It’s not unknown that Google reads and understands your website but how does Google do it? We need to understand it while studying complete SEO course. You may have spent countless hours and times behind SEO, have crossed all those ranking factors of Google but you need to learn the process of how Google reads and understands your website.
You may ask me “why you need to understand how Google reads and understands your website?” The answer is simple, if you look at your website the way Google does, then you will be able to understand where you need to improve. You will be able to identify the possible areas your site needs your attention.
You will be able to identify and understand the importance of meta description, keywords, meta title, etc. on your site. We know its importance but how Google use them to find your website? From the SEO perspective, your understanding of the process will help you a lot in the long run.
Google needs to find your website:
Normally Google bots keep searching and crawling the web for websites and index websites for SERP. If your website is new, Google will eventually find your website. Then crawlers will crawl into your website and read all available information for the indexing. You can speed up the process and you should do it. There are a million website on the web and if you wait for the automatic process then it will take some time. Think you are in a field with thousands of people. If you put a flag o your hand then you will be visible from others. Similarly, if you follow the below the process the Google will crawl your website faster than others and you will be indexed faster.
Create a sitemap for your site:
A sitemap is a common word you may have heard already but what is this? It’s a special kind of document and its a map for both Google crawlers and visitors about your website. If you think it’s a complex task then don’t worry, I found it relatively easy if you are using a WordPress website. You can get it by installing Google sitemap generator. If you are using other sites, then use xml-sitemaps.com to generate a sitemap for your website. Then simply upload them to the root directory of your website.
Submit your website to Google webmaster tools:
You will get lots of valuable information from Google Webmaster Tools. Since it’s a tool provided by Google so you should use it. As a first step, you have to sign up with your site at webmaster. It will ensure you that your site is being indexed and returned by Google. After successfully sign up process the next step is to add your sitemap to the webmaster. Now go to your site then to the sitemap. If you can’t find a sitemap there then you have to click add/test sitemap in the right upper corner.
You can also ask Google to index your site at webmaster.
You have been successfully submitted the sitemap and completed the indexing process. Now you need to work on the other parts of the website.
Anything blocked by robot.txt and Google is blind there:
Robot.txt is an integral part of your website. It tells Google where it can run the indexing process and which part it should avoid. If there are copy contents and you don’t want to let Google index it or read it, then you can block it by robot.txt. As a result search engine won’t be able to read or show this page at SERP.
You can make your robot.txt simple or complicated. I prefer simpler one. You can easily make it.
TO create a robot.txt, you need a text file on your web browser named as robot.txt. When crawlers arrive at your site, it will look for this file and get the permission where it can crawl and index. If you want to let, Google crawl and index everything then doesn’t write anything after “Disallow:.” If you want to avoid showing a part to Google crawler, then write the specific part after “Disallow:.”
Not sure about the robots.txt to your website. Just go to Google Chrome and type,
If you don’t want to block any part of your website to crawl or index, then you can avoid this part by adding a robots.txt. But if you want to hide some part of your website then robots.txt is a must. It will help you to hide duplicate contents or anything you want to hide from indexing.
Google sees your title and meta description:
After the robots.txt part, you need to focus on the content showing part. Normally you use a title on every page and there is also a meta tag which tells Google what this page about. You can find it at <title> in your page’s HTML code.
It is true that Google can see your page’s entire title, but only 65 characters matter to Google because this 65 characters will be shown at SERP. So never use the same title at your site.
Keyword in the title is also important but don’t stuff it with the keyword. The title should contain more that keyword. It’s very very important for SEO.
The next important part is the meta description. You can also find it at HTML as <meta name=”description”>.
It is true that Google index your meta description but it doesn’t make any significant effect on ranking. So don’t make meta description as a keyword stuffing place. Meta description will e directly placed in front of visitors at SERP. So consider making it interesting and a highlight of that specific page.Keep it at 160 characters and include meta description on every page of your website. It will also serve as an advertisement copy of your website at SERP.
Google sees Alt tags to understand non-text items:
Google crawler is a kind of bot and it can’t see the picture. The existence of the picture will be visible to crawlers, but it can’t read the subject of the picture. So it just ignores the picture. To help it read the picture, you need to use the Alt tag.
Google indexes images with Alt tag and still, it can’t see the picture but can read the Alt tag. Like the meta title and meta description, the Alt tag is also a part of the HTML It should contain what the image is about.
<img src=”http://www.yoursite.com/picture.png” alt=”Keyword Phrase”>
In WordPress, you can easily input Alt tag and some other CMs automatically generate Alt tags. Avoid this and always create custom Alt tags. Press Ctrl+U at your page and search for Alt. Don’t leave a single image without an Alt tag.
Google reads your content
Content is the single most important part of a website and also the most important factor for ranking. And sadly also the most ignored part of a website.
By the word content, I mean everything written on your website apart from HTML. Google read every single word of the content and index them. To get a better rank, you need to follow some guidelines of SEO friendly content writing.
Since Google index content and use it as a ranking factor then consider providing the article on a regular basis. Also, make your content unique and plagiarism free. There is no length limit so you can provide any length you want. Google will read whenever you publish new content. New unique content means good site. Also, try to make it relevant to your keyword. Less relevant content means increase bounce rate and Google will understand that your site is not relevant.
Site level signals:
On-site level Google sees several signals. They are,
It’s something that creates the trust on your site. Outbound links, social spam, etc. create a place of trust in the eye of search engine. If your link profile is spammy, then Google will mark your site as a spamming site and if it happens the opposite then you will be treated as a trustworthy site.
Thin contents mean content that is not relevant and stuffed with keywords. This type of contents is highly discouraged after the Google Panda update.
Internal link ratio:
Simply link your most important page mostly while giving less focus on least important pages.
Where is your site located? Google now gives preference to sites located in the search area.
Every domain has a history behind. If your domain already got a penalty for some other issues than there is always a chance that your domain will get less preference on the SERP.
So, you got the idea how Google reads and understands your site right? It’s not that you have to do hours of hard labor to make your site prepared. Just think positive and get an overview about how Google reads and understands your site and then work on these.