Imagine you’ve poured countless hours into crafting engaging blog posts, creating stunning visuals, and optimizing your website for a seamless user experience. Your content is top-notch, and your products or services are ready to conquer the market. Excitement fills the air as you hit that “Publish” button, eagerly awaiting an influx of visitors and potential customers.
However, despite your best efforts, there’s an invisible barrier thwarting your success – pages that aren’t indexed or indexable. It’s like building a masterpiece in a hidden corner of the world, where no one can admire it, appreciate it, or even find it.
How do we check whether your pages are getting indexed? Fortunately, there’s a tool that can check for us and diagnose possible issues causing the page not to be indexed.
With this tool, which I’ll introduce later in the article, you can rest assured that all your content is indexed, or at least indexable.
In this article, we will cover various reasons why your page may not be indexed or indexable and provide solutions to pages that are not receiving any traffic because of their index status.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- The consequences for not checking your pages are indexed
- How to verify a page can be indexed
- Troubleshoot non-indexed pages on your site
- Reason 1: Your content is new and Google has not indexed it yet
- Final Thoughts
The consequences for not checking your pages are indexed
The consequences are dire for bloggers and website owners who don’t verify their content is indexable. Picture this:
- Invisibility in the Vast Digital Universe: Your precious content remains unseen by search engine crawlers, making it impossible for your target audience to find you.
- Traffic Drought: With pages not indexed, organic traffic vanishes into thin air. Your website’s ranking plummets, leading to a significant drop in visitors and potential customers.
- Lost Revenue Opportunities: Whether you’re running a blog, an e-commerce platform, or promoting services, not being indexed means missed opportunities to convert visitors into loyal customers. Your hard work goes unrewarded, and your revenue potential dwindles.
- Wasted Efforts and Resources: All the time, energy, and resources invested in creating valuable content and designing a user-friendly website go to waste when your pages remain undiscoverable. It’s like building a grand castle in a secluded forest, where no one can appreciate its magnificence.
- Stifling Growth Potential: Without visibility, your website’s growth potential is stifled. You miss out on valuable opportunities to expand your audience, increase engagement, and build a loyal customer base.
I hope I convinced you that you should constantly check not only if your content is indexable but also if it gets indexed. Otherwise, that content won’t receive any organic search traffic.
Fortunately, we can easily verify our pages using a no index checker, which I’ll introduce in the next section.
No visibility means no traffic, and no traffic means no growth.
How to verify a page can be indexed
Google Search Console, a fantastic free tool provided by Google, lets you easily check the current index status of any page on your website and diagnose any indexing issues.
At the top of the page within Google Search Console there is a search bar with a magnifying glass. Type in the full url to one of your pages to check its index status.
You will need to be logged into your Google account and have your site linked to the Google Search Console first.
Troubleshoot non-indexed pages on your site
To check the index status of one of your pages using the Google Search Tool, simply paste the link to the page into the search bar at the top and press enter.
Google will then verify the index status and provide you with a report. If your page is indexed, congratulations, your page will appear in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for related keywords.
However, for non-indexed pages, there could be a variety of reasons why your page is not indexed. Let’s examine those reasons and suggest some possible corrective actions you can take.
Reason 1: Your content is new and Google has not indexed it yet
It takes time for Google to index new content. First, Google has to crawl your website and identify the new content, which can take a few days or maybe weeks depending on how often Google has determined to crawl your site. The more often you publish content, the more likely Google will quickly find and index your content.
Once Google has crawled your index, it then, in a separate step, has to index your content. It’s possible your content is between these two steps. In this case, you will see a message like the screenshot below.
If, after a few weeks, your content has still not been indexed there could be an underlying issue with your content or your website.
Reason 2: Your page has the ‘noindex’ meta tag
Individual pages within your site could be tagged as “noindex”. This tag tells Google not to index the page. In this case you will see a message like the screenshot below:
You can click on the “VIEW LIVE TEST” link to prompt Google to go to the live page and test for indexability. Here is the result of that action (I performed this on one of my pages that deliberately has a “noindex” meta tag applied).
As you can see from the screenshot above in the “Indexing allowed?” column, the text states: “No: ‘noindex’ detected in ‘robots’ meta tag“.
Google won’t index page that have the “noindex” tag applied. If you’re not sure how this tag was applied and want it removed, there are a few ways to do it. The easiest way is to use an SEO plugin that will detect this issue and offer to remove the tag for you. There are various SEO plugins on the market that can detect and fix this issue for you. I personally use and recommend All in One SEO.
If your website was built by developers you may need to contact them if your site is not indexable and can’t be easily fixed – by using an SEO plugin or other means.
Alternatively, you could ask customer support on your hosting plan to see if they can determine the reason your pages are not indexable.
Reason 3: robots.txt is blocking access to your site
robots.txt is a text file that is commonly added to most websites, including WordPress websites, automatically. It informs search engines and other bots what pages can – and cannot – be indexed.
Your robots.txt file might be disallowing crawling, which means your page or even your entire website isn’t getting indexed. SEO plugins can help detect and fix this issue for you.
Reason 4: The quality of the page is too low
If Google determines that the page quality is too low it will not index your content. Source: Google SEO Fundamentals – Indexing.
Make sure your content is people-first, helpful and relevant.
Ensure you are not duplicating existing content on your site.
Perform a content quality audit on your website to ensure the quality is high enough across all your pages. Too many low quality pages can cause Google to apply a site-wide penalty to your content.
Reason 5: Website design makes it difficult for Google to find your content
Google crawls your website starting from the home page by following the links it finds. If some of your content cannot be found via links, Google may not be able to index it.
This is why adding internal links to your content is highly recommended. It is not only useful for readers, allowing them to navigate to related articles on your website, but it also helps Google find all your content more easily.
In addition, producing a sitemap is essential. This special file lists all your website’s content, making it easier for search engines to find and index your pages.
SEO plugins can create this file for you and keep it up to date as you add more content. Make sure to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console if you have content on your website that hasn’t been crawled by Google yet.
From Google Search Console clicking on the Pages link in the left hand sidebar will provide a list of reasons why your pages are not indexed.
Here is a screenshot of this page below:
You’ll notice there are various reasons given for pages not being indexed. Click on any of the categories to view the individual pages for each reason.
Once you’ve resolved the issue, you can ask Google to validate the fix. Google will then schedule the crawling of those pages again, and if the problem has been fixed, they’ll be added to Google’s index.
I hope you found this article informative and helpful. Here is quick recap:
- The consequences of your pages not being indexed is zero organic search traffic
- Verify the index status of your website pages using Google Search Console
- Troubleshoot and validate your fixes with the help of Google Search Console
- Remember, it takes time for Google to detect and index new content
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