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What is Indexing in Digital Marketing?

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

What is Indexing?
Indexing, in terms of digital marketing, refers to the process by which search engines such as Google store and retrieve data when a search query is rEesult. These search engines scan webpages, sort through their components such as images, videos, and text, then store this information in a database, or an "index." When a user performs a search, the search engine refers to this index to provide the most relevant results.
Bots, also known as web crawlers or spiders, perform the scanning process. They crawl through websites, follow hyperlinks within these sites, and index new web pages or updates to existing ones. Indexing is a continuous process, as new content is generated and old content is updated or removed constantly on the internet.
It's crucial to note that search engines have specific criteria for indexing web pages, and not all pages will be included in the index. Things like keyword relevancy, page quality, updating frequency, and mobile compatibility can affect whether a search engine indexes a webpage and where it will be ranked in search results.
Indexing's Role in Digital Marketing
Indexing plays a crucial role in digital marketing as it directly impacts a website's visibility on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). When a website is indexed correctly, it's more likely to appear in search results, thus driving organic traffic towards the site.
A strong indexing strategy can immensely boost a website’s SEO, ensuring it shows up in relevant searches. A significant part of this strategy involves using the right keywords and meta-description, creating quality content, and regularly updating the site. This way, the website stays relevant, competitive, and elicits crawlers’ attention, prompting frequent visits and updates to the search engine's index.
Failure to index a website correctly can lead to it being either ignored by search engines or poorly ranked in search results, which can be devastating for online businesses. Hence, understanding and implementing proper indexing techniques is a fundamental practice in digital marketing.
Indexing Examples
Let's consider a blog writer who regularly produces content on "healthy recipes." When indexing that website, the search engine will scan the content, take note of its relevance (due to usage of keywords like 'healthy recipes,' 'nutritious meals,' etc.) and index it accordingly.
When someone searches for 'healthy recipes', the search engine will refer to its index and display the blog among its search result depending on the blog's SEO strength. If the blog is consistently updated with quality content, uses effective keywords, and has a lot of user engagement, it will likely be indexed favorably and feature higher on SERPs.
Another example could be of an online shopping website. A successful indexing strategy would involve using product-specific keywords, writing detailed product descriptions, and maintaining up-to-date product listings. This would prompt search engines to index these pages and display them when a related search is made, driving potential customers to the website.