Search engine basics: All about crawling, indexing, and ranking

Search engines function thanks to the three-step process: crawling, indexing and ranking. By employing these advanced algorithms, search engines like Google can analyse millions of data to find the best query result consistently. Want to learn how to rank in search engines and improve your casino platform’s search engine performance? Read on to learn all about search engine basics with QWERTYLABS.

What are search engines?

Search engines primarily function as a tool to conduct searches and find results over the internet. All data on the World Wide Web is systematically analysed through advanced algorithms to find relevant answers to a search query. There are various search engine software accessible over the internet today. However, Google is considered the largest among them, with over 80% market share. Other prominent search engines include Yahoo! DuckDuckGo, Bing and Baidu.

How do search engines work?

In the simplest terms, search engines use advanced algorithms to collect data from the World Wide Web to find the most accurate result for every query. However, for further context, let’s take a closer look at the step-by-step process, which goes as follows:

  1. Crawling 

Search engines function through three steps, and the first one is crawling. This term refers to search engines like Google sending out crawlers to seek new and updated content. Crawlers or online bots, in this context, are software programs that scan the world wide web to collect data and add them to the search engine’s index. 

The process typically begins when the crawler, sometimes referred to as a spider or web crawler, starts ‘crawling’ known pages. From there, they’ll follow hyperlinks on those known pages to discover new ones and add them to the index.

To better serve its purpose, two types of crawling are done to scour the web for new content. The first one is the Discovery Crawl, which focuses on finding new pages on your website. The second is the Refresh scroll, which revisits old pages to gather updated information. 

  1. Indexing

Once the web crawlers have discovered a new page on a specific website, it will be added to the search engine’s index. These indexes are typically advanced, so it has detailed insight into every page, including the content and relevance of the page, the page links attached to it, the anchor texts, and more. Through the data on the index of search engines, platforms like Google can narrow down the relevant data to answer the user’s query. 

  1. Ranking

If you’ve been in the online casino marketing scene for a while now, you’ve probably employed various SEO tips for higher casino ranking in search engines. However, aside from applying these strategies, it’s also important to understand the system that determines optimisation rules.

This means looking at how search engines decide which web pages rank on the first page of specific search queries. As you know, engines like Google typically provide thousands, if not millions, of web pages per query. More than analysing the query’s intent and finding the related content within the index, search engine algorithms also factor in two things. 

The first is the webpage’s relevance which is essential to identify whether the content matches the query. Second is analysing the importance of a page which dictates its relevance to the engine. In general, webpages used as a citation or references by other platforms is a factor that determines a site’s relevance. 

Many more factors go into choosing the websites that rank the highest on search engines, but these two are the most important things to consider. That’s why you’ll notice most SEO strategies give a lot of focus on content quality.

Tips to improve your website’s search engine performance

With a clear understanding of how search engines work and the technical factors that play a big part in search engine ranking, knowing when to apply necessary strategies to improve your platform’s performance is important. Learn more about it below.

  1. Make sure your content is high quality

Producing high-quality content is important to ensure your website has a competitive ranking. On top of that, make sure your website’s content doesn’t break any platform policies that can risk its ranking.

Suffice it to say if you want to know how to rank on Google, the best way is to check their spam policy and make sure your website avoids breaking the indicated rules. That includes avoiding keyword stuffing, republishing content from other sites and employing automated content.

These things are typically done to manipulate search results by tricking search engine algorithms. However, since Google undergoes updates, attempting to do these cheap tricks will be easily caught. And as a consequence of breaking policy, you risk your site’s ranking and indexability.

  1. Consider the benefits of backlinking

A backlink refers to a website linking to another one using anchor text in its content. This link-building process improves search engine visibility because it signals that a site is authoritative and credible. On top of that, building your links organically also generates higher site traffic as you build relationships with your audience.

There are several ways to get quality backlinks for your casino sites, including link exchanges, paid links, PR campaigns and more. However, be sure to learn the top 6 common mistakes to avoid in casino link building to avoid compromising your site’s performance.  

  1. Optimise your site for crawling and indexing

Similar to using SEO strategies to improve your site’s ranking, you can also optimise your website for crawling and indexing. Since web crawlers are automatically sent out to find new pages using complex algorithms, it’s important to ensure that your site is fully prepared to provide what crawlers seek. That means fixing broken links and using ‘noindex’ tags appropriately, so it doesn’t affect your chances of being indexed. 

Additionally, improving your page’s loading speed is another way to address crawlability issues. Plenty of platforms that don’t rank suffer from slow page loading speeds. Their search engine ranking is likely affected by it since most web crawlers leave a page if it takes too long to load, meaning that page will remain uncrawled and unindexed.

  1. Make your web pages mobile-friendly

Optimising your pages for device searches is important with the continuous popularity of researching using phones, especially for mobile-first indexing processes focused on collecting data from mobile-optimised pages. Although the desktop copy of your page is indexed and appears on search results, be aware that the ranking may not be as high as pages specifically optimised for mobile searches.

  1. Keep track of crawl errors

Using the Google Search Console, a free tool to track a website’s presence on Google’s search engine, you can keep track of crawl errors your site encounters. This helps you keep them in check and address them efficiently.

  1. Optimise your XML sitemap for SEO

An XML sitemap is a type of file that functions as a directory; engines like Google will have better knowledge of your site’s essential pages. This is especially useful for content not internally linked to other articles. 

Since crawlers find new pages through page links, new pages that have not been linked will be difficult to find. Through a sitemap, this issue is resolved since it will help in content discovery.

  1. Regularly update site content

Consistently posting content on your site has benefits, such as building relationships with your audience to show you’re a reliable source of information. Additionally, regular content posting means web crawlers will scour your site regularly for new content and index your latest pages.

  1. Don’t overlook the importance of internal linking

Internal linking is a good way to signal to search engines which pages on a platform are relevant. Adding them on pages using relevant anchor texts also improves their ranking on search engines like Google. 

  1. Execute mobile-friendly tests

Following the previous points, one of the ways to ensure your site is mobile-friendly is by conducting a test to see if your platform is up to par with the standard. You can conduct the test by simply inputting the keyword ‘mobile friendly test’ into the Google query box. After hitting the search button, the software will load on top of the search result, and you can input your site’s URL to check the results.

Conducting this test allows you to gauge whether your site is accessible to users. If your result says otherwise, you can apply necessary tweaks to make your page more user-friendly. 

  1. Apply common SEO strategies consistently

Aside from all the strategies for crawling and indexing, you shouldn’t forget to apply the common SEO strategies you’ve already been doing on your website. If you haven’t done many of them, then now is a good time to start applying the necessary strategies to give your casino platform the best shot at ranking high in search engines. 

Listed below are some of the most important SEO practices you need to apply to your platform now:

Conduct keyword research – As one of the biggest factors in SEO ranking, adding the appropriate keywords to your content is possibly the most important thing you can do. By using software like Ahrefs keyword generator or Google’s Keyword Research tool, finding the right keywords for your casino platform content will be easy.

Track your site’s performance – In the digital space, website traffic and lead conversion is the biggest indication that your site is performing well. That’s why using tools like Google Analytics, Pingdom, WebPageTest, SEO Site Checkup, and PageSpeed Insights is important to improve your site’s performance. 

Additionally, you’ll discover the areas where your site is underperforming by gathering the necessary data. Once you’ve identified these areas, you can find ways to improve them so your site performs better in the future.

Cross-post your content – It’s not enough to simply publish your content and hope it gets discovered. You need to take the steps to market your content properly, so it reaches as many people as possible.  

Although it does not directly affect your SEO ranking, posting your content on your social media accounts accompanied by a good copy for customer engagement and tapping your target audience in different spaces. 

Take your website’s SEO to the next level with QWERTYLABS

In such a competitive industry, the best way a casino platform can stand out is by employing all the necessary SEO strategies. However, to do so, you’ll need to understand search engines at their core. That includes understanding the process of how search engines work. 

Once you understand the intricacies of crawling and indexing and how it affects search rankings, you’ll be better equipped to find marketing solutions that improve your site’s visibility and SEO performance. However, this is often easier said than done. Most times, the best solution is to rely on experts to do the job. That’s why QWERTYLABS is here. 

With our vast experience in the casino industry and SEO, we’ll take your casino platform to the next level with our services. Contact us now and see your casino platform dominate search engines with QWERTYLABS.

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