‘Is my site indexed by Google?’ – is a question you may be asking yourself when despite weeks or months of publishing, you’re not seeing much traffic coming to your website. Publishing content isn’t going to make any difference if your site isn’t indexed on Google – in the article below, we’ll show you how to check it in different ways, and how to improve your chances of getting your site indexed.
Let’s explore more about the intricacies of Google Indexing in detail.
- To attract organic traffic it’s important for a website to ensure its visibility and be indexed by Google.
- Google Bots play a significant role in the indexing process; they are automated scripts that crawl the web, analyzing the indexed pages based on various criteria.
- Website owners can utilize methods such as such as Google Search operators, Google Search Console, and various other free SEO tools and free indexing checker tools.
- The Google Search Console is an invaluable tool that offers a wide range of insights into a website’s performance over search engines, and their potential indexing issues and provides actionable recommendations for optimization.
- Sitemaps serve as essential roadmaps and triggers for search engines to readily crawl your site and effectively guide them through the intricate structure and content of the website.
- Google URL Inspection Tool is a great feature of the Google Search Console suite that provides a comprehensive description of how Google perceives specific URLs, aiding in both troubleshooting and optimum indexing.
- There are several common issues that can impede a site’s indexing, including the natural delays associated with new websites, misconfigured files, and penalties imposed by Google due to its webmaster guideline violations.
- BacklinkManager.io is a tool created to monitor and manage backlinks, which in turn bolsters Google indexing by informing Google that your site is being mentioned on relevant and valuable sources, amplifying overall site visibility in search results.
- It’s essential for website owners to routinely monitor and optimize their site’s indexing status to ensure it maintains a strong and credible presence on search platforms.
Understanding Google Indexing
Imagine a vast library with trillions of books, each representing a webpage. Google’s indexing process is like a librarian, categorizing and shelving these books, making it easier for visitors to find the right set of information they are looking for.
Google has specialized tools (web crawlers) that scan through the internet, read and understand the content of a website, and ‘index’ it, adding it to the colossal digital library.
This ensures that when someone searches for a topic relevant to your site, your pages have a shot at appearing in search results.
How Google’s Bots Work?
Google bots, also known as Google crawlers, or spiders, are automated scripted software agents built with a primary function to visit web pages and read their content.
They move from link to link, collecting data about web pages and bringing it back to Google’s servers.
Here’s a breakdown of their journey:
- Discovery: Google Bots uses past crawls and owner-provided sitemaps to find web addresses.
- Page Analysis: Bots ‘read’ content, understanding context, media, keywords, and SEO metrics.
- Indexing: Analyzed pages are sent to Google’s servers and added to the ‘index’ if they meet guidelines.
- Link Exploration: Bots follow links on pages to discover new content.
- Revisits: Bots periodically return to sites for updates and to check for resolved indexing issues.
It’s worth noting that these bots are incredibly efficient, supporting Google searches to scale up to more than 3 billion searches per day. This number wouldn’t be possible without these bots continuously updating the index.
What is Google Indexing?
Google indexing is the method by which Google Bots, often referred to as ‘spiders’, or ‘crawlers’, visit new and updated pages on the web. They then process and store the information, adding it to Google’s vast library, or index.
Every time a user types a query into Google, the search engine doesn’t scour the entire web. Instead, it dives into this pre-processed index, ensuring lightning-fast search results.
How to Determine if Your Website Has Been Indexed?
Ensuring that your website is indexed by Google is akin to setting up your shop on the main street instead of a hidden alley.
If Google hasn’t indexed your site, you are virtually invisible to the vast majority of potential visitors. So how do you pull back the curtain and see if your site is in the spotlight? Let’s break it down.
Using Google Search
Using the good ‘ol Google Search and the Google search operators is the quickest draw in the West when it comes to checking if your site is on the map. It’s as simple as pie:
- Open Google
- In the search bar, type the operator “site:” followed by your website’s domain URL, as illustrated.
- Hit Enter
If your site pops up in the search results, give yourself a pat on the back – your site is indexed.
If not, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and figure out why. This method gives a quick snapshot of your page-indexed status.
Using Google Search Console
The Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, provides a package of tools and reports including a dedicated page indexing report that can give a lowdown on your site’s relationship with Google giving you insights, warnings, and performance metrics.
To check your site’s index status:
- Log into your Google Search Console account.
- Navigate to the ‘Coverage’ tab.
- Review the total number of your ‘indexed pages’.
Google Search Console also highlights any ‘indexing issues’ or ‘indexing errors’ that might be preventing certain pages from being indexed in its page indexing report, making it a more comprehensive method compared to the simple Google search.
Using Free Index Checkers
While Google Search Console is a powerhouse, sometimes you need a quick, no-frills check, or maybe, a double-check of your results. That’s where these free index checker tools come in handy.
Leveraging Free Index Checkers
While there are several methods to verify a site’s index status, free index checkers have become a go-to for many, offering a quick and efficient way to get the job done.
These tools offer a quick and efficient way to determine if a website has been indexed by search engine, without the need to dive into technicalities.
SmallSEOTools’ Google Index Checker
SmallSEOTools offers a Google Index Checker that’s both user-friendly and efficient. By entering a URL, users can instantly find out if their pages are indexed or not.
One of the standout features of this tool is its ability to check the indexing status of multiple URLs simultaneously. Plus, the results are often accompanied by valuable insights into the indexed pages, aiding in understanding the Google index status better.
SEO Review Tools’ Google Index Checker
SEO Review Tools brings forth another reliable Google Index Checker tool that stands out for its simplicity. Users just need to input their URL, and within split seconds, they’re presented with the indexing status.
It’s a no-frills, straightforward approach that provides quick insights, especially useful for those who need a rapid check without diving into more detailed metrics.
Northcutt’s Google Indexed Pages Checker
Northcutt’s Google Indexed Pages Checker tool offers a bit more depth. This tool provides users with the number of indexed pages, giving a clearer picture of a website’s presence in search results.
By entering the domain name, users receive a detailed report, which includes the number of indexed pages. This can be valuable for those who want to understand the depth of their overall site’s visibility in search results.
Reasons Your Site Might Not Be Indexed by Google
Every website owner’s dream is to have their sites prominently displayed on Google’s search results.
However, sometimes, website indexing on Google search engine can be a windy road and despite the best efforts, a website may not appear on the search results.
Let’s look at some of the most common reasons behind this happening.
New Website Delays
According to a study by Ahrefs, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for Google to index a website.
So remember, patience is a virtue when launching and planning to index your new website. During this period, it’s essential to ensure that all SEO best practices are in place and wait for Google to do its magic.
Presence of NoIndex Meta Tag
Sometimes, the barriers we face are ones we’ve inadvertently set ourselves. The no-index meta tag is a classic example.
This tag explicitly tells search engines not to index a particular page. While this tag is useful for specific pages you don’t want to appear in search results (such as the Thank You Page), accidentally placing it on essential pages can prevent them from being properly indexed.
Misconfigured Robots.txt File
The Robots.txt acts as a guide for search engines, directing them on which pages to crawl and which to avoid.
A misstep in configuration can unintentionally block search engines from accessing parts of your site. For instance, if you’ve unintentionally disallowed Google’s bots from crawling your site using “Disallow:/” command, your site would face trouble getting indexed on Google.
It’s essentially to periodically check and ensure this file is set up correctly.
Crossing the line with Google can come at a hefty price. If a website violates Google Webmaster Guidelines, it might face penalties which can range from reduced rankings to a complete de-indexing.
Engaging in shady practices like cloaking, using scraped content, or participating in link schemes can land a site in hot water.
Regularly reviewing Google’s guidelines and playing by the rules will ensure your ‘indexed’ status remains intact.
Site’s Architecture Issues
If Google’s bots can’t easily navigate and understand your site, they might face challenges indexing your site.
Key points like poor site structure, deep nesting, broken links, orphaned pages, and lack of internal links can hinder the crawling process. At the same time, a slow-loading website can also deter bots.
Make sure that your site has minimum load time and is logically well-structured. Avoid deep nesting and keep essential pages no more than a few clicks away from the homepage to further enhance crawling ability.
Steps To Ensure Your Site Gets Indexed
Ensuring completely that your website has been indexed by search engines might be time-consuming, but not difficult or daunting. Here are some proactive steps you can use to ensure your site doesn’t remain in the shadows.
Submitting Your Sitemap
A sitemap is the blueprint of your website, providing a clear structure, and detailing all the pages and content that’s deemed important. By doing so, you are essentially giving Google a guided tour of your website, ensuring the ‘pages indexed’ count increases.
Using ‘Fetch As Google’ Feature
The ‘Fetch as Google’ feature, now known as the URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console is a nifty trick up every webmaster’s sleeve. It allows you to see how Googlebot views your page. More importantly, it’s a fast-track ticket to make sure your website has been indexed.
Sharing On Social Media Platforms
When you share a link on social media:
- it gets noticed by a broader audience;
- increases the chances of other websites linking back to yours;
- signals to Google that your content is valuable.
A report by Hubspot revealed that websites actively sharing content on social media saw a 22% increase in their “Google Index Status” within a month.
The reason? Google crawls these platforms regularly. By sharing your content, you are increasing the chances of Google’s bots stumbling upon your links, and in turn, indexing your site.
Dive Into Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps website owners monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot their site’s presence in Google search results.
It provides a wealth of information, tools, and reports that can help owners understand how Google views their site and optimize its performance in search results.
Evolution From Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools was the go-to platform for webmasters for over a decade. Launched in 2006, it provided insights into how Google views its site.
In 2015, the tool was rebranded to Google Search Console bringing with it an array of features such as user-friendly interface, advanced tools, and comprehensive reports that cater to the modern-day needs of the website owners.
For instance, while Google Webmaster Tool heavily relied on technical aspects of a website, Google Search Console broadened its horizons offering insights into the mobile usability of pages, richer search appearance features, and more detailed indexing reports.
Features of Google Search Console for Website Owners
Google Search Console is indispensable for anyone serious about their website’s performance in Google Search. Here’s why:
- Performance Metrics & Indexing: Offers insights on site performance in Google Search, including query-driven traffic, popular pages, and indexing status with reasons for non-indexed pages
- Mobile Usability & Optimization: Highlights mobile interface issues and provides feedback for site enhancements, including structured data errors.
- Backlink Analysis & Enhancements: Details on inbound links, most linked pages, anchor text usage, and insights on search appearance features to boost site visibility.
- Alerts & Violation Notifications: Instant notifications for detected site issues, malware, or breaches of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Role of Sitemap in Indexing
Sitemap plays a crucial role in providing accessibility and visibility of your website to search engines. It serves as a roadmap, guiding search engines like Google through all the essential pages on a site.
Websites, especially those having a large number of pages get assisted best with sitemaps when considering their indexing.
What is a Sitemap?
A sitemap, in its simplest form, is an XML(extended markup language) file that lists the URLs of a website. It provides search engines with information about the structure of a website, its sections, the links between them, and the importance of each page.
Methods to Submit a Sitemap
Sitemaps ensure that search engines crawl and index your website efficiently. Here are a few simple methods you can use to submit sitemap on search engines, specifically Google, for crawling and indexing:
- Google Search Console: This is one of the most direct methods to submit your sitemaps. To submit your site in Google Search Console, follow the steps below:
- Open Google Search Console and access your account;
- Navigate to ‘Sitemaps’ under the ‘Index’ Section;
- Enter your sitemap URL and hit ‘Submit’.
This action informs Google of your sitemap’s location, prompting it to crawl and index your site.
- Using Robots.txt File: Another method is to add the sitemap location to your robots.txt file. By adding a simple line like “sitemap:https://yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml” you can guide search engines to your sitemap.
- Direct Submission via Ping: While not as commonly used, you can also ‘ping’ Google by sending a direct GET Request with your sitemap. The URL for this would look something like:
Benefits of Keeping a Sitemap Updated
According to a study, websites with well-structured sitemaps have a 30% better chance of getting indexed by Google faster than those without. Facts apart, listed below are the key benefits of keeping a sitemap updated:
- Enhanced Crawling: Clear sitemaps let search engines index content efficiently.
- Visibility for Large Sites: Sitemaps ensure all pages, especially in large or archived sites, are indexed and accessible.
- Content Prioritization: Sitemaps let owners highlight important pages for search engines and prioritize them for crawling and indexing.
- Fast Content Updates: Regularly updated sitemaps prompt search engines to re-crawl pages, ensuring your new or updated pages also add up to its index.
- Reduced Crawl Errors: An updated sitemap can help in identifying and rectifying common website errors, such as broken links or ‘noindex’ tags, ensuring a smooth user experience.
Use and Purpose of Google’s URL Inspection Tool
The Google URL Inspection Tool, part of the Google Search Console suite is a feature-packed utility that offers a deep dive into how Google views specific URLs on your website.
It provides insights into the index status of a specific URL, letting you know if a page is indexed, if there were any issues during the last crawl, and why it might not have been indexed by Google.
The tool also offers a snapshot of how Google sees your page working similar to a glimpse with a backstage pass into Google’s Indexing process.
Steps To Use Google’s URL Inspection Tool For Indexing
Follow the steps below to use Google’s URL Inspection tool for your webpage indexing and to review other important statistics and metrics:
- Access the Tool: Log into Google Search Console. Click ‘URL Inspection’ in the left sidebar.
- Enter Your URL: Input the exact URL in the search bar. The tool works per URL; differences like www or non-www matter.
- Analyze The Results: After entering the URL, the tool provides a report on its Google presence, indexing issues, and last crawl data.
- Request Indexing: If not indexed or recently updated, click ‘Request Indexing’ to prompt Google’s bot.
- Review Coverage Report: Check for issues like redirects, ‘noindex’ tags, or crawl anomalies that might block indexing.
- View Rendered Page: See the page as Google does. ‘Examine Enhancement Report’ shows detected enhancements like AMP or structured data.
- Monitor Progress: After requesting indexing, wait for Google’s bots. Indexing can take hours to weeks.
Build Quality Backlinks and Monitor Your Progress Using BacklinkManager.io
Google takes into consideration hundreds of factors to sort its ‘indexed’ pages when relating it to a keyword, backlinks being one of them.
While it’s important to stay on top of your website’s indexing, the real game begins when you start monitoring the progress; once indexed by Google it’s important to review their performance.
BacklinkManager.io is tailored for those who want to build more contextual backlinks as part of their backlink strategy. It allows you
More than 60% of marketers have a tough time scoring high-quality links (Source: Ahrefs).
BacklinkManager.io can help in identifying potential backlink opportunities through its link building marketplace, in analyzing the quality of existing ones, and monitoring the precious links you’ve built:
How BacklinkManager.io Aids in Improving Site Indexing
BacklinkManager.io does more than just monitor your backlinks so they don’t fall prey to ‘link rot’ – it also helps you find the best placements for your links. Here are some useful BacklinkManager features that can help you with indexing:
- Quality Backlinks: Focuses on establishing high-quality backlinks, enhancing site trustworthiness, and expediting indexing.
- Automated Link Monitoring: Tracks backlinks in real-time, ensuring a pristine profile for superior Google positioning.
- Detailed Reporting: Offers visual data on both do-follow and no-follow links, facilitating strategic decisions.
- Link Exchange Partnership Management: Enables link-sharing with partners, provides real-time updates, and maintains balanced link exchange metrics.
- Link Exchange Marketplace: An upcoming addition to discover and capitalize on pertinent link-building prospects automatically.
When talking about websites, and their visibility on organic platforms such as Google, it’s utterly important to ensure its indexing. With the right tools such as Google Search Console and BacklinkManager.io, the path becomes clearer and easier.
Every indexed page amplifies your site’s voice, echoing its relevance to related terms. Keep your site updated, monitor its status, and ensure it remains visible and credible.