Why Google Might Not Index Your Webpage
September 27, 2023
You may be surprised to see that your webpage is not appearing in Google’s search results. This usually means that Google has not indexed your webpage (they can’t find your webpage) and therefore doesn’t know about the copy on the page. Luckily, there are ways to increase your pages chance of being discovered on Google:
Understanding Google’s Indexing Timeline
Google is constantly indexing websites across the internet to get the latest information about every page. The frequency in which Google will index web pages depends on the page itself and may happen every few hours, weeks, months, or potentially never.
If you find that Google is not indexing your website quickly enough and you want Google to recognize these changes sooner rather than later, you can use Google Search Console to request they index or re-index your site. Google Search Console is a free tool that helps you manage your websites presence with the Google search results. Using this tool, you can submit your URL or sitemap so Google knows which pages to index and review any indexing issues.
If you are not seeing your updated meta description when searching for your post or page, your description is too short, lacking detail, or not descriptive enough. Instead, Google might use content it pulls directly from the page to make up for this and provide what it deems to be more relevant content to the user. Update your meta description with a description of around 50–160 characters that directly relates to the page’s objective to resolve this issue. Remember, the meta description is not just about satisfying Google; it’s about enticing potential visitors to click on your link when they see it in search results and ensuring they know what they will find on that page or website.
Avoiding Google Penalties
Google can be reluctant to index a website that might be violating its Webmaster Guidelines. If you are stuffing keywords, creating pages with no original content, or using any other spammy SEO tactics, Google might hit you with a penalty, which could slow down the indexing of your website or potentially get you banned from Google.
Ensuring Website Accessibility
Google loves an easy to navigate website. If your site is mobile-friendly, free of broken links or dead pages, and quick to load, you’re giving Google fewer reasons to delay the indexing process. Ease of navigation also leads to users spending more time on your site and while this doesn’t impact whether or not you are indexed, it does help improve your ranking.
Delivering Quality Content
Quality content is the star of the show when it comes to Google indexing. Consistently updating your site with original, valuable content that relates to your services and what your users are searching for encourages Google to return and re-index.
An XML sitemap lists every page on your website, and the frequency you update the copy on each page. Submitting an XML sitemap through Google Search Console will let Google know which pages to index.
Understanding why Google may not have indexed your website yet is the first step towards making changes and ensuring your content is discoverable. With the insights listed above, you are well-equipped to improve your efforts and ensure your site has the best chance of indexing on Google.