Imagine you have uploaded/written the most objectively helpful, engaging, and incredible piece of content ever and suppose that the written material remains unnoticed and unheard of, never appearing in search results. While this may seem desecrated, it is precisely why website indexing is so important. Search engines like Google, Bing, and others want to offer excellent content to their users just as much as your business wishes to. But they cannot show people results that haven’t been indexed yet, because search engines use “spiders” or “web crawlers” to discover new information to add to their massive libraries of indexed URLs.
Website indexing issues can drag down a business’s efforts to rank well for various competitive and non-competitive terms. The more attention you pay to solving those issues means your business is taking the next steps in realizing its long-term efforts.
The Basics of Indexing: What is it?
Indexing is similar to constructing a library; however, Search engines works with web pages instead of books. Your pages must be appropriately indexed if you want them to appear in the search. In non-technical terms, Google needs to locate and retain web pages to analyze the information to see that it answers relevant queries. All your pages must first be indexed to receive organic traffic from Google. Furthermore, the more website pages are indexed, the more the chances of appearing in search results, which is why it’s critical to know whether Google can index your content. You can have the world’s best website with quality content, but if Google can’t crawl it and index it, then no one will be able to find your business on web. Vidushi InfoTech’s professional SEO team often carries out SEO technical audits to check and fix website and indexing problems. We have a curated website indexing checklist to follow:
1. Robots.txt validator
The Robots Exclusion Protocol, often known as /robots.txt, directs and informs online robots about a specific website. When search engine robots visit a website, the very first thing they do is look for the robots.txt file to see which sites are authorized and which are not. It’s vital to remember that robots can disregard the file, especially since robots.txt files are easily accessible. This validator can assist you in identifying issues in your existing robots.txt file whilst also displaying a list of pages you have blocked. The easiest way to pass this test correctly is by installing a robots.txt file. You may do this with any application that creates a text file or uses an internet tool. Google also has a self-developed tool, Google Webmaster Tools. Pro tip: Remember to keep the filename in lower case robots.txt, not ROBOTS.TXT.
2. No index tag checker
The most crucial step in ensuring that Search Engines can view your pages is to make sure they are found. When used on a page, the Noindex Tag notifies Google to disregard the page totally, potentially obliterating its ranking ability. Index/NoIndex checks if a page is indexable using the various signals accessible to a crawler agent. A no-index meta tag or header in the HTTP response can be used to prevent a page or other resource from showing in Google Search. When Googlebot crawls that page again and discovers the tag or header, it will remove the page from Google Search results entirely, regardless of whether webpages link to it. It’s vital to check if your page uses the bots meta tag, X-Robots-Tag or the HTTP header to tell search engines that your site should appear or not appear in search results pages.
Most crawlers obey the robot’s meta tag within an HTML block; this technique works fine if the content you want to be crawled is HTML, but what if the stuff you don’t wish to index is a graphic or text file? Special crawlers, such as Googlebot and Bingbot scan the x-robots-tag HTTP header information to get around this problem. The header information may be set using htaccess rules, and no specific file format is required. By utilizing robots.txt, you can prohibit bots from a website from not viewing the HTTP header information or meta tags. On the other hand, you can disable page indexing if you opt to use a content management system(CMS).
3. Sitemap checking
A sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs of a location and additional information about them. A sitemap is a data file on your website that identifies all of your site’s pages, making them simpler to locate for Search Engines so you can get the most out of their ranking potential. A sitemap shows Google which pages and files you consider are essential to your site and provides practical and valuable information. XML sitemaps do not improve your search engine rankings; instead, they help search engines crawl your website more efficiently. This implies they’ll locate more material and begin displaying it in search results, leading to increased search traffic and better SEO rankings. To check a website, the sitemap test employs sitemap files such as:
- sitemap.xml.gz or
It is a strategy for webmasters to notify search engines about crawlable websites. What are your options for resolving it? Without using a plugin, you can create an XML sitemap with WordPress. If you add wp-sitemap.xml to the end of your domain name, it will display itself as a default XML sitemap.
4. Internal links
Internal links are hyperlinks that go to pages within the same domain and external links, which lead to pages on other domains. Internal links assist Google in finding, indexing, and comprehending your site’s pages. Internal links may transmit page authority to important pages if used carefully. Concisely, internal linking is critical for every website that wishes to rank better in search engines. Internal links aren’t as effective as links from other websites, but they can still help in webpages indexing. Internal links placed high on a website allow users to click on it quickly, resulting in more time on your website. Google bots are created to mimic a user’s thought process by going to your website and clicking on all of the readily indexed links and pages. Bots will identify more in-depth sites that aren’t often frequented if they have a robust and intelligent internal architecture. These links can help other pages rank higher and assist you to rank higher overall. For example, an internal link is included in the introduction paragraph of a blog article. In that case, it assists bots to crawl the linked page. The growth of page views per user increases the chances of getting your website crawled and ultimately indexed.
5. Duplicate page content
Duplicate content does not always imply content is taken verbatim from another source. Nonetheless, according to Google, a duplicate page is content that exactly matches or is strikingly similar to others’. Even though the content is technically distinct from what’s already uploaded, you may encounter duplicate content issues. Nevertheless, “alike” identical information might appear in some circumstances.
For instance, you own a website that offers people web development services, and you’re based in New Jersey. For the same, you may create a services page optimized for the keyword “web development service in NJ.” There’s also a page attempting to rank for “web development services in the USA.” So technically, even though the content may vary, while one page offers services for New Jersey, another website has USA, so the content is identical; for the most part, making it technically duplicate content. Using a rel=canonical tag helps solve this issue because, in search engines language, it means, yes, we have duplicate material on many sites, but this page is unique, and you may ignore the rest.
6. Soft 404 check
When a non-existent page has been deleted or removed and displays a “page not found” notice to anyone trying to access it but does not send an HTTP 404 status code, it is known as a soft 404 error. This might happen when a removed page leads people to an irrelevant page, such as the website’s homepage. When a user requests a page that cannot be found or is invalid, the server returns the HTTP status code 200 OK instead of the actual HTTP error code (404 or 410 not found). Blank product category pages, blank blog category pages, and empty search result pages are examples of soft 404 errors caused by a lack of content. Fixing or adding content to these pages may help resolve the soft 404 issues. However, if that doesn’t work, using the meta robots tag to apply the “no index directive” may be an option. Consequently, search engines index these pages and display them in search results. Because it is a harmful practice, it is critical to discover and fix soft 404 problems. As a general guideline, you should analyze why the mistakes arise and resolve them; you should avoid having 404 errors on your site to maximize your crawl budget, prevent confounding search engines, and provide a positive user experience.
7. Check Crawl Issues
Crawling is the technique through which a search engine uses a bot to visit every page of your website, so when a search engine bot discovers a linkage to your website, it begins searching for all of your public pages. Crawl issues occur when a search engine attempts but fails to access a page on your website. Google bot crawls all the website pages and finds missing links in its database. These missing links are the pages that are yet to crawl. The fundamental goal of a website owner is to guarantee that the search engine bot can view all of the site’s pages because crawl errors return if this process fails. It’s essential to ensure that your robots.txt file is set up correctly and double-check all the pages you’re telling Googlebot not to crawl because it will crawl everything else by default. If you don’t want your website to display in Google search results, check the all-powerful line “Disallow ” and ensure it doesn’t exist.
8. Examine the Page’s Quality
Search engines regularly rank a website based on its overall quality. Page quality is a metric used by search engines to determine how important a web page is.
Page’s Purpose:In response to a user search, the search engine tries to figure out the page’s objective by using semantic search to determine what the words in the query imply and how they relate to the page’s purpose.
Amount of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness(EAT): EAT in SEO is what search quality raters consider the webpage as most credible.
Main content quality and quantity: Another critical factor in determining the PQ grade is ‘main content quality’. It checks whether the information is comprehensive, clearly written, accurate, has relevant and adequate images to make readers understand. It also reviews whether the content is valid, backing up the various characteristics and points in the content.
Website information: Any website on the internet should contain clear information about who is accountable for the content on the site and facts.
Website reputation:Search engines determine a website’s reputation by examining the web for references from other experts as well as websites with higher authority scores.
After establishing the overall quality of a web page, search engines consider it to display on SERPs.
We’ve concluded the checklist for resolving website indexing difficulties. Make sure you check all of the boxes to ensure you’re getting your site out there in the best possible way. If you feel overwhelmed and need help, get in touch with Vidushi Infotech for quality search engine optimization and web development services. Our services can help with the assistance you require for your websites and content so that Search engines can crawl, index, and rank your site for better overall results.