Indexing is a very important topic that all website owners should at least have a basic understanding of. Without having your website indexed by search engines, organic website traffic will typically be very minimal. This makes it extremely important to have your website indexed by Google and other search engines. In this blog post, we explain what indexing is, why it’s important and how to do it.
What is Indexing?
Each website that is listed in search results has been indexed. Websites that get indexed, are recognized by search engines and appear in search results. Search engines like Google index and include websites in their database. Once a website is indexed, it has the chance to appear in search results. You should also know that websites get indexed more than once. Indexes get updated as websites are regularly crawled (re-indexed). The reason they are crawled often is because search engines want to be aware of any changes that may have been made on your website. If you do make changes to your website, this can positively or negatively impact the way your website should be positioned in the search engines.
See if Your Website is Indexed
First and foremost, it is important to check and make sure your website has been indexed by Google. If your website is already indexed by Google, then good job! You should still continue to read this blog post because we mention some very important factors to consider, to avoid getting your website removed from search engines. Below are a couple methods you can use to see if your website has been indexed:
1. Check Google’s Search Results
It’s very easy to check if your website is already included in Google’s search results. All you need to do is go onto Google’s website and type in “site:[your domain and top-level domain].” For example, we would type “site:jjlyonsmarketing.com” into Google. This approach will pull in search results from only your website. If you get zero results, your website is not listed on Google.
2. Use a Third-Party Website
There are numerous third-party websites that enable you to check Google’s cache. If Google has “cached” your website, then it has been indexed. Using a third party website can be easier than checking Google because all you have to do is copy and paste your website’s URL. These websites do just about the same things that you can do on Google, so whichever method you use is just a matter of preference.
Why Your Website Isn’t Indexed
If you check to see your website is indexed by using one of the methods listed above, you may find your website is not indexed. This is definitely a problem if wish to get a steady flow of website traffic. Here are the main reasons this may be the case.
1. Google Hasn’t Found Your Site Yet
Google relies heavily on technology and robots. We all know that sometimes robots make mistakes and miss something. This is likely the issue with your website and Google has just not found it yet. The problem of not showing up usually happens with new websites, because it does take Google some time to discover new websites. After all, there are nearly two billion website on the internet. It can take time to get to yours. Continue reading to learn how to make sure Google notices you.
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2. You Have Been Removed From Google
There are many blackhat SEO tactics Google frowns upon. Google penalizes websites by completely removing them from search results if they break certain rules or laws. This removal is called “deindexing.” If there is any spam, keyword stuffing, invisible text, etc., you could be at risk of being deindexed from Google. In addition to the removal, it is very difficult to get included in search results again. Don’t make the mistake of penalizing Google’s Guidelines and getting removed from search results. We have an entire blog post that covers this topic if you want to read more about it: Buying Links and Other Blackhat SEO Tactics That Will Get You in Trouble If your website has been reindexed, it’s quite likely because you were either intentionally or accidentally implementing blackhat SEO tactics. This is why it’s important to hire a qualified SEO company to assist you.
How to Get Your Website Indexed by Google
Google heard website owners’ complaints about the amount of time it took to get their websites crawled by Googlebot. To solve this problem, Google created a way for website owners to manually request their website be indexed. You will need to setup a free account with Google Search Console to do this. Once your account is setup, you can either submit a sitemap to Google, so they see all the pages in your website, or can manually submit and individual URL for Google to take a look at. Individual URLs are submitted through a tool called “URL inspection” which is also available in the Google Search Console dashboard.
If you have already filled out the form, be sure your website does not violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. These guidelines show website owners what Google expects from them and which SEO tactics are ethical. Also, make sure you are not doing any of the blackhat practices we mentioned earlier in this post. Never be afraid to reach out to Google and ask them why your website has not been indexed if you cannot find the answer yourself.
How Long Does it Take to Get Indexed?
There is no definitive answer to this question. According to Google, it can take between four days and four weeks. There are many different factors like content and the number of backlinks that make this amount of time vary. In other words, the amount of time it takes for Googlebot to crawl depends on the website. We recommend submitting a sitemap as soon as your website goes live. And if there’s an important new page or blog post added to your website, and you want it indexed quickly, try using the URL inspection tool to get it expedited. When we do this, we usually see the new page indexed within a day or two.
When Webpages are Not Indexed
Just because you see your website has been indexed, that does not mean all of your webpages have been indexed. Again, this could be because Google just hasn’t finished crawling all the pages on your website. This is especially true if the page that isn’t indexed was recently added to your website. Another reason some pages aren’t indexed is because they are coded with noidex metatags. This specifically tells Google NOT to index the page.
Double check and make sure all your webpages are indexed so they can all get more web traffic, unless there is a reason you want some of them not to be indexed.
If you have any questions about getting your website indexed, or to make it perform better in the search engines, let us know! You can do that by filling out the form below. We will contact you as soon as possible.