When you have a website, you want to make sure that your pages are indexed through Google. By having your pages indexed, you are allowing these pages to be ranked in search results to drive traffic. If they are not indexed then they will not show in search results in Google which will lead to a lack of traffic going to your website. All websites encounter from time to time the issue of some of their pages not being indexed. If you are noticing that not all of your pages are index then you may have to consider the following:
- You’ve been slapped with a Google penalty.
- Google thinks your pages are irrelevant.
- Google can’t crawl your pages.
Here are some ways to diagnose this problem and how to fix the issue of not being indexed.
Are Pages Loading Properly?
You want to make sure your pages are loading and loading properly when users visit your website. Make sure that proper error codes are put into place as well as redirects. These will help Google better understand what is going on with your website. If your server has a slow load time and doesn’t properly load your items, contact your hosting company to discuss faster server options or to fix the root of the problem.
Did Your URLs Change Recently?
Changing a URL of a page or doing something in a CMS that ends up changing the URL of that page can effect your websites ranking and if Google can index it or not. Google and other search engines will remember the old URLs but if you do not resubmit your XML sitemap then that is all Google will index; the old URLs. Make sure to set up 301 redirects to avoid Google not indexing the new URL of a page if it is changed.
Did You Fix Duplicate Content?
Whenever you fix duplicate content on your website, you will go through different solutions. Whether it is implementing canonical tags, redirects, no-indexing meta tags or disallows in robots. txt. All of these actions could result in the number of pages indexed with Google to decrease. Checking Search Engine Console is important because then you will see the reason for the non indexed pages and make adjustments. Whether it is implementing more redirects or editing your robots.txt file, you can find out through Search Engine Console.
Are Your Pages Timing Out?
As mentioned before, you may need to contact your website hosting company to fix issues regarding indexing problems. This is especially true if the pages of your website time out as some servers are restricted due to different hosting packages. If you notice an ongoing issue of timed out pages, then you may want to contact your hosting provider to upgrade your bandwidth.
Do Search Engines Bots See Your Website Differently?
Search engines view website pages differently than users of the internet. We may see images, content, forms, etc. but a bot will see the code not visible to the naked eye. If a website was built without being search engine friendly, this could effect if your pages are indexed or not. If a website is hacked then a user will see the regular page of the website but a bot will see all the hacked code or malware. If a hack is present then Google will automatically de-index that page. To avoid this from happening, use the fetch and render feature within Google Search Engine Console. This is the best way to see if search engine bots are seeing the same content as you are.