Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Even the best SEO companies may have taken a hit from the latest Google algorithms, for one reason or another. Sometimes your rankings can take a hit from malware attacks or other oversights that affect your rankings. When affordable SEO services have fixed such problems, they will likely want a Googlebot to recrawl its website to reevaluate it and put it back up in the rankings where it belongs. An affordable small business SEO service, in this case, may want to force the recrawl ahead of schedule.
There are a couple ways to force Google to recrawl your site, but they may not exactly be Google-friendly. These not-so-friendly tactics include resubmitting XML sitemaps or using tools like Seesmic Ping to coax a crawl. These tactics, however, don’t work all the time. You should, instead, resort to a plan that not only works in forcing Google to recrawl your site, but is also Google friendly.
An update in Google’s Webmaster Tools that’s little known even to the best SEO company is known as “Submit URL to Index.” This update allows you to submit your updated URL and Google promises to crawl within a day. Google does indeed deliver on this promise.
There are a few things you should know about the Submit to URL to Index feature.
This feature will not only recrawl your website, but will also email you with any error messages it ran into during its crawl. Such alerts are a relatively new part of the recrawling campaign; it allows webmasters to more visibly see any errors or problems that Google sees. Such error messages, however, will also likely postpone your site’s recrawl. Be sure you don’t inadvertently block Google’s IP, as your site’s performance will likely take an immediate hit as a result.
Once you get the errors taken care of, submit the URL to the “Fetch as Googlebot” category in Webmaster Tools. With this feature, you’ll get diagnostic feedback on whether Google could fetch your URL with success. Once Google is able to fetch your URL successfully, you can move on to the Submit URL to Index feature.
When using the “Submit URL to Index” feature, make sure your mark the “URL and all linked pages” option. With this option, the Googlebot will begin the recrawl on the main URL you submitted before spreading out to other pages on your site. Also, to force as deep a crawl as you can, submit the pages that are the most entrenched in links. Using the HTML sitemap URL is a good option in this case, as well as any other heavily linked pages.
Google limits you to ten index submissions per month, per account. Be wary of this if you host more than one website. Save your submissions to the sites that really need an in-advance recrawl.
After using the Submit to Index option, go to the crawl errors screen and “mark as fixed” any errors you previously fixed. Keep in mind that although Submit URL to Index adds convenience to webmasters, it’s still not a perfect system, as there might be some lag in Googlebots picking up fixed errors. You may still receive error messages in regards to things you already fixed. If you already know that you fixed these errors, ignore these messages and mark them as fixed again.
With this Submit URL to Index feature, webmasters no longer have to wait around for the next Google recrawl to see better results for their improve website. Knowing how to best use this feature will better prepare you in your next website fix.