Friday, February 10, 2017

How to Force Google to Re-Index Your Blog Posts

As someone who's relatively new to blogging, after publishing a couple of posts, I was excited to check my blog stats to see whether people are reading, or at least searching, my posts. I also started to look for tips on how I can improve post "searchability", a topic called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). After applying some of the suggestions, I waited for a couple of days to see if it has an effect on my blog "searchability". Unfortunately, the stats were discouraging. I then tried to google my posts, to the point that I almost provided the complete URL. To my surprise, Google couldn't find my posts! In short, Google still hasn't crawled and indexed my blog posts. No wonder most of my visitors came from Facebook only.
So I then searched how long it takes Google to crawl and index / re-index blog posts. There were a lot of tips available on how to ask Google to crawl and index your blog, from submitting your blog's xml sitemap to using third-party tools. Some tips were useful and free, while some wanted to give information for a fee.

But this Google page I discovered lets you specify the URL of your blog and forces Google to crawl and index / re-index your blog. In just a few minutes, my posts are now included in Google's search results. I tried to update the permalink of a blog post to incorporate SEO tips then submitted the post URL for re-indexing, and within a few minutes, I was able to search for it and saw that it already reflects the updated link. This just proves that the page works, even though Google made the disclaimer below:
Google adds new sites to our index, and updates existing ones, every time we crawl the web. If you have a new URL, tell us about it here. We don't add all submitted URLs to our index, and we can't make predictions or guarantees about when or if submitted URLs will appear in our index.

Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that you will immediately have improved visitor stats, but the fact that your posts can now be searched gives you a better chance. Next thing to worry about is coming up with interesting posts with SEO considered.

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