Article updated 01/20/2022, published September 2021
I had a lot of feedback, sharing, and discussion after my article on WebRankInfo, which explains why Google isn’t indexing all pages anymore and how to fix it in general.
Thought you might be interested in using this SEO feedback!
So here they are 9 steps to follow when Google refuses to index one of your pages…
All you need is Google Search Console and an RM Tech report for the website in question (to save a lot of time…).
If you do not have an RM Tech audit for the website in question, request one on this page. I’ll give you a coupon to get a full pre-check on the site of your choice, up to 100,000 URLs 🎁
You will receive the full report with all charts (but not the attachments for this offered version).
The steps to follow for successful indexing
Check if the page is technically indexable: it must be listed in the appendix at the end of the RM Tech report. Otherwise, it has a crawling problem (HTTP code other than 200) or indexability (it declares a different URL as canonical or contains a noindex meta-robot).
Some useful resources:
2 URL Inspector (Google Search Console)
To be sure, use the Search Console URL Inspector to check that nothing is blocking indexing. Just copy the page URL and paste it into the search form at the top of the Search Console screen.
If you haven’t already, read how to declare your site in Google’s search console.
3 QualityRisk index at zero
Make sure the page has a QualityRisk score of 0 (or very low). Otherwise, it means you haven’t given the page every chance of success: follow RM Tech’s recommendations to optimize the page. Everything is listed in the attachment at the end! This includes both classic SEO tags and page content, or the download speed of the raw HTML page, as well as the weight of the HTML code…
4 Internal linking
Ensure that the internal mesh is sufficient, meaning that multiple links to this page are easy to find (and that the maximum depth recommended in the audit is not exceeded). Also, take the opportunity to vary the anchor text of the links pointing to the page (it’s the text that is clickable). This information is available in the 2 annexes that appear at the end.
Is the title (title and H1 tags) perfect? Is it enough to convey the purpose and content of the page even if taken out of context?
6 Page Content and Search Intent
Examine the main content of the page from the user’s perspective: is it much more responsive than your competitors for the search intent it was built for?
Run Google search(s) for the most strategic terms for your page and see what Google sees as great relevant content.
7 Duplicate content
Is this page the only one on the site that deals with the topic? Make sure there is no duplicate or very similar content (risk of cannibalization). Finally, in the attachment, make a filter in the “Tag Title” column with keywords to check if there is no duplicate or almost duplicate content.
Of course, also check that the page is not listed in the URLs with 100% duplicate content (this is what the RM Tech SEO audit report says).
8th Get backlinks
From my observation, we encounter difficulties in indexing pages on certain sites when the quality appears to be there. But these are young sites (a few months at most) and/or with very little notoriety.
Google only cares about your site when others refer to it. Mentions are good, but backlinks are even better! So don’t forget to increase website awareness by looking for backlinks.
9 Use “Indexer” (SEO indexing tools)
This might be the #1 solution given in other articles. I’m the last one, for several reasons:
- it is paid, even expensive (50c or even 1€ for indexing a single URL)
- I have the impression that it forces Google to index pages. For some he should have indexed them clearly and that’s all good! For others whose algorithm may be under-rated, they are sometimes/generally de-indexed a bit later.
- If it’s used without thinking about all other possibilities, it’s clearly not my strategy. For me, it is not about indexing a page “so that it is indexed”, but so that it generates traffic thanks to its added value and the SEO optimization that it brings.
If you’re in a hurry and have the budget (and you promise to do the other steps later…) then it’s still a good solution.
What if that’s not enough?
If you follow all of this to the letter it will work!!!
Get SEO Pre-Audit (Free)
If that doesn’t work, you have too many bad pages on the same site. In this case, even if the page you are interested in is of the highest quality, Google remembers that it has come to crawling bad pages too often. How to find out if you are affected:
If you don’t know how to do any of the steps well, ask for help in the comments or on the forum 🤝
To really get to the bottom of things, I offer you 2 advanced tutorials:
A few other options to try…
The other things to try…you never know! After each test, you can always request a new indexing via the Search Console’s URL Inspector, but that doesn’t guarantee anything…
- Include the page in a sitemap : I didn’t list it in the steps because it’s a classic. Not absolutely necessary, but still recommended. Anyway, all your indexable urls should already be in sitemaps…
- update content : You should have already done this in steps 3 and 6
- Add YouTube video : It worked in some cases, was it a coincidence? In my opinion, it’s mostly about really changing a page (or maybe making it more responsive to search intent).