Google must index a document before it can be presented to Internet users when they perform a search. However, the search engine does not index all document formats.
As a result, it can be difficult to find certain types of document online, such as .csv (comma-separated values) files. But Google recently confirmed that it now indexes this file format, which contains comma-separated data.
In this article, we’ll find out what changes Google has made to its documentation regarding the document types it currently indexes.
Changes to Google documentation
Google’s documentation on file types has changed, and you can see the changes when you compare the current help document with the one from March.
In March, the .csv format was not included, but it is now one of the documents that Google can index. This format can be used to store tabular data, like spreadsheets.
And that’s not all! There are other formats that are now also included in the documentation, even though they weren’t in March.
These include video and image formats such as :
- 3GP, 3G2, ASF, AVI, DivX, M2V, M3U, M3U8, M4V, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPEG, OGV, QVT, RAM, RM, VOB, WebM, WMV and XAP;
- BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP and SVG.
On closer inspection, it’s clear that some formats could already be indexed. So it’s a simple matter of updating the documentation to include all formats indexable by the search engine. But for the .csv format, this is really a new trick.
Indexing .CSV: Simple modification of the documentation or modification of the indexing algorithm
Google has recently updated its help document to add a new type of document that it is able to index. The biggest new feature is the indexing of .csv format, those files with comma-separated values.
The question this raises is whether this is simply an update to the documentation, or an update to the indexing algorithm, particularly in terms of the document types it can handle.
To find out for sure, Barry Schwartz put the question to Google’s John Mueller in a tweet.
new in the help doc and also new in terms of google being able to now (new) index CSVs?– Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) August 25, 2023
Mueller said it was really new and that the change was in the algorithm.
New new, not just new doc :).– John likes changing profile names #26/6 (@JohnMu) August 25, 2023
As a result, the search engine is now able to identify .csv files and index them.
To sum up
In conclusion, Google can now index your .csv files just like the many other document formats the search engine already supports. You can also read our article on the latest update to Google’s core algorithm, or subscribe to our newsletter for more real-time Google news.