When you post new content, you want users to find it in search results as quickly as possible. Fortunately, the SEO toolbox has a number of tips and tricks to help you achieve this goal. Sit back, turn up the volume and let Cyrus Shepard show you exactly how to do it in this popular and informative episode of Whiteboard Friday.
(Note: # 3 isn't covered in the video, but we did include it in the post below. Enjoy!)
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Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I'm Cyrus Shepard, back at the whiteboard. I am very happy to be here today. We're talking about ten tips to index and rate new content faster.
You post some new content on your blog, website, sit around and wait. They are waiting for it to be added to Google's index. They are waiting for it to rank. It's a frustrating process that can take weeks or months for these rankings to rise. There are a few simple things we can do to help keep Google going, indexing it, and ranking it faster. Some very basic things and some more advanced things too. We'll dive right in.
1. URL Inspection / Fetch & Render
Basically, indexing content on Google isn't that difficult. Google provides us with a number of tools. Probably the easiest and fastest is the URL inspection tool. It's in the new search console, previously Get and Render. At the time of this shooting, both tools are still in place. You copy off Fetch and Render. The new URL inspection tool lets you send a URL and tell Google to crawl it. When you do, they put it on their priority crawl queue. That simply means that Google has a list of URLs to crawl. It goes in priority, and it crawls faster and indexes it faster.
Another common technique is simply to use sitemaps. Unless you're using sitemaps, this is one of the easiest and fastest ways to index your URLs. When you have them in your sitemap, you want to let Google know that they actually exist. There are a number of different techniques that can actually streamline this process a bit more.
The first and most basic that everyone is talking about is just adding it to your robots.txt file. In your robots.txt you have a list of instructions, and at the end of your robots.txt you just say sitemap and tell Google where your sitemaps are. You can do this for sitemap index files. You can list multiple sitemaps. It is really easy.
You can also do this with the Search Console Sitemap report, another report in the new Search Console. You can go in there and submit sitemaps. You can remove sitemaps, validate them. You can also do this through the Search Console API.
One really cool way to let Google know about your sitemaps that a lot of people aren't using is just to ping Google. You can do this in your browser url. You just enter google.com/ping and enter the sitemap with the url. You can now try this out with your current sitemaps. Type it into the browser bar and Google will immediately queue that sitemap for crawling. All URLs contained in it should be indexed quickly if they meet the quality standard of Google.
3. Google Indexing API
(BONUS: This wasn't in the video, but we wanted to include it because it's pretty awesome.)
In the past few months, both Google and Bing have introduced new APIs to speed up and automate the crawling and indexing of URLs.
Both solutions offer the potential to massively accelerate indexing by sending 100 or 1000 URLs via an API.
While the Bing API is dedicated to any new / updated URL, Google states that their API is specifically dedicated to "either job postings or structured live stream data". Even so, many SEOs like David Sottimano have experimented with Google APIs and found that it works with a wide variety of content types.
If you want to use these indexing APIs yourself, you have a number of possible options:
Yoast announced that they will soon be supporting live indexing for Google and Bing in their SEO WordPress plugin.
Indexing & Ranking
This is about indexing. Now there are a few other ways that you can index your content faster while ranking slightly higher.
4. Links from important sites
When you post new content, unless you do anything else, you want to make sure you are linking from important pages. Important pages can be your homepage that adds links to the new content, your blog, and your resources page. This is a basic step that you want to take. You don't want to orphan these pages on your website without inbound links.
Adding the links tells Google two things. They say we have to crawl this link at some point in the future and it will be put on the regular crawl queue. But it also makes the link more important. Google can say, "Well, we have important pages that link to it. We have some quality signals to help us rank it." So link from important sites.
5. Update old content
However, a step that people often forget is not only the link from your important pages, but you want to go back to your older content and find relevant places where those links can be placed. Many people use a link on their home page or a link to older articles, but they forget about this step of going back to the older articles on your website and adding links to the new content.
From which pages should you add now? One of my favorite techniques is using this search operator here, where you type in the keywords your content is about and then create a website: example.com. That way, you can find relevant pages on your website that are related to your target keywords and these are really good targets to add those links from your legacy content.
6. Share socially
Really obvious step to share socially. When you have new content to be shared socially, there is a high correlation between social sharing and content ranking. Most importantly, when you share content aggregators like Reddit, they actually create links for Google to crawl. Google can see these signals, see social activity, sites like Reddit and Hacker News adding actual links to them, and the same thing as adding links from your own content, except it's even a bit better because of it external links are. They are external signals.
7. Generate traffic to the URL
This is a kind of advanced technique that is a little bit controversial for its effectiveness, but we see it work anecdotally over and over again. That just creates traffic to the new content.
Now there is some debate about whether traffic is a ranking signal. There are some old Google patents out there that deal with measuring traffic, and Google can perfectly measure traffic using Chrome. You can see where these websites are from. As an example of Facebook Ads, you are launching some new content and driving a large amount of traffic to it through Facebook Ads. They pay for that traffic, but in theory, Google can see that traffic because they measure things with the Chrome browser.
If they see all the traffic going to a page, they can say, "Hey, maybe this is a page we need to have in our index, and maybe we need to rank it accordingly."
After we've indexed our content, share some ideas on how you might be able to rate your content faster.
8. Generate search clicks
In addition to generating traffic for the URL, you can also generate search clicks.
What do I mean by that? Imagine sharing a URL on Twitter. Instead of sharing directly with the URL, you are sharing it with a Google search result. People click on the link and you will be taken to a Google search result with the keywords you want to rank for. People search and click on your result.
You see television commercials that do this, like in a Super Bowl ad that says, "Go to Google and search for 2019 Toyota cars." This means that Google can recognize search behavior. Instead of going straight to the page, they see people clicking on Google and choosing your result.
- Instead: https://moz.com/link-explorer
- Share this: https://www.google.com/search?q=link+tool+moz
This does a couple of things. It helps you increase your click-through rate, which may or may not be a ranking signal. It also helps you with the ranking for automatically suggested queries. So if Google sees people searching for "Best Cars 2019 Toyota" it might show it in the suggestion bar. This will also help you rank if you are ranking for these terms. Generating search clicks instead of a direct link to your URL is one of the advanced techniques some SEOs use.
9. The target query deserves topicality
As you create the new content, you can help it rank faster by choosing terms that Google believes deserve freshness. It may be best if I just use a few examples here.
Imagine a user searching on the phrase "cafes open for Christmas 2019". This is a result for which Google would like to provide a very fresh result. You want to get the latest news about cafes and restaurants that will be open for Christmas 2019. Google will give preference to pages that have been created more recently. So, targeting these queries may help you rank a little faster.
Compare that to a question like "History of the Bible". If you google this now, you will likely find a lot of very old pages, Wikipedia pages. These results don't get updated much and it becomes harder for you to dig into these SERPs with newer content.
To see this, just put in the queries you want to rank and see how old the latest results are. This gives you an indication of what Google thinks of how much freshness this query deserves. Pick questions that deserve a little more freshness and you may be able to jump in a little earlier.
10. Use the URL structure
Finally, last tip, this is something that many websites do and many websites don't, because they just aren't aware of it. Make use of the URL structure. When Google sees a new url, a new page to be indexed, it doesn't have all the signals to evaluate it. They have a lot of algorithms trying to guess where to put it. They have stated in the past that they use the URL structure to determine part of it.
Note that the New York Times publishes all book reviews at the same URL (newyorktimes.com/book-reviews). You have many established ranking signals for all of these URLs. When a new url is published with the same structure, you can assign some temporary signals to it to organize it accordingly.
If you have URLs with high authority, maybe your blog, maybe your resources on your website, and you are using an existing URL structure, new content published with the same structure may have a small advantage over at least the short term until Google does these things can find out.
These are just a few of the ways you can index and rate your content faster. It is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many other options. We'd love to hear some of your ideas and tips. Please let us know in the comments below. If you like this video please share it for me. Thanks to all.
Video transcription from Speechpad.com
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