Creating content is a laborious task that requires time, effort, and creativity. However, the frustration sets in when, after publishing, the content fails to attract traffic. This could be due to the content not being indexed by Google. This blog post delves into the intricacies of Google indexing, how to check if a page is indexed, and the potential obstacles to indexing. It also provides bonus tips to overcome indexing challenges.
Google indexing is a two-phase process. The first phase, known as the discovery or crawling phase, involves Google finding a site. Google uses robots or spiders, known as Googlebots, to crawl billions of pages on the web every day. Once a page is found and crawled, the indexing phase begins. The crawled page is processed to understand its purpose, meaning, context, and intent. This helps Google know how to sort and rank the content on different search terms.
Submitting a sitemap to Google is one of the most effective ways to get a page indexed. This can be done manually through Google Search Console or using a WordPress SEO plugin like RankMath. Once the sitemap is submitted, Google will periodically process it and look for changes. This means Google now knows the site exists and will send its robots to visit the site on a schedule. If there are individual pages that need to be noticed by Google immediately, the URL can be submitted for indexing through the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console.
There are several ways to check if a page is indexed. One method is to use the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console. Another method is to search for the targeted keyword on Google. If the content is ranked, it means the page is indexed. Alternatively, the site: command can be used in Google search. If the site is indexed, it will show up in the search results.
Several factors can prevent a website from being indexed. One common issue is duplicate content. Google may visit a site less often if it always encounters duplicate content. To avoid this, similar content should be consolidated into one page, and the rest of the pages should be removed with a 301 redirect. Other potential obstacles to indexing include incorrect settings on the site, such as the "discourage search engines" option being checked in WordPress settings, or the robots meta being set to "noindex".
Internal linking is a powerful tool for getting new pages indexed. If a new page is relevant to an existing page that is indexed and ranked, an internal link can be added on the indexed page pointing to the new page. Additionally, producing unique and high-quality content that answers a specific query can help a page stand out and get indexed by Google. Lastly, it's important to avoid crawler traps, such as generating too many irrelevant URLs due to filters for pricing, sizes, etc.
Getting a page indexed by Google is crucial for attracting traffic and improving search engine rankings. By understanding the indexing process, implementing practical indexing strategies, and overcoming potential obstacles, content creators can increase the visibility of their content and reach a wider audience.
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