Indexing

In order for web pages to be included within search results, they must be in Google’s index. Search engine indexing is a complex topic and dependent on a number of different factors. Our Hangout Notes on indexing cover a range of best practice advice to ensure your website’s important pages are indexed by search engines.

Google Doesn’t Show Preference to Multi Page Websites Over Single Page Websites in Rankings

November 12, 2019 Source

Google doesn’t have a preference for ranking websites with lots of pages over single page websites, the latter can rank well.


Make Category Pages Indexable & Internal Search Pages Non-indexable

November 12, 2019 Source

To get around URL duplication and index bloat issues, focus on providing high quality category pages and making sure that these are indexable, and noindex internal search pages as the different search combinations often create low-quality pages.


Use View Source or Inspect Element to Ensure Hidden Content is Readily Accessible in the HTML

November 1, 2019 Source

If you have content hidden behind a tab or accordion, John recommends using the view source or inspect element tool to ensure the content is in the HTML by default. Content pre-loaded on the HTML will be treated as normal content on the page, however, if it requires an interaction to load, Google will not be able to crawl or index it.


“Discovered Not Indexed” Pages May Show in GSC When Only Linked in Sitemap

October 29, 2019 Source

Pages may show as “Discovered Not Indexed” in GSC if they have been submitted in a sitemap but aren’t linked to within the site itself.


Google Checks Status Code Pages Before Attempting to Render

October 18, 2019 Source

Google checks the status code of a page before doing anything else, such as rendering content. This helps to identify which pages can be indexed and which pages it shouldn’t render. For example, if your page returns a 404, Google won’t render anything from it.


Only One Version of Same Content On Different Country Sites will be Indexed & Appear in GSC Performance Reports

October 18, 2019 Source

If you have the same content on multiple language variation sites, Google will pick one to index but will use hreflang attributes to swap out versions of the page based on a user’s location. However, only the page that has been chosen to be indexed, and used as the canonical, will be displayed in the GSC performance report.


Speed is Critical For Google to Index Content Quickly

September 27, 2019 Source

In order to index content quickly, for example news articles, Google need to be able to crawl the pages quickly. This includes being able to access the server quickly, with pages also loading quickly.


Google Does Not Index 404 Pages

September 6, 2019 Source

If a page returns a 404 error code, Google will not index the page’s content. However, if the page has recently become a 404 page and Google has not crawled the page to see this, the page will still appear in search results. This error could also occur if the server displays a 404 page, but the code shown to crawlers is still a 200 status.


Signals Are Kept For 4xx or 5xx Error Pages Previously Dropped from the Index When They Are Re-added

September 3, 2019 Source

If your pages displayed a 4xx or 5xx error for a while and were dropped from the index but become available again after a month or so, for example, Google will be able to return them to the search results in the same state they were before. They won’t have to start trying to rank from nothing.


Related Topics

Crawling Crawl Budget Crawl Errors Crawl Rate Disallow Sitemaps Last Modified Nofollow Noindex RSS Canonicalization Fetch and Render