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If you are a website developer, an SEO expert, or would like to promote online content via search, the guide is for you.
In this guide, I endeavor to help you understand how search engines work under the hood so that you can be able to make informed decisions when coming up with your SEO strategy.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of making small modifications to your website to make its content easily discoverable through a search engine's organic search results.
Organic search results are free listings in a search engine that appear because they are relevant to someone's search terms. The paid search results are referred to as paid advertisements.
A good SEO approach is one that is aimed at making user experience better.
The main aim of this guide is to help you understand how to make your content optimized for Google's search. Since Google has a very high standard, tailoring your optimization to it is good enough. This approach will most likely take effect on other search engines as well.
This does not in any way restrict you from doing something about the other search engines. This only serves us well in narrowing our scope while still providing a good enough perspective with regards to search engine optimization.
In this section, we are going to explore some of the commonly used terms in this guide and in SEO in general.
This is a database in which a search engine stores all web pages that it knows.
This is the process by which search engines look for new or updated web pages by following links, reading sitemaps and many other means.
A crawler - Is automated software that crawls pages and adds them to an index.
Google bot - This the name for Google's crawler.
If are curious about whether your website is in Google's index, don't worry because, in this section, we are going to not only explore how to check if your website is indexed by Google, but also some reasons why it might not be indexed in case it isn't.
To find out if your website is in Google's index, prefix your website's domain name with site:, then search for the term on Google. For instance, for this website, I would do site:raivill.com.
According to Google, if your website isn't indexed, it could be because;
There are a number of things you can do to help Google and other search engines find your content. One of the things you can do is to submit a sitemap.
A sitemap is a file that contains information about the pages and files on your website.
The first thing you need to do before you can be able to submit a sitemap is to create a sitemap. You can see how to create a sitemap on from this guide by Google.
It is however important to note that if your website has less than 500 pages, you do not need to submit a sitemap.
First of all, you will need to upload your sitemap to your website's main entry point, where it will be available through a URL.
If you are using a site generator like WordPress, there are tools that can help you by automatically generating sitemaps for you. One such tool is the Yoast SEO plugin.
Once your sitemap is ready for submission, you can visit Google's search console, where you will be required to sign in with your Gmail account or register for a new one.
Once you are able to log in, you will be taken through steps to verify that you actually own the website whose sitemap you intend to submit. Once you go through these steps successfully, you will be able to access a dashboard with many options including one for submitting a sitemap.
Additionally, you may use the URL inspection tool to diagnose your website's URLs and fix possible issues with your links and content.
This guide could not be achieved without great insights from the Google Search Quality Team and Hubspot.