able to see that sign, know that your website exists, and still index them for other users. However, they will not visit or crawl your site because you’ve explicitly told them not to.
5 Factors That Affect Indexing Speed
Did you know that Google takes into account over 200 factors when ranking websites in its search results? Most of these factors are known only to Google, but some of them are public information. Here are 5 key factors that affect how long it takes for your website to be indexed:
1. Website Age
If you’ve just launched your website, then it’s only natural that it will take some time for Google to find and index it. This is because it takes time for the Googlebot to discover new websites and webpages.
If you’ve had your website up and running for a while, then it’s likely that at least some of your pages have already been indexed by Google. In this case, any newly published pages will generally be found and indexed much faster.
2. Site Structure
The structure of your website can also affect indexing speed. If your website is well-organized and easy for the Googlebot to navigate, then it will be able to crawl and index your pages more quickly.
On the other hand, if your website is poorly structured and/or has a lot of broken links, then it will take the Googlebot longer to crawl and index your pages. This is because the bot will get ‘lost’ trying to navigate your site, and as a result, it will take longer to discover all your pages.
3. Number of Pages
As we’ve already seen, the number of pages on your website can also influence indexing speed. Generally speaking, the more pages you have, the longer it will take for Google to index your entire website.
This is because the Googlebot has to crawl and index each individual page – and if you have a lot of pages, that’s going to take some time. Of course, the size and complexity of each page will also play a role – but in general, the more pages you have, the longer it will take for your website to be completely indexed.
4. Site Speed
The speed of your website can also affect indexing speed. If your site is fast and responsive, then the Googlebot will be able to crawl and index your pages more quickly.
On the other hand, if your site is slow and sluggish, then it will take the bot longer to crawl and index your pages. This is because the bot has to wait for each page to load before it can start reading and indexing the content.
Note: Google’s research shows that if your page load time increases from 1s to 3s, chances of visitors leaving go up by 32%. And if your site takes more than 10s to load, the chances of people leaving can go as high as 123%!
5. Domain Authority
Domain authority refers to how relevant and popular your website is in your industry. If you have a high-authority website, then it’s more likely that your pages will be indexed quickly by Google.
This is because high-authority websites are generally crawled and indexed more frequently than low-authority websites. This makes sense when you think about it – if a website like The New York Times or Wall Street Journal links to you, Google is going to want to index your website as soon as possible!
How Can I Speed Up The Indexing For My Website?
If you want to speed up the indexing of your website, here are a few tried-and-tested methods:
- Submit a sitemap to the Google Search Console: A sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on your website. By submitting a sitemap, you’re essentially telling Google which pages you want to be indexed. Here’s a link that will show you how to build and submit a sitemap from scratch: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/sitemaps/build-sitemap.
- Submit individual URLs to the Google Search Console: You can also submit individual URLs to the Google Search Console. This is a good option if you’ve just published a new page or made some changes to an existing page, and you want Google to index the updated version.
Steps: Login to Google Search Console -> Select “+ Add Property” -> Submit your URL
- Get established websites to link to you: As we saw earlier, one of the factors that influence indexing speed is domain authority. So, if you can get high-authority websites to link to you, it’s likely that your pages will be indexed more quickly by Google.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Reach out to influencers and ask them to link to your website.
- Submit guest posts to popular blogs in your industry.
- Participate in forums and discussion boards related to your industry.
- Use social media to promote your website and content.
- Use clean SEO practices: Using clean SEO practices is always a good idea – not just for indexing speed, but for overall website optimization. Some of the things you can do to optimize your website include:
- Choose the right keyword phrases.
- Use keywords throughout your website – in the titles, metatags, headlines, and body text.
- Optimize your images by using keywords in the file names and alt text.
- Create compelling and interesting content that people will want to read and share.
- Monitor your website’s progress: Once you’ve implemented the strategies above, it’s important to monitor your website’s progress to see if there’s any improvement. The best way to do this is to use Google Analytics.
With Google Analytics, you can track things like your website’s traffic, the average time people spend on your site, and the number of page views. This data will give you a good idea of whether or not your efforts are paying off.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about indexing.
Q.1. How can I tell if a website is not indexed?
A. To find out whether or not your website has been indexed or not, you can use the Google Search Console tool. If you’ve previously submitted a sitemap of your website, you can see exactly how many pages have been indexed.
Q.2. Is there a difference between desktop indexing and mobile indexing?
A. Yes, there is a difference between desktop indexing and mobile indexing. Desktop indexing refers to the process of adding pages from your website to Google’s search index so that people can find them when they perform a search on a desktop computer. Mobile indexing, on the other hand, means that Google will use the mobile version of your website when indexing your pages.
Waiting for your website to be indexed by Google can be a frustrating experience sometimes. But with the tips you’ve learned in this article, you can speed up the process and get your website indexed as quickly as possible. Remember, the key is to focus on quality – not quantity. So as long as you’re producing great content, you’ll find the audience you’re looking for.