Why Indexing Your Site May Be Harder Than Before
Learn more about changes in search engine indexing.
Many affiliates create website content to rank on Google. While content serves many purposes, if it doesn’t rank highly on Google Search Engine Results Pages, it’s most likely not going to get the traffic you would expect. That makes getting your website pages indexed by Google vital to your website performance. Here’s more information about indexing and what to do if indexing your site becomes more challenging.
How does it work?
Google crawls websites and indexes website pages to be displayed on its results pages. If your page isn’t indexed, it won’t appear in search results. There are a variety of reasons why your website pages might not be indexed, and you can find these reasons in your Google Search Console account. If you don’t have Search Console set up, you should set it up immediately. Search Console will tell you which pages are indexed by Google, if there are any errors, and how your site is performing overall. Common reasons why website pages are not indexed include:
- Your site page is new. Google hasn’t had time to crawl your new page yet. (You can manually submit a page to be indexed inside of Search Console).
- You recently restructured your website
- Manual actions have been applied to your page
- Security issues were reported
You can learn more about indexing your site and crawl issues here.
Google’s Crawling Limitations
There’s another reason why your pages might not be indexing, and it’s a problem affecting more websites these days. Google outlines that the web is expanding at a pace far outstretching its own capability and means to crawl and index every URL. Basically, Google has a certain amount of crawl budget it can spend on sites, so it’s being more selective about what it indexes. This used to be a problem specific to those sites with thousands of website pages (think ecommerce sites), but more and more sites are being impacted.
Google outlines factors that impact their crawl capacity and crawl demand including:
- The freshness of your content
- The popularity of your URLs and content
- Google’s knowledge of URLs on your site
If your site isn’t indexing because of a technical SEO issue, the good news is that there is probably a quick fix for that. Google will outline the issue in Search Console and show you the steps to fix it or make your site more “crawl friendly.” If your indexing issue has more to do with your content quality or site popularity, the fix might not be as easy.
Content Quality Issues
If you see a page that is marked “Discovered – currently not indexed” within Google Search Console’s coverage report, your page was found by Google, but Google chose not to index it. This occurs when a page targets the right keywords and checks all the main SEO boxes, but it’s generally repetitive to other content on the SERP (search engine results page) and doesn’t add value.
This can happen if you are writing a piece to rank for a specific keyword and attempting to simply rewrite what someone else has already written without adding any new or valuable information.
A key SEO strategy is to conduct a keyword gap analysis. A gap analysis involves comparing the keywords you rank for against your competitors. Once those keywords are found, a SERP analysis is done to determine what topics are currently ranking for those terms you wish to rank for.
From there, many people will simply write on the same topic, mirroring much of what was already ranking. To avoid indexing issues and to have a better chance of ranking higher on Google, it’s important that you find a way to expand on the topic you are writing on. You should always add new information to a topic, answer a question that wasn’t addressed in the original piece, or add value in some way. If you can’t find a way to add value, you shouldn’t write on the topic. This will help you avoid quality indexing issues.
Indexing your site pages may be harder in the future as Google runs out of crawl budget. When and if it happens to you depends on many factors including how competitive a space you are in.
There are many reasons why a website page might not be indexed. Pay attention to Google Search Console’s coverage report to detect any issues with indexing. Fix indexing issues as quickly as possible. If your indexing issue has to do with quality, you will need to address the content in the piece. If you can’t add new information or value to the piece, you may have to accept that it won’t be indexed.
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