Google’s search index is the system used to collect and store data in order to retrieve and display the most accurate information to a user. This data can be in the form of web pages, online documents, graphics, video, and audio. The reason the index is stored is to provide quick results for a search query since the search engine can scan a large amount of information that’s indexed in a fraction of the time it would take to scan it anew with every search.

How does Google get the data?

Google crawls the web, looking for new data to include in its search results, and that data goes into the index, which functions much like a book index by organizing the available information so that it’s easy to locate when needed.

Google begins with URLs it’s already discovered and adds the links found on the known pages to its existing database. This includes new sites, changes, and even dead links.

Which is prioritized – mobile or desktop views?

Since most people are now using their mobile smartphones or tablets for much of their online searching, Google is responding by making the return of mobile-first searches a priority. They do this by using a mobile browser view when crawling, instead of the desktop browser view they used to use.

How can you improve your SEO?

Since mobile-friendly results are served first, it’s crucial that your site is easy to view, read, and navigate when using a mobile device. Google will prioritize sites that are responsive, offer them first to the user, and they will rank better.

The best result will come from having the same information, page-by-page, on the desktop and mobile site. If the mobile site has less information, the viewer will not have the complete story, since the mobile site will be the one delivered in the search results.

Another, new way to bring your website to the attention of the Googlebots is to submit your URL to Google. It’s simple to do, you just go to the Search Console Submit URL page and enter the URL in the box, verify you are not a robot and submit your request.

Google states that submitting a request doesn’t automatically mean your site will be indexed, and even if it is indexed, they make no promises about how long it takes to appear in results.

Since your site cannot be found until it’s indexed, it’s important to make sure steps are taken to get it indexed as soon as possible so the Google web crawlers can discover it and include it in the search results.