Think of the internet as a virtual mansion and each room a webpage. Think of Google as a virtual person, going door-to-door recording what it sees in each room. When Google moves from webpage to webpage, it's known as crawling. When Google records details from a webpage, it's known as indexing. When Google indexes websites, they create an entry in the Google Search index for every word they see, among other details.
Google uses this index to power Google Search. Since there could be millions of websites that might provide relevant information for what was searched, Google has a system to rank where websites appear in the search results. How Google ranks websites in search results can be found here, some ways include:
- How many times your search keywords appear on the website
- The site's user friendliness
- The number of times another person with the same search clicked on the result
- The number of other prominent websites linking to the website
When you make changes to your website or your web address, Google will eventually update its index. To preserve or improve your site ranking it is recommended you update Google of your changes as soon as possible. You can update Google by:
- Requesting your website be reindexed by Google
- Submitting your web address to Google
- Adding your new web address to be indexed by Google
- Providing your sitemap to Google
These steps are recommended if you've recently moved your website and switched platforms to Lightspeed eCom, while keeping the same web address. Although your web address is the same, the page structure on Lightspeed eCom will be different from your previous website’s infrastructure. In addition to following the steps below, it is recommended that you redirect popular pages using the Redirects tool in Lightspeed eCom. For more information, click here.
- To reindex your site, login to Google Search Console.
- In the sidebar, click URL inspection.
- Enter your website's URL, including https://.
- Click Request indexing.
For more information regarding how to ask Google to recrawl your site, click here.
These steps are recommended if you've modified content on a few web pages of your eCom store. This is a simple method that does not require adding a property and verifying ownership. It only requires a Google account.
- To add a web address, click here.
- Enter your eCom store's web address.
- Pass the reCaptcha test.
- Click Submit request.
These steps are recommended if you've recently changed your web address or have added an SSL certificate to your website. For more information regarding how to update your traffic sources after a change to your web address, click here.
- To change your address, click here.
- Follow the on screen instructions.
For more information on how to minimize the impact on Google after changing your web address, click here.
You can send your sitemap to Google as an alternative method of having Google crawl your site. Lightspeed eCom automatically builds your sitemap and can be found by adding /sitemap.xml to the end of the web address of your homepage.
Follow these instructions to submit your sitemap:
- Click here to link directly to the Google Search Console's Sitemaps tool.
- Click Search property in the sidebar and select your eCom store.
- Copy your domain and add /sitemap.xml at the end. For example: www.yourshop.com/sitemap.xml.
- Paste your sitemap path under Add a new sitemap.
- Click Submit.