Understanding the Index in SEO: definition and importance for websites

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Indexing is a key stage in the natural referencing of a website. websitebecause it is through this process that Google and other search engines gather information about pages. This article will explain the definition of the index and its role in SEO.


What is an index and why is it important in SEO?

index is a term used to designate a database that lists all the web pages indexed by a search engine.

This information is collected and stored when the exploration robotsAlso known as "crawlers" or "spiders". When a query is made by an Internet user, the search engine uses its index to display the most relevant results.

In SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), indexing is therefore an essential aspect, as it enables your site to be visible with users.

To benefit from good SEO and appear at the top of the search results, it is important not only to have quality content, but also to ensure that the pages are correctly indexed.

Search engine evaluation criteria

Each search engine has its own algorithms for determining the order in which results are displayed. However, certain criteria are common and of particular importance:

    • Relevance A well-indexed page must match the user's query.
    • Site authority Reputation: the search engine attaches importance to a site's reputation, which can be measured in particular by the number and quality of incoming links.
    • Loading time A fast site encourages visitors to stay longer, thereby improving their experience of the site. user experience.
    • Technical optimisation To facilitate the work of crawlers, it is important to take care with the structure of your site, for example by adopting a silotags, use HTML or to offer an adapted sitemap.

Stages in the indexing process

To understand how a crawler manages to index your site, here are the main stages in its journey:

  1. Exploration : During this phase, the robots evaluate the links present on each web page they encounter. Thanks to these hyperlinks, they are able to follow specific "paths", called "paths". URL discovery" pages, which correspond to the indexable pages on your site.
  2. Recovery : After finding a page, the robot examines its content to determine its main theme and relevant keywords. HTML tags play an essential role here, helping robots to understand the structure of the page (headings, paragraphs, lists, etc.).
  3. Analysis: The search engine algorithm then assigns a score to each page, taking into account various criteria such as the quality and originality of the content, the number of incoming links and the frequency of updates.

For example, when a new page is published on a website, it generally takes a few days before it is indexed by Google, depending on its "popularity". This period can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the presence of sitemaps, the age of the site or the influence exerted by social networks.

How can you optimise your indexing?

To improve your natural referencing and facilitate the work of crawlers, here are a few tips to put in place:

  • Write content regularly : robots visit sites that are frequently updated more often.
  • Promote fluid navigation Avoid orphan pages404 errors or URLs that are too complex.
  • Use the meta tags appropriatesuch as SEO titles (title tag) and meta descriptions, to provide search engines and web users with structured information about the content of pages.
  • Opt for a internal networking and externalby creating relevant links between your different pages and external sources of authority.
  • Capitalise on social networks The more your site is shared and relayed, the better its visibility and authority in the search engines.

The sitemap: a tool to facilitate indexing

The sitemap is an XML file that lists all the URLs present on a website, with various associated information (date of last modification, frequency of updates, etc.).

It is used to guide crawlers as they pass by and to inform search engines about how the site is organised. You can submit a sitemap via the Google Search Console to optimise your indexing and improve the way your new pages are taken into account.

In short, the SEO index is of crucial importance for the natural referencing of your site.

It is therefore important to ensure that your pages are correctly explored, analysed and stored by the search engines. To do this, remember to adopt a coherent architecture, provide regular and relevant content, and work on the technical aspects of your website.

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