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Google Index Secrets Revealed

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic, Website Technical Issues | Posted on 16-08-2012

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Ever since the inception of Googlebot, webmasters have been trying to figure out the secret to Google’s indexing practices.  How do you ever really know if your pages have been indexed by the search engine giant?  Thanks to a new feature on Google’s Webmaster tools, you can.

Index Status, which is found in the Health menu of your tools, shows you exactly how many of your site’s pages have been indexed by Google.  When you click on the feature, you’re taken to a graph that shows how many of your pages Google has indexed.  The goal is for this chart to be steadily moving upward.  This shows you that the new content you are putting on your site is being found, crawled, and then indexed by the search engine giant.  If you don’t see a steadily increasing line on the graph, then it’s time to do some digging into your website and figure out where the problem is.  The first place you’ll go to start figuring out what the issue is will be the Advanced tab in the Index Status feature.

The Advanced tab shows more than just the number of pages from your site that Google has indexed.  It also shows how many pages the search engine’s bot has crawled, how many they are aware of but that have not been crawled because they are blocked from crawling, and the number of pages on your site that Google chose not to include in their results.  Google has flagged several reasons for not indexing certain pages.  Some of these reasons include:

  • Because it redirects to a different page
  • Because it has a canonical tag
  • Or Google’s algorithms think the content is too similar to what’s on a different URL and instead has chosen that other URL to include that content.

So the way Google crawls your site has a lot to do with the way it is set up.  If you use a lot of canonical tags, you could have a real problem in the search engine world.  However, this is something you can easily have fixed if you know what the problem is.  On the other hand, you could be left scratching your head if you don’t have redirects or canonical tags.

Sometimes all you need to do is make it easier for Google to crawl your site by using the search engine’s parameter handling features.  This will let you set which parameters should not be crawled so that Googlebot won’t waste time attempting to crawl those parameters.  Crawl efficiency can make a world of difference on some sites, so it is definitely worth checking out.

One of the easiest ways to help Google figure out why your site is set up a certain way is to submit an XML sitemap.  However, you must make sure that the maps you do submit are comprehensive so that Google will crawl your site the way you want it to.  In addition, it is important to note that the data compiled on the Index Status feature is a couple of weeks behind, so what you will really find the feature useful for is history rather than real time data.  But that history does include some valuable information you can’t afford to ignore.

For help getting your site back on track in Google’s listings, call or email Avasoft today! Our experts will help you discern what all of those numbers in your Index Status actually mean.  Then we will help you use those numbers to boost your site’s performance in the Google rankings.