Fetch as Google, part of the Google Search Console, lets you simulate how Google will
render a published page, and it'll also let you submit your pages to Google's index.
The goal of course being, to get your site or changes to your site up on Google as quickly
and efficiently as possible.
Now Google's pretty good at catching and indexing changes on its own.
But there are two really great tools that can help in this department: Fetch… and Index.
Let's start with Fetch.
From the Search Console, you can run a Fetch under the Crawl category: specifically Fetch as Google.
This tool lets you see how Google renders pages from your website, which we know because
on the top of the page it says "see how Google renders pages from your website."
By default, the URL field is left blank.
And if we move forward without entering a specific path, the tool will fetch our homepage.
Now we have two options: Fetch or Fetch and Render.
Fetch will let you see how Google views your code…and Fetch and Render will do the same
thing, plus give you a visual representation of what Google sees.
For right now, let's Fetch & Render so we can explore visually.
This can take a moment…but what you're looking for is a status of Complete.
You can see below some alternate statuses — these will display if Google can't access
your site or some of the resources on your page.
This will usually only happen if you've manually blocked content on your site — if Google
can't access something.
But now that it's complete, we can hover over and click the row to take a closer look.
And right there, we have a side-by-side: to the left, how Google sees the page; to the
right, how a visitor might see your page.
Of course, Google's looking for text, images — it's looking for content — things it
can add to its search index, so specific layout and style considerations aren't a factor here.
So don't worry if your layout and font selection look a bit odd.
Now you don't have to visually browse through every page, and you don't even have to do
it with your homepage.
This part can be helpful for troubleshooting, but the real killer feature here is indexing.
Once you've done a Fetch or Fetch and Render, you can request indexing.
Now this is great if we've made an update to our site or a specific page, and we want
to let Google know right away.
So if we've updated our site, and we've done a Fetch on our homepage, crawling our URL
and its direct links means Google will follow links from your homepage and crawl those pages, too.
If we've only updated a specific page?
Or we're just looking to have Google update one URL only?
We have that option as well.
Now both requests have limited submissions inside a 30-day period, so don't worry about
re-indexing obsessively every time you fix punctuation or update a font color.
So, we have Fetch and Render, which gives us info regarding Google's access to your site.
And we have Request Indexing.
Asking Google to re-crawl and re-index your URL.
That's…Fetch as Google.