Improving your site's indexing and ranking

February 13, 2006

You've submitted a Sitemap for your site. As we explain in our docs, a Sitemap can help us learn more quickly and comprehensively about the pages of your site than our other methods of crawling, but it doesn't guarantee indexing and has no impact on ranking.

What other things can you do to increase your site's indexing and ranking?

Make sure your site is full of unique, high-quality content.

Google's automated crawling, indexing, and ranking processes are focused on providing quality search results. Is your site a high-quality result for the queries you want to rank highly for? Look at your home page. Does it provide information or does it consist primarily of links? If it is mostly links, where do those links go? Do they lead visitors to good information on your site or simply to more links? Look at your site as a searcher would. If you did a search, would you be happy with your site as a result?

Does your site follow the webmaster guidelines?

Take a close look at your site and our webmaster guidelines. Remember that your site should be meant for visitors, not search engines. It's a good idea to read these guidelines and evaluate your site to make sure it meets them. If it doesn't, your site probably won't be indexed, even if you submit a Sitemap. Here are a few things to check.

Does your site use hidden text?

Hidden text is generally not visible to visitors and is meant to give web-crawling robots, such as Googlebot, different content. For instance, a site might add text in a very small font that is the same color as the page's background. Webmasters sometimes do this because they want to provide more information to the web-crawling robots, and this hidden text is often a list of keywords that the webmaster would like the site to be ranked highly for. Don't use hidden text on your site. Since Google's automated processes are focused in giving searchers high quality results, our guidelines are clear that sites should show Googlebot the same thing they show visitors so our processes can accurately evaluate them.

Does your site use keyword stuffing?

Webmasters sometimes use keyword stuffing much the same way as hidden text. They want to give Googlebot a list of terms that they want their site to rank highly for. But Google's automated processes analyze the contents of a site based on what visitors see, not on a laundry list of keywords. If you want your site to rank highly for particular keywords, make sure your site includes unique, high-quality content related to those keywords.

You want other sites to link to you. So, guidelines about links may seem co