Here’s an ordeal that many new website owners go through. After countless hours of effort and more than a few sleepless nights, they finally get their website up and running. Their excitement hits the ceiling when they see their creation opening on all their devices.
With fingers crossed, they wait for Google to take note of their website and reward it with some sweet organic traffic. They wait, and wait, and wait some more. But unfortunately, their excitement drops with each passing day until it’s replaced with anxiety and panic.
The harsh reality of SEO is that it’s a ruthless world. It’s like running through a minefield. One misstep and your website could be blasted off to the dreaded land of deindexed content.
If you fear that you’re in a similar situation, don’t worry. You can usually get your website into the good graces of Google by solving three common issues.
Let’s see what they are.
1. Blocking Search Bots
As a website owner, you have many options to block Google’s bots from reading your website. This also means that people often enable these options by mistake and a total disappearance from search results is the consequence.
Here are the two primary areas where your website could be blocking search engines:
- Robots.txt: The robots.txt file sits in the home directory of your website and controls which users are allowed to access which parts of the website.
- Meta Tags: It’s possible to set any page on your website to “noindex”, which, as you can guess, asks Google and other search engines not to index that page.
Luckily, you can easily check for and fix both of these issues using the free Yoast SEO plugin.
2. Content Issues
Content is the lifeblood of your website. It’s the primary source of value that most brands offer to their audiences. The reason Google sends free traffic to any website is that they believe that the content would help its users get what they want.
Unfortunately, creating quality content is harder than it looks. That’s why many people speed through this process and publish substandard content. So if it’s been over a month since you published a page and it’s still not indexed, there’s a good chance it could be a quality issue.
To make your content more appealing, you can cover more sub-topics, add some visual media, and respond to all comments (if any) to maximize the value your page can deliver.
However, there’s also the issue of duplicate content. For a page to be indexed, the content on it should be unique. While most bloggers realize this, many e-commerce businesses resort to using the same description for dozens of listings. That’s likely to lead to indexation challenges.
3. Lacking Authority
Google and all other search engines prioritize websites based on their “authority”. That usually means that websites with lots of quality backlinks and a consistent track record of publishing quality content are considered much more trustworthy than a brand new website.
So if your website is brand new or simply lacks a solid backlink profile, it’s possible that Google will index your pages once you have those factors on your side.
Luckily, ahrefs has free tools that you can use to check your backlinks and your domain authority.
4. Performance Issues
Last but surely not least is your website’s performance. While a slow website won’t automatically prevent Google from indexing your website, a massive spike could definitely harm your crawl budget.
Crawl budget refers to the number of times Google’s search bots will attempt to visit your website and collect data every day. A higher crawl rate naturally leads to higher indexation, especially if you have lots and lots of pages of content or product listings.
If your website becomes sluggish after a few crawl attempts, Google will lower your website’s crawl budget and take much longer to index all the content on your website.
To fix this issue, you should check our practical guide to instantly speed up your website. The quick and easy steps outlined in that guide will immediately take your website’s performance to the next level.
That said, your hosting is the primary foundation upon which all the other factors depend. That’s why we highly recommend that you check our website hosting that’s optimized to deliver professional-grade performance—without the professional price tag.
By accounting for the four primary reasons outlined in this post, you’re likely to boost your website’s indexation rate dramatically. However, it is worth remembering that not every single page on your website will be crawled.
According to John Mueller, Google’s own Search Advocate, it is normal for 20% of a website’s content to not be indexed. So you shouldn’t pull your hair out trying to hit that 100% indexation figure. That may never happen.