Making It into Google’s Index Helps Users Find You
Having a strong digital presence is essential if you want your business to succeed online and in the real world. After all, your website is your digital storefront. It is how potential customers view your business for the first time. However, you cannot just have a website and expect to find success. It takes time and effort to ensure potential customers can find your site and even more time and effort to ensure their experience on your website leads to a conversion. That begins with being in Google’s index.
However, that can be hard. Google is constantly changing their criteria for ranking, and if your site is not up to date or does not meet these requirements, your webpage might not make it into Google’s index. If that occurs, then that page will not appear in any Google search results.
You can see how that is an issue. If your webpages don’t appear on Google, then how can prospective customers find your business? Fortunately, there are several ways you can earn your place in Google’s index. Even though Google is always changing their ranking criteria, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your spot.
As a premier DFW digital advertising agency, Tech Critic understands the importance of having a webpage indexed by Google. If not, your site’s visibility drops significantly. If you feel like your website is not experiencing the traffic you desire, then indexing might be a problem. That is where Tech Critic can help.
What is Indexing?
Before we get into common indexing issues, we first need to explain what indexing is. Google has bots or crawlers (referred to as “Googlebots”) that crawl the internet, visiting websites. When they land on a webpage, they analyze the content on your site, searching for meaning. Once complete, they store this information in Google’s index. These indexed pages can then appear in Google Search results if Google deems that your site follows its guidelines.
The larger your website is, the more likely your webpages will struggle to index. For example, Walmart (whose website is massive) only has 61% of its webpages indexed by Google. Whether your site is e-commerce, publishing, or just blogs, you can still run into this issue.
Many sites experience partial indexing, meaning that the URL might be indexed, but not all of the content on the page is. This issue can occur for various reasons. Regardless, it puts your website at a disadvantage and hurts your digital presence. Fortunately, there are ways to correct this issue and secure your place in Google’s index.
Common Indexing Issues
Throughout years of research, experts have pinpointed four distinct indexing problems that many webpages encounter online.
While many initially called this HTML indexing, that term might not work anymore. After all, many sites can have partial HTML indexing, which makes the concept confusing. This issue occurs when your entire URL is not indexed, which leads to problems throughout your entire website.
You can check this by running the URL through Google via site: command check. However, this can also lead to false negatives. Fortunately, there are other ways to test if your URL is indexing or not.
- You can add the “brand name” before the site: command check.
- Or you can add a keyword before the site: command check. Find a word that is relevant to the page (such as shoes for a webpage that is a product listing for shoes).
These are easy ways to check your URL indexing.
Mobile-First Related Partial Indexing
In recent years, more people access the internet using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet. Because so many users continue to surf the web via a mobile device, mobile-first indexing has become an integral part of Google’s ranking. They prioritize websites that are optimized for mobile. However, that also means there can be indexing issues.
In many instances, websites offered two separate versions of content for users to see. Mobile users would see different content than desktop users. Even though some of these differences are minor (such as a few missing words in a description), that is enough to cause indexing issues.
You can check the differences between the two by opening up each side by side. In many cases, it’s easy to spot the differences. However, you can do a more in-depth review by using tools, such as Diffchecker (which does require some HTML code knowledge).
Because many sites online are mobile-first indexed, their mobile site might be indexed. However, if their desktop version has content that differs from the mobile version, it might not be (however, in some cases, a desktop bot may have crawled and indexed the desktop version). These differences could be minor (such as a few missing words) to severe. Regardless, you know now what to look for to check if a site has a mobile-first related partial indexing problem.
Now, we have reached the most common partial indexing issue. However, it is also one of the most severe problems you can run into, as it often affects the majority of the content on your website. Unfortunately, this partial indexing problem makes it virtually impossible to rank well on Google.
Layout Based Partial Indexing
Indexing involving layout issues is a relatively recent discovery when it comes to indexing. Google has limited resources. Because so much new content floods the internet every day, Google has to save its resources to ensure it is indexing and ranking relevant content.
If there is content on a webpage that is not relevant to the main topic (for example, a page about running shoes has a “Similar Products” section), Google might skip that section and not index it. Many of these sections are ignored for SEO reasons.
Securing Your Place in Google’ Index
However, with the help of the right team, you can correct these issues and ensure that your website is indexed correctly. Tech Critic’s development team possesses the skills and understanding to help improve your site’s overall performance.