In Google’s Office-hours Hangout recorded on 4 February 2022, Google’s John Mueller offered big advice on what kind of content is more likely to be indexed and how to get it indexed faster. An important aspect of indexing came to light when a viewer stated that while the content on one of his clients’ website has been discovered, but it has not been indexed, which means that the content on the page is not being considered by Google for ranking. While John said that the content not being indexed doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong with it, he did throw some light on the whole issue and mentioned things one could do to make sure the content is not just indexed but indexed faster.
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 than followed up with another question and wanted to know if there are ways that could help his content getting indexed, which he may or may not have been doing. He added that this seemed to be emerging pattern as it was happening to a few of his clients’ websites not being indexed. Here’s what John had to say about it.
“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.”
The important point to note is how John accentuated the how external links can help Google take notice of the piece of content in question. And that there are ways in which one can make it easier for Google to understand the importance of content so it could index that page faster. One of the most important ways, he said, was to dial up the quality of content and taking out the quantity out of the equation. The other way is to utilise internal and external links to their advantage as both can help signal to Google about the important of content. Last but not the least, sitemaps and RSS too play an important role in the whole scheme of things. Watch John Mueller’s full response to question at the 21:04 minute mark and may be also stick around for the rest of the discussion for some other valuable insights.
Source: Search Engine Journal