The Typical Page Indexing Issues and a Few Fixes

Almost every website recognizes the importance of getting indexed on Google. But it is not a cakewalk. Some pages fail to get indexed. Anyone handling a large website will know that not all pages need to get indexed by Google. And even if they do, the content may have to go through a long wait for the search engine giant to pick them. Various reasons can be responsible for such experiences, such as links and the quality of the content. These are only an example. The new websites that used the latest web technologies also faced trouble, and some are still dealing with them.

Some SEO experts suggest that technical problems can be the main hurdle in content indexing, while it doesn’t have to be true. Of course, you can lose the opportunity due to conflicting technical signals or a poor crawl budget. But these are only as relevant as the content quality in this matter. Many small and large websites with plenty of content expect faster indexing, but it doesn’t work out in that manner. At the same time, it doesn’t matter whether you use JavaScript or HTML. In any situation, an indexing issue can occur. Hence, it is essential to dive deep into the factors affecting this and improve them. So, let’s explore.

What are the most common indexing challenges?

Crawled but not indexed currently

It shows that the Google bot visited your page but didn’t trigger indexing. Such a situation can be attributable to low content quality. Due to the sudden jump in e-commerce businesses, Google has become picky about quality. To avoid this situation, you have to make your content more valuable with titles, descriptions, etc. Make sure you don’t lift product details from outside sources. Using canonical tags for duplicate content consolidation can also be intelligent. Also, if you know some categories are not good quality, you can stop Google from crawling those pages with the help of the noindex tag.

Discovered but not indexed currently

Some SEO experts love this challenge for its vastness, ranging from crawling to content quality problems. That’s why you may not have to bother if you have a competent digital marketing company to help your cause. Many large e-stores face this difficulty for numerous reasons. One can be the crawl budget, which has to do with several URLs waiting for crawling and indexing. The quality issue can be another factor. Google may ignore some pages on the domain for the quality of the content.

No matter what, if you see the status as “discovered – currently not indexed,” you may consider taking a few steps. For example, you can search for patterns in those pages belonging to a specific category or product. If crawl budget is the main challenge, you have to unearth low-quality content pages from internal search pages and filtered category pages. Since the volume can go into thousands to millions, you have to find your prime suspects here. Because of these culprits, the Google bot can take longer to reach the actual content worthy of indexing. So, it will be ideal that you optimize your budget.

Identical content

Your website can face this issue because of the different versions of the same page created for other target countries, like the UK, US, and Canada. These pages may not get indexed. Another source can be the same content used by a competitor site. You can expect it in the e-commerce industry because many websites offer the same products with the same descriptions. You can tackle this problem through unique content creation, 301 redirects, and rel=canonical. You can add to user experiences through your content by comparing similar offerings or providing a good FAQ.

How to determine your website’s index status?

You can start with non-indexed pages and then look for patterns in them for a familiar identifier. On an e-commerce website, you would most likely come across such issues in product pages. Although it is not a good scenario, you cannot expect all the pages to get indexed if it is an extensive e-commerce site. After all, they will contain out-of-stock items, expired products, and duplicate content. All these indicate poor quality in the indexing queue. Plus, the crawl budget is also a problem with large websites. An online store with millions of products can have 90% non-indexed pages. You need to worry about this only if these include critical product pages.

How to make your pages index-worthy for Google?

Some best practices can increase your website pages’ crawling and indexing chances. One of them is keeping a distance from “Soft 404” signals, such as “Not available,”“Not found” texts in the content body, or “404” in the URL. Internal linking helps Google recognize a page as an integral part of your website. So make sure you don’t miss out on any of them in the site’s structure. Please include them in the sitemaps also.

You are already aware that poor quality or duplicate content can negatively impact the indexing possibilities. To remove them from the sitemaps, apply the ‘noindex’ tag or the robots.txt file whenever relevant. It will prevent the Google bot from spending unnecessary time on unwanted parts of the domain, which can lead it to doubt your site’s quality. At the same time, you have to stop sending confusing SEO signals to Google. Think of the situation where one canonical tag uses JavaScript and another HTML.

Google has evolved vastly in the last few years in the area of JavaScript. SEO experts can take a sigh of relief because indexing issues with JavaScript-based sites have become less common. But not every indexing issue has to do with JavaScript. Hence, it is better to be careful with one’s strategy and approach. After all, Google has only limited resources for crawling. That’s why some percentage of the content may never get crawled and indexed. If you want to perform well, you have to think through all the situations and make your pages stand out while adding value to the user experiences. These efforts may not lead to indexing of all the pages, but they can increase the chances for Google to spot and index them.

About the author

Thomas Alloway

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