Content WritingDesignDevelopersGoogle Algorithm UpdateOn Page OptimisationWhy aren’t my website pages being indexed?

February 25, 2022
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You’ve put all this time and effort into creating a great page. So why isn’t your website showing up on the search results page?

Now, it could be the newness of your page, or perhaps because you haven’t focused on search engine optimisation. But in some cases, your pages may not be displayed for another reason: they simply aren’t being indexed.

If it has been more than a few hours since you added your page, do a search using the following format:

site:yourwebsite.com/yournewpage

If you get no results, your page isn’t being indexed. 

Common indexing problems

There are a lot of reasons why your pages may not be indexed by Google or any other search engine. We’ve gone through some of the most common ones below. 

You’ve received a penalty

In some cases, Google may remove a site from its index if legally obliged, the site doesn’t meet Google’s quality guidelines, or for a number of other reasons. If your site has been removed, you should receive a notification in Search Console

Your domain has a bad history

You can do everything right, but if the person who had the domain before you engaged in black hat SEO, it may be tainted. You can check a domain’s history using the Internet Archive

If your domain does have a bad history, you may need to submit a reconsideration request to the search engine. 

You’re missing domain variations

You may have different variations of your domain – say, if you swapped over from http:// to https://. Make sure that each one is verified in Search Console. 

You have no sitemap (or your sitemap isn’t updating)

Your sitemap is how search engines understand the structure of your site and crawl new pages. They are crucial for SEO, meaning you have to have one. 

If you haven’t already, you can submit a sitemap to Google via Search Console. This is one of the faster ways to get new web pages indexed. If you aren’t comfortable making your own, XML Sitemaps is a great online tool you can use to generate a free sitemap for your website. 

Your site is not mobile-friendly

Since Google switched over to mobile-first indexing, making sure your site is mobile-friendly is a must. We have a full guide on creating a mobile-friendly site here

Your site isn’t user-friendly

Your site should be easy for people to use and complete their goal, whether it’s to find information or complete a purchase. Search engines prioritise sites that prioritise user experience, meaning this can help you get your site indexed. 

You need to consider site speed (more on that below), navigation, linking hierarchies (where that page sits in relation to the rest of the site), design and distractions (e.g. ads, pop-ups). 

Your site is too slow

Think: when was the last time you sat around and waited for a website to load?

Exactly. If your site is too slow, users will give up on it. Which means that search engines won’t display your webpage. 

PageSpeed Insights is a great tool for improving your site speed and can give you  

Your content isn’t well-written

Search engines only want to show their users content that answers their queries and satisfies them. This means duplicated content and poorly written content will tank your page’s ranking and may even result in it not being indexed.

Review your web page content, your blog content, and all other pieces of content on your site: are there duplicated pages? Are there areas where you can make improvements? It may be worth consulting with a content specialist

You have a redirect loop

If a crawler (and user) have to go through too many redirects, they’ll eventually give up. This is a common indexing problem for many businesses and is often caused by a single typo.

To break the cycle, you’ll need to locate the page causing the redirect. You can use “find” in Windows Explorer or Command + F for Mac to search for files containing the term ‘redirect’. 

You’ve blocked the search engine from indexing your site

In some cases, you may not want a webpage to be indexed. You may use this for pages you don’t want random users stumbling across – thank-you pages, for example – or in eCommerce, where you may have similar product pages you don’t want to be classified as duplicate content. 

Make sure that the relevant page doesn’t have a no-index tag. This is a relatively straightforward fix and should resolve any issues. 

If you are using WordPress, each new website automatically uses no-index tags, so you will need to disable it yourself. 

You’ve blocked the search engine’s crawlers

Apart from no-index tags, there may be other robots.txt files that are preventing crawlers from accessing your site. 

You can check to see if robots are blocking your site using Google’s testing tool

Your site has other crawl issues

To see if there are any crawl errors preventing your webpages from being indexed, you can go to your Search Console, select ‘Settings’ > ‘Crawl Stats’ > ‘Open Report’. 

How can I get my website pages indexed fast?

Apart from the fixes we’ve discussed above, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure your pages get indexed. 

  • Link your new web pages from a page with higher authority (like your home page) and fix any orphan pages (pages that aren’t linked to any other page on your site)
  • Obtain backlinks from authoritative sites
  • Once you’re sure you’ve eliminated the likely problem with your site, click the ‘Request indexing’ button in Google Web Console to speed up the indexing process

Overall, you’ll need to pay special attention to the content on your pages, the links you use, and technical SEO. 

It’s worth noting that getting your site indexed isn’t the final hurdle. In order to actually show up on the first page of results, you’ll need a smart SEO strategy. You can check out our blog for more information about how to get started. 

Need help getting your site indexed and in the running for the top spot on Google? Our team of SEO experts are on call and can help with a range of indexing issues.

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