If you’ve done everything you can to help your client’s website rank better, but it isn’t indexed correctly, experts at Rocket Driver can walk you through ways to identify and fix some fairly common indexing errors.
The internet is a vast digital library of websites with various associated web pages. Whether you like it or not, content, traffic, and SEO are all about Google these days. The search engine giant dominates over 92% of the search traffic market share.
If any website isn’t found on Google, the chances of a business missing out on visibility increase significantly. This is because websites are one of the most vital assets for organizations looking to thrive in this digital age.
But what’s the point of all the content writing, web designing, keyword searching, programming, and optimizing efforts when the target audience can still not find your client’s business online? Here’s what you need to know about Google indexing your client’s website.
What is Google Index?
A website not appearing on Google means it’s not contained within their ‘index’—the respiratory where Google keeps all the qualifying and valid web pages found on the internet. In simple words, if you want to find a particular book in the library, you’ll go to the card catalog to find all the books on the specific topic.
When someone types a query on google, they’re not essentially searching the actual world wide web. They’re just digging through the card catalog of Google. The search engine simply returns some cards it thinks may be relevant to the search in the form of SERPs. This index is built by crawlers that click the link to record information about the landing pages and store the information on its index.
No matter how well-articulated the page may be, Google won’t show them if they’re not in the catalog. If you’re trying to help your clients attain higher ranks or attract organic traffic to their websites, then getting more of their web pages indexed should be your top SEO priority.
Websites not being indexed can be a sign that the website has technical SEO issues, poor content, or the crawlers are having trouble accessing it with ease. New websites also face indexing issues more frequently.
Is Google Indexing Different from Ranking?
Many marketers conflate visibility with indexation. Sometimes the content that’s indexed still shows up on the 10th search results page. So even if Google crawlers found the pages and added them to the comprehensive catalog, it doesn’t mean it considers the content valuable or relevant enough to rank it high.
Check if your client’s target keywords aren’t ranking or the content isn’t indexed. It’s a great way to eliminate certain possibilities and test strategies to find the most relevant ones. For instance, if your client’s site is indexed but hasn’t been ranking well, don’t waste resources on checking the robot.txt directives.
How to Check if the Client’s Web Pages are Indexed?
Just type “site: yourwebsite.com” into the search bar and check all the results. If you don’t find your client’s web page in the result, it means the pages aren’t currently listed in Google’s index.
The status of indexation can also be checked using tools like the Google Search Console. You can identify the number of pages with or without warnings. If none of the pages on their website is indexed, the score will read zero.
Another simple way to check the indexation status of single web pages is by searching the page using the “Cache: search operator.” You’ll be able to find the most recent version of the page just as it is indexed by Google.
Common Reasons Google Doesn’t Index Web Pages
#1- Site Not Mobile-Optimized
Ever since Google introduced mobile-first indexing, ensuring the web pages are optimized for a seamless experience for mobile users has become critical for indexation.
Even if the quality of the content on the site is outstanding, if it isn’t optimized for viewing on smart devices, especially mobile phones, your client will lose a lot of traffic and ranking.
Adding fluid grids and adding some simple responsive design features can significantly improve results while ensuring users find relevant information without experiencing navigation issues.
#2- Lack of Sitemaps
Well-defined sitemaps comprise details about all the web pages present on the client’s website. It’s accessible and visible to users as well as search engines.
If your client doesn’t have a well-defined sitemap, Google crawlers will find it challenging to understand the web pages, which will hinder the indexing process.
But when sitemaps are used, it’s easier for Google to learn about the main pages of a website which makes it possible to index.
Black-hat SEO, spammy links, and other technical issues can lead to Google penalizing a page or the entire website. It not only brings down the rankings of a website but also leads to indexing issues.
Whether your client’s website was sandboxed, deindexed, or penalized, add new content and follow the strict protocols set by Google to lift the penalties and regain indexing, traffic, and ranking.
#4- New Website
It’s important to note that Google takes several weeks to index new websites and reflect the changes in the SERPs. The problem is even more relevant for new websites that don’t have many credible inbound links.
The quality and number of internal links are among the many factors considered by Google when ranking or indexing a website. Building up the domain authority takes time, so expect slow results when it comes to new websites.
#5- ‘No Index’ Tags or Plugins that Block Crawlers
Google bots cannot crawl websites with certain plugins like robots.txt. Similarly, check the client’s site for ‘no index’ tags that also prevent search bots from indexing or even crawling.
Sometimes using the ‘no index’ tags is recommended by SEO strategists, but in most scenarios, they prevent pages from being indexed or appearing in the SERPs.
Most WordPress-based websites have built-in options that instruct all search engines not to continue with indexing. Make sure it’s disabled to enhance search engine visibility.
#6- Plagiarized Content
If the content on your client’s website isn’t informative, relevant, or original, evening spinning it will not help because Google algorithms can tell. High percentages of plagiarism can tank sites even if Google sometimes takes a while to take action. Sometimes companies hire cheaper content writers and post content without noticing copied content.
Always partner with credible white-label content and copywriting services providers to make sure the content isn’t duplicated and provides useful information that’s unique from other sites in the same niche. Not meeting the increasingly complicated Google standards could mean the content will still not rank even after you follow the best SEO practices for the client’s website.
Indexing is one of the first steps to getting measurable results. Consider partnering with Rocket Driver to ensure all the content, links, SEO practices, web design, UI, loading speed, and other things make it easier for users to navigate and crawlers to index and rank.
Our team uses cutting-edge white-label agency tools to tick off all the boxes that will help your clients really get their websites out there in the most profitable manner.
Call now at 212-548-4433 to discuss which services will benefit you the most. We offer white-label content marketing, reputation management, SMS marketing, social media, SEO, web design, and other digital marketing services.