Understanding Selective Indexing in SEO: A 10-point guide

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Selective indexing

What is selective indexing in SEO?

Selective indexing is a technique used in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to enable search engines to efficiently access and crawl certain parts of a website. websiteIn this article, we present this method in detail, explaining 10 key aspects you need to know.

Selective indexing

1. The website indexing process

Indexing is an essential pillar of search engine operationsuch as Google. It consists of browsing the various pages of a website and storing them in a database, which is then used when a request is made by an Internet user. The indexing robotsalso known as "crawlers", are responsible for site exploration.

2. The role of exploration robots

The exploration robots are computer programmes created by search engines. They crawl the web, following the links between pages and retrieving the information needed to index those pages. Robots regularly visit sites that have already been indexed to detect changes to content so the index can be updated quickly.

3. The importance of indexing for your website

Good indexing of your web pages is essential to ensure optimum visibility on the web. If your pages are not indexed by search engines, they will not be displayed in the results when a query is made. As a result, indexing is the first essential step to good natural referencing and will increase traffic to your site.

4. Selective indexing in SEO: definition

Selective indexing is a method of guiding and directing the work of crawlers in a specific way. Instead of subjecting your entire website to the indexing process, you define which sections should be crawled, and in what order or frequency. The aim is to improve the efficiency of the indexing process so that you can take full advantage of natural referencing.

5. The main reasons for implementing selective indexing

Selective indexing can be used in a number of situations:

  • Prioritising certain content Depending on their importance or relevance to your SEO strategy, it may be appropriate to prioritise the indexing of certain pages or sections of your site over others.
  • Avoiding duplication of content If your site contains similar or duplicate pages (such as product pages with slight variations), it is preferable to guide robots to the most important pages to avoid SEO penalties.
  • Saving resources Indexing: indexing an entire site can consume significant resources, both for the server and for the robots. By limiting indexing to certain parts of the site, you can optimise these resources and improve the overall performance of your site.

6. Use "robots" meta tags

To set up selective indexing, one of the first solutions is to use the meta tags "robots" tags. These tags allow you to include specific instructions for crawlers on each page of your site. In this way, you can ask the robots not to index certain pages, or not to follow certain internal links.

This tag tells robots not to index the web page in question.

7. The robots.txt file

The robots.txt file is another essential tool for managing the selective indexing of your website. Placed at the root of your site, it lists the access and indexing rules to be respected by the various search engines. For example :

User-agent : *
Disallow /private/
Allow : /public/

This file indicates that all pages located in the "private" folder should be ignored by robots, while those in the "public" folder can be crawled and indexed.

8. Use the rel="nofollow " attribute

The rel="nofollow" attribute is placed on a hypertext link and tells crawlers not to follow the link in question:

<a href="http://example.com" rel="nofollow">Example

This can be useful for preventing robots from crawling irrelevant or restricted pages, such as members-only pages.

9. Control the frequency of exploration using the HTTP "Cache-Control" header

As well as determining which pages to index, it is sometimes useful to control how often they are visited by robots. The HTTP "Cache-Control" header can be used to specify a period of time during which indexed resources are considered to be up to date:

Cache-Control : max-age=86400

In this example, the header indicates that the page can be cached for 24 hours (86400 seconds). During this period, crawlers will not need to revisit the page to check that it has been updated.

10. Regularly monitor the indexing of your site

To reap the full benefits of selective indexing, it is crucial to regularly monitor the indexing status of your pages. There are a number of tools available for analysing and monitoring your site's indexing data, such as the Google Search Console. Don't hesitate to use them to identify possible improvements and take advantage of them in your SEO strategy.

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