3 Essential Technical Requirements to Rank in Google Search

SUSO 30 April 2024

Find out which three technical requirements your website needs to meet in order to rank in Google Search.

Author: Deep Shah, Senior Project Manager

Deep Shah

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ensuring that your website ranks well in Google Search involves more than just quality content and effective SEO strategies. It also requires meeting specific technical standards that allow Google to discover, index and rank your web pages effectively. 

In this post, we’ll dive into the three essential technical requirements necessary for your pages to stand a chance in Google’s search results.

1. Is the page accessible by Googlebot?

Why It Matters: Googlebot is the bridge between your website’s content and its appearance in search results. If Googlebot can’t access your site (i.e. if you have a page that requires users to login), your content won’t appear in the search results for your desired keywords.

What to Do

  • Ensure that your robots.txt file (a file that allows you specify which sections of your website you don’t want crawlers to access) doesn’t block Googlebot. 

This means that your robots.file doesn’t include the following lines:

User-agent: Googlebot

Disallow: /

Use the Page Indexing report and Crawl Stats report on Google’s Search Console to check if your site is accessible to Googlebot. This will also help you to identify potential issues that could prevent access.

Page Indexing and Crawl Stats report

2. Does the page return a HTTP 200 status code?

Why It Matters: Google needs to know that your site is available and functioning correctly. Pages that return error statuses (i.e.301/302 redirects or 404 errors) are less likely to be indexed.

What to Do

  • Regularly monitor your website’s status codes through the URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console. 
  • A 200 (Success) status confirms that your pages are in good health and eligible for indexing.

URL Inspection tool

3. Is the content indexable?

Why It Matters: Even if Googlebot can access your site and your server responds with a HTTP 200 status, your content still needs to be in a format that Google can understand and index.

What to Do

  • Ensure your content is presented in a supported format (i.e. HTML, PDF, Microsoft Word document etc.) 
  • Ensure your content adheres to Google’s spam guidelines (i.e. cloaking, doorways, serving hacked content, hiding text or links etc.)

The Bottom Line

If the answer to each of these three questions is “Yes”, then you’ve met the essential criteria to start ranking in Google Search. All other technical SEO issues such as page performance, schema markup etc are additional best practices to enhance your rankability.

So, while meeting these requirements doesn’t guarantee that your pages will be indexed, they do guarantee that your site is eligible to be indexed.

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