Website ranking: differences with indexing

After putting a website or blog online, it may happen that it is difficult to see an increase in visits despite the commitment and effort applied. Probably, the problem is related to the ranking which, not being extremely effective, does not make the site or blog visible to those who search on Google.

Fortunately, it’s not impossible to fix it: there are various techniques and directions to follow to improve it, especially if you choose the right tools that allow Google to “see” blogs and sites and increase visits. The activities aimed at positioning a website are part of SEO, which we talked about in this article; take a look after you have finished reading the following paragraphs to learn more about the topic!

Difference between indexing and ranking

Before discovering how to best position a site, it is very important to make a distinction between ranking and indexing; often, in fact, there is a tendency to confuse using the two terms as synonyms, when in reality they indicate two completely different actions:

Indexing consists in making an Internet site visible among the results of any search engine regardless of the position it has in the SERP, i.e. in the search results page. Ranking, on the other hand, indicates the position occupied by an indexed site in the SERP of search engines and which can vary on the basis of innumerable elements taken into consideration by search engine algorithms.

In a nutshell, all sites that occupy any position in the SERP of a search engine must necessarily be indexed by it, but not all indexed sites are perfectly positioned.

Let’s go into more detail to better understand.

What is indexing and what is it for?

All sites that are included in the Google search index and which, consequently, appear in the SERP are defined as “indexed”. The index is the search engine itself, which filters the various pages that are submitted to it and, through its algorithms, puts them in order of relevance and quality of the result.

Here are some ideas to better index a website:

  • if it is a site that has already been online for a long time, it is highly probable that there are already several links scattered around the web that refer to it and that make it indexed; to verify it, you can do some tests by carrying out searches using specific keywords (such as the name of the brand);
  • manual indexing can be requested directly from Google, signaling the presence of the site through the XML sitemap; some online tools allow you to automatically generate the sitemap, so as to facilitate the indexing process.

Obviously these are just small suggestions, so every webmaster will find the most appropriate (and winning) strategy to get the best results.

What is ranking

In the game of online presence, indexing is needed to participate, while positioning is essential to win. The latter, in fact, determines the visibility of a site and aims to achieve the first results of the search index in relation to certain keywords.

To give an example: a site positioned on page 3 will probably have very few visits from Google; on the contrary, a site that is on the front page will certainly receive a higher (and advantageous) number of clicks.

How to rank a website

Therefore, considering that the ranking of a blog or website is practically indispensable, it is necessary to pay due attention to it and apply small improvement techniques. Here are 10 very useful steps, especially for newborn sites that have yet to find their place in the immense sea of the web:

1. Create a Google Analytics account

The first step is to create a Google Analytics account, in order to obtain a tracking code/ID to insert on your site and verify its ownership.

2. Sign up for Google Search Console

Subsequently, it is recommended to register with Google Search Console and connect your site, again to validate its ownership. By doing so, Google can verify that the site really belongs to the owner of the Search Console account, which is one of the most valid and effective tools for positioning a site.

3. Submit the sitemap to Google

After verifying the site with Google, a correct optimization can be obtained by sending a sitemap of the site, that is an index in html which contains useful information for search engines.

4. Subscribe the site to DMOZ

The DMOZ website directory is very useful for ranking, as it is widely taken into consideration by most search engines and allows you to give greater reliability to your website, making it more captivating and attractive.

5. Enter the favicon

If it hasn’t already been done, you need to add the favicon, i.e. the brand icon, on every page of the site. It is considered by search engines, so its presence is essential to say the least.

6. Optimize images

Another step favorable to ranking involves optimizing the site’s images through resizing and lightening them: these two operations, in fact, speed up the loading of the pages which, consequently, are better indexed by search engines. It is no coincidence, in fact, that a determining factor for the bounce rate (i.e. the rebound rate, which indicates the number of users who enter and leave the site in a few seconds) is precisely that of the speed, which should remain between 0.5 and 2 seconds.

7. Insert meta tags

Meta tags consist of useful information to be included on a website and which provide descriptions relevant to the searches made by users. They have always proved to be valid tools to facilitate the user experience of users, as well as to increase the number of visits. Meta tags, therefore, help users identify a site and decide whether it might be relevant or not.

8. Check for errors

Another important step to take for a valid positioning is the control of errors, especially of internal and external links present, to be done mainly for newly launched sites.

9. Connect social networks

Nowadays it would be unthinkable to start a website without connecting it to the main social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and many others which prove to be useful for creating the so-called “social engagement”, i.e. an involvement by users interested in the same topic. Social channels can be managed directly from Business Suite or through external tools such as Hootsuite.

10. Create valuable content

Last but not least, it is essential to create valuable, well-written content that deals with topics that are viral and of interest to the target audience. Furthermore, it is advisable to update them often in order to signal constant and targeted activity to Google and, at the same time, provide users with always new and engaging topics.