How to Handle Search Console Index Coverage Issues
Having your pages indexed by Google is not as easy as it used to be. Katherine Nwanorue joins the SEO Rant Podcast to share how she handles all sorts of Search Console indexation gaps:
What are the different kinds of indexation statuses and how to handle them
What types of pages are likely to face indexation issues
Techniques to increase the chances that Google will crawl and index your pages from the onset
Dealing with Google Indexation Problems
If you write a page of content and it's not indexed does it make a sound? This is an SEO podcast, not a philosophy class. The clear answer is it makes no organic search sound at all. Content is one thing but if it's not indexed it's not accessible (via Search). Ensuring Google indexes your content is of the utmost importance but it's getting harder as Google gets pickier about what it chooses to crawl and index. What then, should you know about indexation so that you can increase the chances that your pages will be crawled and indexed?
Help Google See Which Pages Matter For Crawling And Then Indexing
There are so many scenarios, issues, and concerns when it comes to getting Google to index pages. One of which, as Katherine points out, is to help Google realize which pages are the site's most important pages and what should come into "crawling focus" - here, of course, things like internal linking come into play. One of the fundamental roles of an SEO is to position the site so that Google is aware of the URLs available and that you want to have crawled and indexed. Anything from submitting sitemaps to Search Console to internal and even external linking comes into play here!
Content Quality and Differentioan Matters For Indexing
Another problem that often arises is Google seeing the value in your content (so as to decide to index it). There are certain page types that are often predisposed to facing content quality and differentiation issues (Katherine and I have both seen this with event pages - where you often don't have a lot of content on the page nor a lot of unique content).
Even in scenarios where the content doesn't lend itself to differentiation - do your best because if Google doesn't see the unique value of the content and sees that similar pages are already indexed they very well might leave the page on the outside looking in. That page might be a very important product page. So while product pages are very generic from one to the next, especially when the products are similar, find ways to differentiate. Add unique titles, headers, and even just a few lines of unique description content to the page. Push down the boilerplate content and showcase that bit of unique content initially. Whatever it is, it pays to get a little creative, especially if you're seeing these kinds of pages come in and out of the index.
Is Indexing the Next Big Challenge In SEO
For more of the SEO Rant Podcast check out our previous episode on: What's On the Baidu SERP?