Getting organic traffic from search engines is one of the most important things you can do as a blogger/website owner. In this article we’ll show you how to get more pages indexed by Google and, even better, the other search engines as well. You see, some of these tactics will work regardless of the search engine.
Introduction To The Google Index
What is the Google index? Simply put, it’s that database of websites and webpages in which you want to be included. It’s the list you must be on if you want to show up in the search engine results (serps).
Doing so will also increase your organic traffic from other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo and others. Although traffic from other search engines is a fraction of Google, don’t discount this. Increased traffic is all good, no matter where it comes from, right? Of course!
How then do you get more pages indexed in Google?
Let’s start by explaining Google’s indexing process and how they actually do it.
Google’s Indexing Process
As of June 18, 2021, there are currently over 1.86 billion websites online. This according to https://firstsiteguide.com/
Other sites report similar figures but the one that catches our attention is this… over 56 billion webpages!
Of course these figures are only estimates but it really doesn’t matter. The point is the numbers are HUGE!
When you think about it, the process is really quite simple. Google sends out their robots (bots for short) to the web to discover and categorize web pages.
Google “crawls” the web by following links to pages and sites from other pages and sites -discovering changes to existing content and new stuff as well.
Google doesn’t just know where the pages are by intuition. Robots can’t think, can they – although sometimes we wonder!
As mentioned above, they know by following the links.
The problem is that links aren’t always perfect. Sometimes website owners (you) forget to link a page to your site. Sometimes your page has errors. Sometimes a link is mistyped (yes, it can happen, we know from experience).
Because of this, relying on links only is not a good choice. Fortunately, there’s another way they’ll discover content. You have to tell them.
So then, if that’s the case, then how do yo do this?
This, my friend, is what we’re about to reveal to you in this article on how to get more pages indexed by Google.
How To Check If Your Pages Are Indexed
First let’s talk about how to check if your pages are indexed. Have they been found by Google? A simple search will answer this question.
There are 2 search parameters you can use to find your pages in Google’s index:
Simply go to Google and search:
example: site:nichepursuits.com (no spaces)
This search will show you all the pages from Niche Pursuits.com that are in Google’s index. Check it out and see what you find.
This search will find the individual web page you entered into the search
Use these search parameters above to check your website’s pages and you’ll find out if all of them are in Google’s index. If you have a lot of pages, this could take a while and if so, you have a little work to do.
Techniques To Get More Pages Indexed By Google
There are many reasons why a page does not get indexed by Google, not all of them involve Google not knowing it exists.
All of these issues can be solved which means more pages in the index and more pages showing up in the serps.
Here’s how to get more pages indexed by Google – including 8 steps you can take now.
Step #1: Submit An XML Site Map
An xml site map is the key to the kingdom for Google. It’s a file that tells Google about all of your website’s pages, plus how they are all connected and how your site is organized.
You’ll want to submit one of these files to Google, but don’t panic! It’s really quite easy. The good news is, if you use WordPress to power your site, it’s pretty easy and even if you don’t, you can still submit it without much effort.
Using A WordPress Plugin To Submit Your XML Site Map
If you use WordPress you’ll want to use a simple plugin that will do all the heavy lifting for you. Yes, that’s right. Use the plugin and you’ll be free to focus on other things.
Here are 2 plugins that will submit a site map. Those are…
- SiteMap: Odd name, right. Just do a plugin search for that name, install and activate it and follow the directions to get your xml site map submitted. Best of all, it’s free! Very simple.
- Yoast SEO Plugin: One of the most popular SEO plugins, you definitely should be using it – not only for submitting your site map but for it’s many other SEO features. There are free and paid versions too. Many website owners use the free version of the plugin which offers a lot of features and that may be all you need. However, the paid version also has some great additions. Either way, Yoast SEO plugin must for any website owner.
Submitting Your Site Via Google Search Console
If you don’t have WordPress you can submit your site map via google search console – a free traffic monitoring service from Google.
If you run a website you should verify it with Google search console anyway, so uploading a sitemap through this service is a viable option as well. However, it does involve a little more effort.
First, you’ll have to generate your sitemap and, trust us, you don’t want to do this manually.
Fortunately, there is software that can do this for you. The downside is most of this software is not free. Some charge monthly fees and are cloud based. Others are a one time fee and downloaded to your computer.
It can be argued that the monthly fee services are the best, since you’ll need to submit the site map every time a change is made to your site, which hopefully, is many times per month.
Second, beside the monetary cost, it will also cost you time. That’s because you’ll need to submit a new site map whenever you make changes or add new content – and, as an entrepreneur, why make life harder?
A WordPress plugin is the easiest option for submitting your XML site map.
Step #2: Use Google Search Console
Google search console is a nifty service.
In addition to submitting your sitemap as mentioned above, Google search console will tell you if they have actually received it. In addition, will also show the date it was originally submitted and the last time it was crawled by Google.
Google search consule also includes something called the “index coverage report” This, my friend, is very valuable information.
This report shows you which pages are indexed and any page errors or warnings that are preventing your pages from getting indexed.
In addition, it will show you Google crawl errors, how much traffic you’re getting to each web page, from which keywords, browsers, countries and much much more.
If you have an indexing issue, you can most likely find it here.
Using Google search console is a very, very good idea. If you’re not registered, we’d advise doing so.
You can start by reading more about it here:
What Does Google Search Console Do? What Is It Used For?
Step#4: Using The Robots.txt File
The robots.txt file is something many website owners aren’t aware of. However, it should be on everyone’s radar. Granted, it’s not an absolutely necessity, but it can make a difference in specific pages being indexed by Google
When crawling your site, Google will look for this file and if they find it, they will use to to determine which pages should be indexed and which ones should not.
Now, we hear your question..
“don’t I want all of my pages to be indexed?”
and the answer is… “Not necessarily.
For instance, if you sell products and direct people to thank you pages once they order, you may not want these pages to appear on Google.
First, these pages will not give users anything useful but more importantly, thank you pages usually contain instructions for downloading products your customers have purchased. You wouldn’t want these pages to be accessed by anyone finding them on Google search.
The robots.txt file specifies which pages to disallow and which pages to allow Google to index.
If you want to learn how to create a robots.txt file, here’s an excellent resource to find out more about how to do it.
Once you have the file, you’ll simply need to upload it to the header section of your site – between theand sections. In fact, just before the tag is a good place.
Step#5: Don’t Get Deindexed
Have you heard about the “Google slap?” This happens when you break their terms of service and a web page on your site gets deindexed. In fact, your entire domain can get removed if your bad behavior is severe enough.
At the very least, Google can decrease your ranking so your website ends up in that black hole of search engine universe – never to be seen again!
Some of the most common no-no’s are
- keyword stuffing
- writing for search engines instead of users
- low word count articles that give little value
- purchasing links
- and much more.
If you’re working on increasing your organic traffic then Google is your friend. Stay within their rules and you shouldn’t have to worry about pages or even your entire domain getting deindexed
Google has been known to remove pages from the index that are clearly meant for spamming the web. It’s pretty obvious to humans reading them so you know Google will come to that conclusion too.
It doesn’t hurt to read their terms of service either.
Content quality is extremely important. If you produce content that’s high content, your page will get indexed sooner and possibly even rank higher.
YOU NEED TO CREATE AWESOME CONTENT FOR GOOGLE INDEXING AND FOR SEO!
Google wants to promote high quality content by ranking it higher, so go that route and you’ll be better off in the long run.
Step#6: Internal Linking
Another way that Google will find your any web page you create is internal links on your site – in other words, incoming links from one page to another.
A very common mistake is to create a new blog post and link OUT to other pages on your site but not add incoming links to this page from other pages.
This is known as an orphan page – when no links come in from other pages and no links go out to other pages.
Most people think of outbound links but not the other way around.
What you MUST do is create incoming links from other pages. This means that as you write your content, keep in mind which pages you already have written are relevant enough to contain links to this new page. Jot them down if necessary. Then, after your page is written, go to those other pages and add links to this new page.
This is an important step in having Google indexing and finding all your pages.
Step#7: Fix The Nofollow Tag Error
Do you know what no follow tags are? If not, you should – but here’s the thing. What you may have heard might not be correct. Let us explain.
Dofollow links normally pass “link juice” from the source site where the link is located to the destination site. If the linking site has a high page rank, that juice is passed to the destination site which is good for SEO.
All links are follow links unless they contain code specifically making them nofollow.
Adding this code “rel+”nofollow” makes a link a nofollow link.
In today’s web design world, adding this code is sometimes an automatic process. If you use WordPress or another CMS, when adding links you’ll be given the option to nofollow links by simply clicking a check box and sometimes this is done by mistake.
What do nofollow links mean?
In the past (before March 1, 2020) if the Google bot found an outbound link on a page, in addition to not passing link juice, they would NOT index the page the link pointed to. Of course this is bad if you’re using an internal link on your page – linking one to the other.
This all changed after March 1st, 2020 when Google decided to change the way they treat nofollow links – now called”hints.” What? Really?
This means Google considers other factors also when deciding to index the page. A little vague don’t you think? What then, should you do?
Here’s the answer.
Use the nofollow attribute on links to pages you’re absolutely sure you don’t want to be indexed – pages with questionable content such as blog comments, user generated content, thank you pages etc.
All other page links leave alone and Google will index them.
Step#8: Build High Quality Backlinks
Simply put, link building is a good practice for search engine optimization. However, these links should come from higher quality sites. This says to Google that your site is valuable as well. This means Google will be most likely to index it.
Now, we didn’t say to buy links, or do other black-hat tactics to build links. No, don’t do this.
Just acquire these links using other, completely acceptable practices and this will work wonders for your page indexing and ranking.
Want to know how go get backlinks your competitors have?
Summary – How To Get More Pages Indexed By Google
Here’s the bottom line on getting pages indexed.
Your first (and easiest) choice is to use WordPress for your website and use a plugin to submit a site map. If you do this, you might not need to to anything else.
That being said, depending on the size of your site and the number of links within it, you might want to take a look at these other factors too – but here’s a good practice…
Start by submitting your xml site map to Google, wheather through a plugin or theGoogle search console. Then, through the search console, monitor your traffic and fix any issues that might come up. After this you can make a determination if any of the other tactics mentioned above should be implemented.
For more information on SEO and getting content indexed by Google…
Content Optimization Tools
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