It’s all fun and games when you realise that you have received a nice do-follow link from another site, but what if that page doesn’t get indexed by Google? Then you probably aren’t benefiting from the potential ranking increments associated with obtaining that link.
What you will learn from this article:
- How to identify backlinks that aren’t indexed;
- The reasonings behind why your backlinks aren’t being indexed;
- How to better your chances of getting your backlinks indexed.
Just because a webmaster has told you that they have kindly linked to your website, this doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the process. You need to ensure that the page referencing your URL gets indexed by Google, otherwise, Googlebot won’t even know that your site has received a link. Therefore, you probably won’t benefit from the juice that this link could offer your site.
Obtaining relevant backlinks is stage 1 of the process, stage 2 is ensuring that those pages are then indexed.
How To Identify The Backlinks That Aren’t Indexed
It’s relatively simple, however, some SEO’s may question that they aren’t aware of all the sites that are referencing their URL, therefore, how will they be able to check the index status of these links without knowing they have linked to you in the first place? Good question, we will get on that a little later.
There are two ways to identify whether or not a page referencing your site is indexed:
1) By executing a manual search command in Google, against a specific URL
This is a basic command that can be used to check to see if a certain URL is currently indexed in Google’s search engine. This can be done with the ‘site:’ command. You’re able to use this command to search for root domains, sub-folders and specific URL’s. As an example, if I was interested in checking the index status of my seo memes post the command will look like:
Therefore, if you’re aware of a website that has linked to you, it may be worth checking the index status of that specific page. If it’s indexed, you’re probably benefiting from it. If it’s not, then Googlebot hasn’t visted the URL yet.
2) Using a backlink tool that supports index status checking
A favorite of mine is Monitor Backlinks, as we’re friends with the folks at MB they have provided us with a coupon code that entitles you to 3 months of subscription time for the price of 1. That’s a 67% discount.
Coupon Code: MB2MF4NCCM
This tool will proactively report on the sites that are linking to your site, similar to Majestic and Open Site Explorer by Moz, however, this tool will regularly check to see if the page is indexed or not in Google’s search results. Please be aware that pages on the web may be crawled and included in the index of Majestic, Monitor Backlinks and Open Site Explorer, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are indexed in Google’ search results.
This is what the ‘Backlinks’ page looks like on Monitor Backlinks:
The Monitor Backlinks tool will list the sites that it has found that link to your URL. Plus, the date of which is was detected, the source url and GI.
- PNI means that the page isn’t indexed;
- D+P is similar to the above, but this also means that the domain isn’t indexed.
If a page has been detected as not being indexed, this doesn’t mean that it can’t be indexed. The page may be relatively new, therefore it will take time for Google to get around to crawling it, or Google just hasn’t visited it yet. In some cases, Google may decide not to index a page if it doesn’t think it’s worthy. Plus, if a page has meta no-index setup, the webmaster has strictly asked the search engine crawler not to index the page.
The reasonings behind why your backlinks aren’t being indexed
If a page isn’t included in Google’s search results, this is sometimes down to three reasons:
- Google hasn’t yet crawled the page;
- A meta no-index is currently placed on the page;
- Google’s decided that it isn’t a valuable source of information, therefore it decides not to consider it for search.
The primary cause for most sites is number #1, Google just hasn’t got around to crawling the site yet, don’t take this personally, it’s just a process. Googlebot may decide to crawl your site more often than other days, and not at all on others. This is out of your control, however, implementing best-practice SEO and having a clearly-defined site hierarchy that’s easy for Googlebot to navigate around will always help the re-crawling process.
Remember: If the user can’t get to a specific page via your internal link structure, the chances are Googlebot won’t be able to, make sure that there is a link to every aspect of your site to ensure crawlability.
What do you mean it isn’t a valuable source of information?
Let’s discuss. If Google decides to take time out of it’s day to give your site the extroadinary opportunity of being included in their billion dollar search engine, and then it decides not to enroll you, then you know that something is seriously up with your website. I have listed *some* of the possible reasons why Google may decide not to index your site.
1) Duplicate content
If content has been deliberately copied from another source, Google will pick up on this and decide not to bother indexing your page. Why should it? That piece of information exists else where + it’s just a garbage thing to do, to copy other peoples hard work. If you have duplicate content, remove it and consider rewriting it.
2) Your backlinks aren’t good
If you’ve decided to automate the link building process, which is strictly against Google’s guidelines, then why should it bother indexing that junk? Does it provide value to the user? If this is the case, stop building forum profile links, social profiles etc. Start building better links.
3) You’re posting on spammy sites
If you’re dedicating your time and effort to posting on spammy sites, please give up now, it just isn’t the way forward. Many sites that auto-approve comments aren’t going to index well, as the chances are Google knows about these sites already.
Remember: The employees at Google are very good at their jobs, they definitely do know how to read a blog post and pay attention to the SEO community. If you know about these shameless tactics, I assume they do too. Therefore, they’ll action on it. Stop posting to spammy sites.
How to better your chances of getting your backlinks indexed
Like I said previously, your backlinks are probably worthy of being indexed – it’s just Google hasn’t got around to visiting them yet. Be patient, however, I would highly recommend taking into consideration the above three points I made.
So, if you’re a good webmaster and you create high-quality content that generates genuine backlinks on other sites, then you just need to get those pages indexed. However, how is this possible without having access to webmaster tools to manually request a fetch? You don’t own that site, it’s out of your control? If the page(s) aren’t being indexed, and you’ve been patient, it may be worth actioning on those.
Therefore, I’d like to introduce One Hour Indexing. It sounds like a malicious piece of software, but it *apparently* uses Google-approved methods for link processing and indexing. I haven’t yet seen a single case of sandboxing or algorithmic penalty because of One Hour Indexing, it does work and it’s used widely in the search industry.
Put simply, One Hour Indexing will use Google-approved methods to encourage Googlebot to index your content. If the pages that your backlinks are included on are worthy of being indexed, it’s just Google hasn’t visited them yet, then this will greatly increase the indexation speed. Yes, the company name is legit, I have seen cases of which backlinks were indexed in just under an hour. It honestly is a great tool, especially if you plan to build links to your web 2.0’s and other strategies that you have under your belt.
What types of links does One Hour Indexing work with?
- Everything from money site pages (and all of the pages contained within your main site);
- WordPress sites, articles, wiki’s, social bookmarks etc;
- Blog comments, forum profiles, guest books and every other type of link that you can think of.
One Hour Indexing is completely automated, submit your links and forget about it. It has link reports, API access and more. You can get started with One Hour Indexing for only $17 a month, this will entitle you to 1,000 daily link requests – which is a lot!
It’s a great tool for any SEO that’s looking to build A LOT of links (if you chose to take that route). It can also be used on a white-hat scale to index genuine sites that are linking to your money site, they just aren’t indexed as of yet, therefore you’ll be maximizing the juice heading to your site if you get these indexed.