In the wake of recent news about a major marketing website whose site indexing was compromised temporarily, it begs the question: As a small business owner, would you know if your site index was compromised? Site indexing is one of those behind-the-scenes things that you may or may not have heard of—but more than likely don’t totally understand. It’s ok to not understand site indexing, but only so long as you have an expert on your side that understands it, its importance, and manages your site indexing for you. Here’s everything you need to know about site indexing: what it is, why it’s important and how to monitor it.

What the heck is site indexing anyways?

Indexing is—put simply—the process of search engines adding pages of your website to its repository of pages to display in search results. So, when a user performs a search, only webpages that have been indexed are available to be displayed in search results. Think of it like adding additional entries to an encyclopedia—if the information isn’t in the encyclopedia, it can’t be found when someone looks through it. Your website must be built and structured properly with the correct tags and a sitemap to allow all relevant content to be indexed by search engines.

Why is site indexing important?

By now it should be pretty clear—you want to dominate local search—you want consumers to find the relevant information from your website when they’re searching for products and services you provide. If your site (or part of it) is not indexed, the search engines can’t recommend you to consumers when they’re searching. Essentially, if your site isn’t indexed, it might as well not exist because no one will be able to find it. Bottom line: having a website isn’t enough, consumers have to find your website. And to do that, it must be indexed.

Monitoring your site index status

If no one can find your website, that’s a big problem for your business. But getting your site indexed isn’t just a one and done kind of thing. You need to continually monitor the status of your site. Any number of things could cause a site to be removed from the site index. Regardless of why, the point is that just because your site was indexed, doesn’t mean it still is, or will always be. This is why it’s usually a good idea to partner with someone who can not only manage your search engine optimization, but also monitor the overall health of your website—including your sitemap, tags, and site index status. You’re busy running your business, make sure someone else is busy making sure customers can find your business.

At the end of the day, every business wants to get found in relevant local searches online. Your website is one of the most integral ways of getting found. But it all hinges on your website itself being found. Don’t get caught with a site that’s not indexed. Make sure your online presence—especially your website—is optimized and visible every day.

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