What Is A Google Crawl? 

Understanding The Google CrawlTo start, let’s define what a Google crawl is and why that is so important to the business owner. To gather the information hosted all over the ‘world wide web’ for organized search results a search engine like Google must deploy software referred to as a spider (or a crawler or a bot). By using these spiders to find and review web pages (including listings, and citations), search engines are able to crawl, index, rank, and then serve this information in their’ SERPs or search engine result pages. 

  • “Crawling” = Google crawls to discover all website pages
  • “Indexing” = Google learns what all pages are about, including the page title at an absolute minimum
  • “Serving” = Google responds to a search with results including some advertisements and then website pages, rank order or position determined by various signals it counts
  • Approximately 90% of all people looking for something online search, and approximately 86% still use Google to do it

Spiders consume pages, listings, citations, etc. into an index where it is all compared and ranked for the most accurate SERP (i.e. search engine result page) possible. Notice that we did not mention websites so much as we have pages, including listing & citations pages. Google wants to index & compare all web pages! Google applies rank to web pages for their keywords, NOT just to a website or a website’s home page and that’s important for a business to understand. Also notice we mentioned “indexes” and not index. It’s because there are different indexes for different contexts. For instance, a local service-oriented search will bring an index of results relevant to that geography. 

It’s why we MUST prioritize the keywords that a prospective lead would search in our pages, posts, and all content creation. For the business wishing to be visible when people are actually looking for its products or services, the effort has to begin with content. Content that a search engine can easily identify, consume and organize into its SERPs!

Rebuilding The Google Index – The Business Opportunity!

According to Google, their spiders crawl the web regularly in order to rebuild their index of pages and related keywords. NOTE: Google says it constantly rebuilds its’ index, meaning that it is always looking for the most timely information it can find! This is important because many business owners think they can set up a website and be done with it. Wrong!

why the google crawl is important to business

Search engines demand much more of the content they recommend in search engine result pages (SERPs). And because search engines are constantly rebuilding, the business owner must share the most current information and knowledge in order to remain relevant in these SERPs.

  • Is mobile- friendliness important? Yes!
  • Do inbound links matter? Some, when they are considered to be relevant to the subject and also trusted?!
  • Does social activity matter? Some, particularly when it drives traffic out from the network to a website page!
  • Is Google looking at how often a page is visited and how long users stay? Yes, because it is evidence the page is valuable to visitors.
  • Does Google lose interest in pages? To underestimate the enormous amount of competition is foolish, so we must consider what signals confirm that “this website page remains worthy of a high ranking position for its keywords”!

clicks from searches
In a competitive world for traffic and leads, search engine relevance is NO static exercise. Freshness matters and being timely with relevant content is certainly a competitive signal. Blogging about “what’s new”, for instance, can motivate a search engine to crawl one website more often than another that never adds new content. The more often a website is crawled, the more pages, posts, and keywords it will see consumed into the search engine indexes!

Google Crawl: Deep Spider Crawls and Fresh Spider Crawls 

The search indexes are in constant motion (in fact, they are kinetic) and Google crawls the web at varying depths and on several different schedules. Some are believed to be deep crawls and other fresh crawls. It is believed that there are comprehensive crawls (the deep crawls), which occur on a per month basis, and then there are intermediate or random crawls (fresh crawls), which occur more often, but don’t go as deep or index as much.

Some folks refer to the constant motion of the indexes as “the Google Dance”, but the fact is new information is ALWAYS being indexed. Website owners can raise the chance of being crawled deeper and more often, by adding new content frequently. In other words, blog and update or add new useful content!

Google’s spider is capable of comparing previous per page crawls to the current visit at light speed. If it identifies new content often it will schedule more frequent visits. Think of it like a web presence is being judged on each visit. Why? Because it’s highly inefficient and expensive for Google to crawl a website and its pages over and over when nothing changes. NOTE: there is only so much crawl bandwidth and search engines only succeed when they satisfy their search traffic. In order to satisfy the search, a business must provide the best user experience possible, which includes the most timely and accurate information possible. ALSO NOTE: due to the “Google Dance” and the constant re-evaluation of website pages, there is never a guarantee a page will remain indexed in the same position from one day to the next… it means, in terms of rank or position, that pages will move up and down!

Motivate Google To Help Your Business: Update Your Pages & Blog!

In all, website pages will be re-evaluated over and over. Like anything else in life worth having, rank and position are earned. So a website needs to be current, consistent, and on-topic! And while certain things can help (i.e. page submissions into Google Search Console), focus the most on great new content that people will appreciate, use, link to, and share! WHY?: Because Google is looking for the best new content. Help Google help you: write often and write well!

 

See Also:

About Your Google ListingGoogle Business Profile Listing Suggested Edits

Things change fast on the web. If you weren’t paying attention, you may have missed Google’s 12/09/21 announcement. The name of its local listing platform, formerly ‘Google My Business (GMB)’, was renamed ‘Google Business Profile (GBP)‘. And you are busy doing your job, so does the platform’s name really matter? Maybe not, but with updates, there is often change.

Google search results do matter. Particularly, if you wish to maximize visibility with locally motivated searching leads. And while only website pages can truly define a unique brand with the depth of valuable information a discerning consumer appreciates, your ‘Google Business Profile (GBP)’ listing should still be a priority. When people search locally, they will find a) various advertisements, b) a local map pack of ‘Google Business Profile (GBP)’ listings, and then c) the organic search results where those website pages rest. And while most people’s eyes roll right past the advertisements, many of them are going to consider that local map pack of Google listings. Some people click on the ‘Paid Ads’, but did you know that it is LESS than 10%? Approximately 94% of all search traffic rolls past the advertisements to the organic search results, including that local map pack of Google listings.

Assuming that you have a completely consistent well-managed & active Google Listing, you’d like to believe you’re all set. Not so fast! What are these ‘Suggested Edits’ in the Google listing (GBP) dashboard? Wait, can random people actually edit my Google listing?

What Are ‘Suggested Edits?’ For A Google Listing?

While it may seem absurd, Google’s algorithms will suggest changes as if you failed to detail your own listing. It will also allow anyone to suggest changes to the information displayed on your ‘Google Business Profile (GBP)’ listing. Yes, the general public or a competitor or a nefarious ‘for hire’ hacker can just click that prominent ‘Suggest An Edit’ link and enter whatever changes they want. Yes, they can influence the information critical to your business, including business name, hours of operation, phone number, category, products, services, and even whether your business is permanently closed. It’s all there for anyone who wants to TRY and make changes by clicking that “Suggest an edit” link. It is important to mention that just because some random person suggests an edit, it does not always mean it will go live, but if Google’s system even remotely trusts the source (e.g. Google Maps user with trust) then it has a high probability for approval live.

What Are 'Suggested Edits?' For A Google Listing?

You Are Still In Control of Your ‘Google Business Profile (GBP)’ Listing!

As frustrating as that all may be, you are (or should be) the owner of your Google listing. You must know what this “suggest an edit” feature is, how it works and how you can maintain control over the information displayed! While competitors, a disgruntled former employee, hacks, and pretty much the entire general public can make suggestions for your listing – you will always have time to see and reject all of them. Fair or not, it does mean that your Google listing requires attention. It means that if you are not paying attention to your GMB listing, it can result in incorrect business information visible to potential leads and existing clients.

The good news is that when a ‘suggested edit’ is submitted Google sends an email alert to you = the owner. In addition to that email, Google will display any suggestions in the ‘Google Business Profile (GBP)’ dashboard. These suggestions are highlighted in different colors, including Orange for ‘New data from Google’ or ‘Data removed by Google’ and Gray for ‘Data replaced by Google’. Just login to your GBP listing dashboard, click on the ‘Info’ tab and view any changes displayed there. Then you can go through it and either reject or accept the ‘suggested changes’. Again it seems absurd, but Google does not necessarily disclose how long you have to catch and either reject or accept suggested edit changes so pay attention to your email from Google (GBP)!

Ultimately, Google has enormous numbers of people searching online every day, including for the very products & services you offer. And Google wants accurate information for their searchers, so unfortunately it means that your FREE listing risks being wrong. So, manage your ‘Google Business Profile (GBP)’ Listing with discipline, concern, and care!

SSL Defined by Kinetic KnowledgeDefine SSL

So let’s define SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layers. SSL is not website security, for instance where firewalls identify nefarious IP addresses and block them from visiting the site. Nope, SSL encrypts or protects a web visitors’ connection from their browser to a website.

It used to be that when you looked at a URL in your browser you would see this: HTTP://WWW.URL.COM. The ‘HTTP’ stands for ‘HyperText Transfer Protocol’. That’s techie- speak for ‘how information is shared between a person’s browser and the website server, but it does NOT include encryption. Better yet, it is the connection someone makes via their browser to your website.

Now add an ‘S’ to make that HTTPS://WWW.URL.COM and you have ‘HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure‘, which encrypts information shared between the browser and website server. ‘SSL’ or that ‘S’ is the standard technology for establishing a secure connection between a human’s browser and the website server.

This kind of security became particularly relevant in 2014 when the ‘Heartbleed bug‘ became public knowledge. It allowed nefarious people (= hackers or spies) to listen in on traffic; it enabled an ability to read the data exchanged. The bug was patched, but the incident determined that encrypting user information over the internet was & is necessary. In fact, Google feels that it should NOT be an option because SSL protects all website visitors. In some cases, it protects YOU when logging in to your own website!

But What Does SSL Really Do?

When the link between browser and website server is ‘SSL’ it ensures that all information passed between the two remain private. When a page does not have SSL or maybe only ‘HTTP’ it is possible that third-party computers can get between the browser to website connection and see any information exchanged. It’s a huge issue, for instance, if a visitor to a website means to log in or if they share sensitive data like credit card information. When SSL is used the information becomes encrypted or unreadable to all but the website host server receiving the information.


Why Is Google After Us All To SSL Our Website Pages?

Nowadays Google’s Chrome browser adds an icon upper left to distinguish sites with SSL from those without. Some would argue the folks at Google are doing their best to inform and motivate safety online. Others might argue keeping everyone safe is good for Google’s business. It’s likely that no one would argue safety online is anything but good.  Then how do you motivate website owners to set about protecting their visitors with SSL?! Solution: try the insecure icon (i) or even warning messages Google’s browser uses to point out that a site is not HTTPS: If people are reluctant to visit the website because of those warnings it will certainly help to motivate website owners to get their SSL. And certainly, it is good for those of us who’d like to use the Internet safely, without concern for our own information theft.

Google’s influence has become a driving factor in SSL adoption. They even announced they were going to add the use of SSL as a ranking signal when comparing website pages. They didn’t say where the weight of the signal sits in what is universally believed to be as many as 200 ranking signals, but we can probably assume that (at least) for E-Commerce websites it’s very high. There are a number of different SSL certificates one can choose from: some determined by need, some related to hosting, and each offering different levels of trust at different costs with varied execution requirements. 


Will SSL Suffice So Far As Web Security Goes?

SSL is NOT all the security one needs! SSL is about protecting visitors to a website and NOT for the website owner herself. In fact, there is no one security absolute! The security threat landscape always evolves. Security is about risk reduction, never risk elimination because the risk will never be zero. See The 4 Areas Of Security Businesses Need To Manage to see more on this. Security is a continuous process; it is as much about securing and hardening a local environment, the user’s online behavior, and personal internal processes, as it is physically tuning and configuring website connections and installations. Security stems from three things: people, process, and technology. They’ve got to work in synchronous harmony to truly minimize the risks at hand!!

Google Listing Best PracticesGoogle Listing Best Practices

Whether your business has a visitor-friendly location or you strictly go to the client’s location – you are eligible to create a Google listing business profile. That is so long as the information you submit follows Google Listing Best Practices, including whether the business has a walk-in location or NOT. If all information complies with standard Google policies then the listing is going to remain live. Where a Google listing sits in the pack is going to depend on a number of different signals. Unlike most other listings, a Google listing has a number of different active content input options including posts, images upload, Q & A, and reviews.

Google recommends that the information (name, address, phone, hours, etc.) be consistent across other branded entities. In other words, assume that Google will cross-reference it all against other representations online. If the information is NOT consistent with a website, other prominent listings, and/or social media accounts, it is likely that the Google listing will suffer in competitive search results.

  • Always use an accurate address and/or ‘service area’ (e.g. when ‘go to the client’). Note that P.O. boxes or mailboxes in remote locations are prohibited.
  • Also, use the fewest number of category choices possible. Often people choose so many categories for a Google listing that the competitive relevance for any single category is undermined. Fear not, the description and service areas will make it up to you.
  • Never create more than one listing per location because it will force the algorithm to minimize any competitive relevance.
  • And then a brand (i.e. Snicker Bar), a rental or for-sale property, a Sales associate that is NOT an individual practitioner, a lead generation company, and/or an artist, unless there is a storefront location, is NOT eligible for a Google listing.

Only the business owner can verify and then manage a Google business listing or profile. That owner may THEN share access with others for editing and management, but must first invite the individual or individuals in order to be verified as ‘authorized representative’ or manager.

Google Listing: Location, Service Area or Hybrid Business

You can establish a 1) visitor-friendly location, a 2) ‘go to the client service area’, or a 3) hybrid of the two ‘business profile listing’. When setting up a listing this will become evident by how you enter information. For instance, a ‘go-to client-only service area business’ will want to establish its’ service area or the geographic area where products and services are provided, but NO address. In this case, leave the “business location” entry field blank. If the business has signage, offers both on location and ‘service area’ support then it is hybrid. If so, then both an address and services area will be the way to go. For a service area, the boundaries should not go farther than approximately 2 hours driving time from where the business is based.

Listings & Social Media Account Services

If you are looking for support with setup or the ongoing management of your Google listing, various other listings, and/or social media accounts, including posting-management service – let us know. We are versed and offer flexible options, including: