Why is Google not indexing my site? Things I tried & You too Could do to Fix
Businesses often spend considerable time and effort in creating a perfect business website. Despite their best efforts, the website may fail to appear in Google search results. A key reason behind the same is that website does not get indexed by Google. However, before learning why Google fails to index websites, a professional online marketing agency advises its client to understand the meaning and significance of indexing.
Website Indexing – A Brief Overview
Website indexing is the process used by search engines to understand the functionality of the site and its pages. Indexing works in the same manner as the index pages in a book. When people perform a search online, the results returned by the search engine provide an index of the relevant websites.
For a website to get indexed by Google, it must be visited by a Google crawler for analyzing its content and meaning. These pages are stored in the Google index and displayed as part of the search engine result pages (SERPs). Indexing helps Google associate each page with the searched topics and then return the related content as SERP results.
Many experts believe that the websites that do not get indexed by Google are almost invisible to users. This is because Google does not consider such websites relevant to the user search and hence does not make them a part of SERP. The users need to be aware of the exact URL of such websites to view their content, as they will not be able to find it through a regular online search.
Important Google Indexing Criteria
Google checks for certain criteria in websites before indexing them. The most important of these are listed below.
- Alignment with popular searches.
- Easy site navigation from the homepage.
- The website has enough relevant and high-quality backlinks.
- High-quality content with proper and effective SEO parameters.
Apart from these parameters, Google may check for other factors. These factors might vary from one website to another and the audience groups they cater to.
Common Indexing Mistakes Committed By Organizations
When it comes to marketing their business online, most organizations hire the services of a professional online marketing agency. These professionals are well aware of what needs to be done to ensure that a website gets properly indexed by Google.
However, several small and medium-level companies prefer to handle online marketing activities individually. This makes them prone to committing mistakes that might prevent the business websites from getting indexed. Below are brief details of the most common mistakes and the best ways to avoid them.
Ignoring Crawling Issues
One of the most important reasons that prevent Google from indexing a site is the presence of crawling errors. The errors can be caused due to various reasons, the most common of which include the following.
- Wrongly placed directives in robots.txt file can prevent Google from indexing webpages.
- A badly configured .htaccess file can lead to problems like creating infinite loops, which prevent the site from ever loading.
- Wrong URL parameters that offer incorrect information about the dynamic links that do not need to be indexed.
- Problems in connectivity or DNS issues may also result in crawling errors and prevent the website from getting indexed.
Timely identification and rectification of these errors ensure that Googlebot can easily crawl the website. It thus minimizes the chances of the site not getting indexed and being listed as a part of SERP.
MetaTags Are Not Set Properly
Google may not index a website if noindex meta tag is added to all the pages of a website. The same happens when a page indexed by Google gets deleted before the metatag settings were changed in the website backend.
Website owners just need to change the metatag settings to solve the problem. However, in the case of large websites with numerous pages, the settings need to get changed individually for each page. While the task may be cumbersome, it will eliminate the risk of the website not getting indexed completely.
Too Complex Coding Language
Googlebot avoids indexing websites that use the coding language in a complex manner. For example, incorrect coding language settings lead to crawling issues, irrespective of the language used. The websites are also less mobile-friendly, making them a good candidate for not getting indexed.
The best way to avoid this problem is by running the website through the Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool from Google. The tool allows webmasters to assess how mobile-friendly their website is. It also offers various resources and guidelines to create a responsive webpage while managing the various design quirks.
Lack Of Enough High-Quality Backlinks
If a website does not have enough high-quality backlinks, it might not be considered worthy of indexing by Google. Backlinks remains a key ranking signal and tell search engines like Google that the website has received a vote of confidence from the users. They also make Google aware that the webpage content is worth linking to and being made visible on SERP.
While backlinks are important, irrelevant backlinks can do more harm than good. Hence, webmasters should make an effort to earn relevant backlinks. In addition to improving the indexing potential of web pages, the backlinks also boost the website’s brand value.
Poor Content Quality
When it comes to promoting a business online, high-quality content is of utmost importance. Hence, if Google comes across a website with poor quality content, it is unlikely to index it. Good content is well-written, grammatically correct, and needs to be user-friendly and engaging. It should also be relevant to the search intent and needs of the users while also being unique.
Investing in quality content creators can help eliminate the problem effectively. Such content provides the right information in a precise and easy-to-understand manner. Like most other indexing criteria, google requires website content to meet certain quality parameters.
Websites may take some time to get indexed. However, the process can be speeded up by double-checking the above-discussed aspects , saving both time and effort.