The internet is full of beckons. ‘Look here’, ‘Open this’, ‘I’ve got a better offer’. It is very easy for users to get confused amidst this vortex of overlapping sounds. That is why search engines were created in the first place to bring a semblance of order into this information chaos. Now, whenever a user types a query in the search bar of Google, let’s say, a list of the most relevant results are presented in a neat way for him/her to sort through.
In other words, search engines register the hundreds of thousands of websites that are swimming through the internet pool in a dynamic record and then fetch the top entries from this inventory which correspond to a new query the most.
For a website owner, being featured by Google on the first page of the search results means profitable visibility. This can’t happen if the said site isn’t ‘crawled’ and ‘indexed’ by the Google bot. FYI, ‘crawling’ is the discovery of new sites & updated pages in the internet stream by the Googlebot, whereas ‘indexing’ is the addition of the fetched/crawled sites and pages to the main Google database.
If Google doesn’t index and recognize your site, know that this will make you practically invisible in the organic results.
So, follow the pointers mentioned below to have your site indexed by the top performing search engine of the world, Google, thereby becoming visible in its results.
Inspect your Site’s ‘Indexed’ Status
Google might already be crawling your webpages and indexing your site, or it might not be doing that at all. How can you check the ‘indexed’ status of your site? There are two ways to do that.
- Head over to Google and in the search bar type your website’s main domain or any specific page’s URL with the ‘site:’ operator (For example, site:autoblog.com or site:https://www.localcabledeals.com). Hit search and see the number of pages that Google recognizes and indexes. If no results come up, this means that Google hasn’t indexed your site and you need to fix it.
- Are you a Google Search Console user? Then, things become relatively easier for you. Simply open the Console, click on the ‘Index’ and check the extensive ‘Coverage’ report, which shows the number of valid pages with and without warnings. If there are zero issues, then Google has indexed some pages of your site; if not, then there are red alerts that you need to tackle. Another method is to copy paste the URL in the ‘URL Inspection’ search bar, which will tell you right away if the page/site is indexed or not.
Once you inspect the status of your entire site—which pages are index and which are not—then you can safely move on to the next step.
Reach Out to Google and Issue a Request
Creating a new webpage for your site or updating an old one necessitates that you inform Google about the change so it can record it and adjust the algorithm thereby to make your site more visible. How can you get Google to index the pages it hasn’t already crawled? By requesting, of course.
Open your Google Search Console profile (if you don’t already have one, it’s free to set up, and don’t even get me started on its benefits for a website owner). Next, go to ‘Index’ and then, ‘URL Inspection’. Paste the URL you’d like to get indexed, run the search, wait for Google to check the link and then tap that ‘Request indexing’ button. As simple as that.
Fix in-site Problems that Prevent a Smooth ‘Indexing’
What’s stopping Google from automatically crawling and indexing your site + its pages? What are the underlying problems that are hurting your site’s organic visibility? How can you avert them and rank better than before? The following are a few of the in-site issues that you can check and address respectively:
- Robots.txt Blocks—This standard is used by websites to communicate with the web crawlers. If the robots.txt file shows a ‘disallow’ for all the pages or any specific page of your site, then it means that Googlebot can’t crawl them, and if it doesn’t crawl, it can’t fetch the pages back to Google index and can’t make your site visible in the result stream. So, fix the issue by removing the ‘disallow’ from the protocol for the pages you want to be indexed. Check the ‘Coverage’ report in the Console for better scanning and cleansing.
- Unnecessary ‘noindex’ Tags—Sometimes, web owners like to keep a page or two private, which is why they apply the ‘noindex’ code in the meta tags, eg. <meta name=“robots” content=“noindex”>. This gives the Googlebot a signal to stay away. If all your pages have been unnecessarily tagged, then remove them and allow the bot to crawl and index.
- Misplaced ‘nofollow’ Tags—When a ‘nofollow’ relational tag is applied to a page, the target links in that page are dropped from the graph of the web, which deters Google from crawling and indexing them. You can check this by running a site audit, correcting the misplaced rel=”nofollow” and making sure that all the right internal links are followed.
Other than this, you can check the site for a rogue canonical tag, low-quality pages creating optimization hurdles, and sitemap inclusion. Once these problems are resolved, you can direct your attention towards building high-end backlinks and creating valuable + up-to-date content for catching Google’s attention, properly.
In conclusion, the purpose of this post has been to make you aware of the steps by which you can get your site indexed by Google, to solve the issues weighing it down and to strive for better organic visibility. Hope you got it!