Fix Google Crawling Issues on your Website
Crawling is an important part of getting your content to show up in search results. By sending out bots (or crawlers), Google indexes, or maps your website.
Whenever a user navigates to your page, Google looks for fresh or updated information and then changes its index accordingly. But how do you ensure your website is being properly crawled and indexed in Google?
I’m glad you asked. In this piece, we’re going to show you how to ensure Google can properly view your website. And we’ll show you what to do if it isn’t.
Why Google Isn’t Crawling Your Website and How to Fix It
If some of your pages don’t appear in Google, there’s a good chance that the Google bot is having trouble crawling them. Some common reasons for this are:
1. Problems with the robots.txt file or meta tags
Checking your meta tags and the robots.txt file is a quick and straightforward way to identify and resolve common crawlability issues, which makes it one of the first things you should look into. For example, an entire website or individual pages may go unnoticed by Google because the search engine’s crawlers are forbidden from accessing them.
There are a few bot commands that, when executed, will prohibit search spiders from crawling a page.
These parameters serve an important role when used appropriately, as they help save a crawl budget and provide bots with the exact direction they need to crawl the pages that you want to be scanned.
For example, here is a robots.txt file from the New York Times website that contains numerous forbid commands:
However, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to accidentally include pages you actually wanted indexed. Luckily, this is an easy fix.
If Google cannot index some pages of your website because of crawl restrictions or your robots.txt file is preventing it from crawling (and indexing) all your pages, look for any commands that are in your robots.txt file causing problems and make the appropriate adjustments.
2. Problem with your sitemap
Using sitemaps helps search engines understand the structure of your site and discover the most significant pages. As a result, a problem with your sitemap may be preventing Google from crawling your web pages.
Make sure yours is accurate and up to date.
Sitemaps are automatically generated for some websites by some hosting providers. A sitemap generator can be used to construct your own if your website lacks one. Once you have an XML file of your sitemap, upload it to Google Search Console GSC.
3. Irrelevant or Missing Pages
Each website has a limited crawl budget. If yours has too many irrelevant pages, you’ll run out. Make sure Google’s bots are reaching your most important pages by going through your website and deleting any that aren’t relevant.
Similarly, missing pages can cause you problems. When visitors land on a page that doesn’t exist, they get a 404 error page. This is fairly common on e-commerce sites, especially, which are subject to changing deals and inventories.
For Google to effectively crawl your website, you will need to add any currently missing pages.
After you have listed every page that generates a 404 error, you should then set up a 301 redirect to automatically redirect these pages to active web pages. This will improve the process that Google uses to crawl websites.
4. Organically Improve Traffic
Once you’ve fixed the problems that are preventing your site from being indexed properly, it’s time to start driving organic traffic by optimizing these vital pages for search engines. The best way to do this is by constructing attractive, keyword-rich pages that will bring highly targeted traffic to your website.
5. Create quality backlinks
Backlinks, an essential Google ranking criteria, helpGoogle determine the authority and credibility of your website. Therefore, generating high-quality backlinks will accelerate Google’s indexing of your content.
6. Build web pages Google bots cannot ignore
Your SEO efforts will only be profitable if your web pages rank at the top of SERPs. But Google’s ability to crawl and index your content alone is not sufficient to ensure this. Employ a well-rounded SEO strategy to make sure our site appears at the top of rankings and gets the traffic you deserve.