During Google’s Office-hours Hangout, recorded on February 4, 2022, Google’s John Mueller provided significant insights into the type of content that is more likely to be indexed and how to expedite the indexing process. The discussion highlighted a crucial indexing aspect when a viewer was concerned about their client’s website. They mentioned that although Google had discovered the content, it had yet to be indexed, indicating that Google wasn’t considering it for ranking purposes. While John clarified that the lack of indexing doesn’t necessarily imply a problem with the content, he did offer valuable advice on addressing this issue. He outlined steps to ensure that the content not only gets indexed but also gets indexed more swiftly.
Not everything is automatically indexed, but…
The viewer asking the question if the content not being indexed means Google thinks the content is not fit to be indexed. To which, John said:
“I don’t think it means anything, in particular. I think that’s always kind of an easy, early assumption to say, oh Google looked at it but decided not to index it. “Most of the time, when we still crawl something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will automatically index it.
So I would almost treat those two categories of not indexed as a similar thing. And it’s tricky because we don’t index everything, so that can happen.”
Get content indexed. Faster.
The viewer then posed a subsequent question, seeking advice on methods that could enhance the indexing of their content, whether or not they had already implemented these strategies. They also noted that this issue was recurring, affecting several websites belonging to their clients, where content wasn’t getting indexed. Here’s John’s response to this inquiry.
“There are different things, which perhaps you’re already doing. On the one hand, kind of making sure that it’s easy for us to recognize the important content on a website is really good. This sometimes means making less content and making better content. So having fewer pages that you want to have indexed. The other thing is internal linking is very important for us to understand what you would consider to be important on a website.
So things, for example, that are linked from the home page are usually a sign that you care about these pages, so maybe we should care about them more. Things with external links, they also kind of go into that category of where we see other people think that these pages are important, then maybe we will see them as important too.
And then site maps and RSS feeds from a technical point of view also help us a little bit better to understand like these pages are new or they have changed recently. We should check them out again and see what is there. But all of these things come together and it’s something where it’s rarely that there’s one trick that you’re missing to get these pages indexed.”
Do external links have some role to play in it?
The same viewer posed a very relevant question regarding the external links. And whether having eternal links would help those unindexed sites getting indexed. He asked:
“Now we are using the blog post for interlinking as well to other pages. So getting linked to those blog posts, which are not indexed by Google, will have an impact on the website ranking or will add any value…?”
To which, John said “I mean if we find external links to those pages then chances are we might crawl and index that page, like a little bit higher, I guess. It depends a little bit on what kind of external links, of course. There is links from social media directly usually have no follow attached so we don’t really forward any signals there.
And if it’s something where we can recognize well, these are maybe problematic links or not that useful links, maybe we will ignore those too. But obviously, if we can tell that something is seen as being important we’ll probably go off and crawl and index that page more likely. What you generally won’t see is that we will kind of forward value to the rest of the website if we don’t actually index that page.
Because if we decide not to index that page then it’s still that situation that, well, we don’t have a destination for those links, so we can’t do anything with those links for the rest of the website.”
What stands out is John’s emphasis on how external links can significantly grab Google’s attention regarding a specific piece of content. He highlighted that there are effective methods to facilitate Google’s comprehension of content importance, expediting the indexing process. According to him, one of the most crucial approaches involves elevating content quality while de-emphasizing quantity. Additionally, leveraging internal and external links can signal the content’s significance to Google. Lastly, sitemaps and RSS feeds play pivotal roles in this broader context. For a comprehensive understanding, you can view John Mueller’s complete response to this question starting at the 21:04 minute mark, and consider staying tuned for additional valuable insights throughout the discussion.
Source: Search Engine Journal