Ranking and Indexing : A Classic SEO Mixup

Understanding the Difference between Ranking and Indexing

The world of SEO is littered with terms, definitions, and confusing acronyms. It can be difficult to keep track of everything and remember each term. There are some SEO definitions that are integral to the understanding of the industry though. For any industry professional, or anyone breaking into SEO, it is imperative you understand the meaning of certain words. Two common SEO terms that get confused time and again are ranking, and indexing. These words are closely related, and it is easy to see why they are commonly mixed up. Each word reflects certain actions taken by Google and other search engines, which is why these terms are so important to understand for SEO purposes.


Indexing in SEO refers to the action the search engine performs to gather information and data on your web page. Search engines must index your web pages before they can rank your site, so getting your site indexed is an extremely important step in the SEO process. Search Engines index your site by crawling your web pages using crawlers or bots. Indexing allows search engines to collect necessary information on your page and analyze content, images, keywords, etc. A fast and easy way to ensure the indexing of your site is creating an accurate, updated sitemap.


As previously mentioned, your website cannot be ranked until it is crawled, but that does not mean that it is not an important term to know! Basically, a website’s ranking refers to the site’s position on the search engine results page. If you search for a certain query or keyword, and your site is the first or second from the top, your site is ranking very well, but if your site is at the bottom of the fifth page, you are ranking poorly. The entire strategy behind SEO is to improve your ranking and climb to the top of the search engine results page. This can be done by understanding important ranking factors and improving in those areas.
Now that you fully understand the difference between ranking and indexing, you can craft your SEO strategy to fit the needs of each and improve your organic ranking. Boston Web Marketing is made up of a team of experts who completely understand the ranking and indexing process, and know what it takes to improve your site’s ranking, contact us for more information!

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