When you publish a new page or post, Google comes to check it out. The Google spiders will decide what your page is about and how useful it is. Then they’ll index the page — or not. That is, they will add it to their gargantuan list of all the useful pages on the internet — or they won’t. If your page isn’t indexed, it will never be shown to anyone searching Google. Fortunately, Google tells us the most likely reasons that your page isn’t indexed.
We’re going to share that information with you, but first — make sure that the page you’re worrying about really isn’t indexed. If your website is fairly small, just search site:www.yourwebsite.com and you will see all the pages Google has indexed for your website.
If you have a big website, that may give you too many results. Instead, search for info:www.yourwebsite/page, replacing that example information with the page you have in mind. You should get very specific results like the screenshot below:
If your page has not been indexed, it might be too soon. Yesterday’s blog post hasn’t been indexed yet? Check back in a day or two.
When you’re quite sure that your page is not being indexed, it’s time to check for the most common problems.
Your page isn’t indexed
Google gives several common reasons for a failure to index a page:
- Your page might be blocked. Did you launch your new website… and forgot to unclick the “Discourage search engines…” setting in your basic WordPress settings? We’ve seen that happen more than once. If you’re not using WordPress, your robots.txt file may be doing the same thing.
- Your page may have poor-quality content. If Google decides that your page is low quality, duplicate content, or a phishing page, it will not be indexed. You can improve your page and ask for a review.
- You might have a technical issue that is preventing Google from crawling your website. Use the Fetch as Google tool to identify possible problems.
Google also offers one more explanation: “Sometimes it just happens :(” If you honestly believe that you have a valuable page with no tech issues that just hasn’t gotten indexed, you can submit it in the Google Search Console. If Google just overlooked the page, this could solve the problem.
What if your page is indexed?
Do you think your page is not indexed because you don’t seem to be getting any traffic? The page might be good enough for Google to index… but not good enough to compete with the other pages out there. Google might not be showing your page often enough or high enough in the SERPs for many people to click through.
Or your title and meta description may not be appealing enough to cause people to click through even when Google shows it.
You might have noticed as you read through Google’s common reason for not indexing a page that there are a few little tech glitches that can cause this problem. You might be accidentally telling Google not to index your page. There might be some technical error that keeps the Google spiders from crawling the page.
But by far the most obvious reason for a page not to be indexed is this: your content is poor quality. This is also the most common reason for poor results.
If your page (or even your website) is not indexed — or it is indexed and not performing — we can help. Call (479) 966-9761.