Web indexing (or Internet indexing) refers to various methods for indexing the contents of a website or of the Internet as a whole. Individual websites or intranets may use a back-of-the-book index, while search engines usually use keywords and metadata to provide a more useful vocabulary for Internet or onsite searching. With the increase in the number of periodicals that have articles online, web indexing is also becoming important for periodical websites.
Back-of-the-book-style web indexes may be called "web site A-Z indexes". The implication with "A-Z" is that there is an alphabetical browse view or interface. This interface differs from that of a browse through layers of hierarchical categories (also known as a taxonomy) which are not necessarily alphabetical, but are also found on some web sites. Although an A-Z index could be used to index multiple sites, rather than the multiple pages of a single site, this is unusual.
Metadata web indexing involves assigning keywords or phrases to web pages or web sites within a meta-tag field, so that the web page or web site can be retrieved with a search engine that is customized to search the keywords field. This may or may not involve using keywords restricted to a controlled vocabulary list. This method is commonly used by search engine indexing.
See also 
- Information architecture
- Search engine indexing
- Search engine optimization
- Site map
- Web navigation
- Web search engine
Further reading 
- TheAlphaWeb An example of an Internet A-Z
- Glenda Browne and Jonathan Jermey, Website indexing: enhancing access to information within websites, 2nd Edition, ISBN 1-875145-56-7
- James Lamb, Website Indexes: visitors to content in two clicks, or website indexing with XRefHT32 freeware, ISBN 978-1-4116-7937-5
- Beyond Book Indexing: How to Get Started in Web Indexing, Embedded Indexing, and Other Computer-Based Media, edited by Marilyn Rowland and Diane Brenner, American Society of Indexers, Info Today, Inc, NJ, 2000, ISBN 1-57387-081-1
- Leise, Fred (2002-07-15). "Improving Usability with a Website Index". Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Why Create an Index?
- Open Social Web 3.0 Directory – Compare and review web indexing programs