How to Get Your Site or New Page Indexed by Google
Everyone knows that If you have a new site or new pages on your site, the best way to get them indexed by Google (in order to be delivered as search results in the future) is to simply submit for indexing through Google Search Console.
Note: If your site has many pages and Google is not indexing them all, either the pages are low quality or Google is not finding all the pages. Improving the quality of the pages or creating more links between your deeper pages will be necessary.
NEW: Requests in Search Console used to get your page crawled within a few minutes, but this is not automatically the case any longer. Now, Google checks the history of your site to determine the best crawl frequency and treats your submission more like a suggestion than a command. Sometimes it can take a few days before Google indexes your page, even though there is nothing wrong with the page.
Still, there are more nuanced issues that may be preventing your page from getting indexed.
How to check if your page is indexed
First thing first. Find out if the page on your site is already indexed by Google. You can do this easily by using the site operator. Typing “site:” before any url in Google will return the pages that Google has indexed for that exact-matched url plus any sub-urls if any exist.
You can also use Google Search Console to check whether a url is indexed. Enter your url into the “Url Inspection” field and Google will return information about the url, whether it is:
- Indexed with errors
- Not indexed
If the page is indexed, you can also click further into the details to find the last time Google came by to read the page.
Why is my page “not indexed?”
Once you have determined that the page is not indexed by Google, there are a number of things to check. Here are a few causes:
- Google has not yet visited the page
- Google has visited the page, but the quality is too low
- Google has visited the page but has found a duplicate page elsewhere
- Google has visited the page, but it is marked as “noindex”
Let’s take a look at these possible factors and see how we can resolve the underlying issue.
Google has “not visited” the page yet
Look for clues in Search Console. Does Google know any details about the page? If Google has never passed by to visit the page, you will experience mostly blank information.
At this point, use the “Test Live Url” button to make sure that the page is loading correctly. If no errors are displayed, use the “Request Indexing” button to ask Google to visit the page.
Google visited the page, but it's still not in the index
If Google has visited the page, but the page is not indexed, we need to determine why. This could be caused by a number of conditions. First, make sure that the page loads properly in a browser. If the page displays well, then look for any technical errors.
Checking for technical issues
There are a number of technical issues that can get your page ignored by Google. See if an html tag was inadvertently added, (or added purposefully but forgotten to be removed) called the “noindex” tag. You’ll need to check the source code of the page by right-clicking the page and choosing “View page source.”
This will open up a new tab in the browser and you will want to search the page for this text: “noindex”. You might find a string of code like this:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow" />
If the noindex tag is in the source code, then most likely Google is visiting the page, but your page is telling Google to ignore it. You will need to remove the noindex tag from the page. If you have an SEO plugin installed, then you can check those settings, otherwise you might have to dig a bit to see what the source of that code is.
If the page is tagged correctly, you will instead find a line of code like this:
<meta name="robots" content="index, follow" />
While still looking at the source code, you’ll want to check for another line of code. This one is the canonical tag. Search within the page for the word “canonical.”
You should see a line of code like this:
The url in this line of code should be the url of the page you are looking at. If the url is different, then the code is telling Google to ignore the page because there is a better version somewhere else. If the canonical url is not self-referencing, you will need to check in the page settings to correct this.
Everything looks fine technically but still not indexed
If the source code looks fine and the page loads up fine, and all the content is being displayed properly, then chances are that Google just hasn’t visited the page yet.
The url structure of a site can come into play here. If your page is buried three levels deep on the site, Google may not be finding your page, or may even be ignoring your page. Pages that are closer to the root are given more importance.
Again, submitting your url through Search Console is more like a suggestion to Google now versus a command. What Google likes best is to find new pages on its own.
Google finds pages by following links from other pages. If it finds a new page because another page has linked to it, Google will add that new page to its index fairly quickly. So, by increasing the number of pages that link to your new page, you will increase the likelihood that Google will find your new page. You can use other pages on your site to link to your new page, or you can share your new page on social media, for example. (Twitter is the best choice.)
Ultimately, there are really only a few possible reasons why Google isn’t indexing your website or web page:
- Google has not visited yet
- Technical issues hinder Google from traversing the page
- Google deems your site or page is low-quality
Of course, it’s possible that more than one of these issues exist at the same time. However, if you have a new page with unique content and more than a few days have passed, then the most likely problem would be a technical issue.