Glossary | 2 mins
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Indexed is a term used to refer to pages that have been registered in a search engine’s database, more commonly referred to as its index.
If a page isn’t indexed, it won’t be capable of appearing on a page of search results, and any subsequent SEO work done will effectively go to waste. Though indexation is a fundamental part of SEO, a surprising amount of valuable content fails to become indexed due to negligence or a lack of understanding of how search engine indexes work.
How Google Indexes Pages
Google indexes pages by crawling the web through automated bots called crawlers which navigate the web in a similar way to a human user. With each new page that crawlers visit, it will be analysed to determine its content and meaning. This, among other factors, will act as an input for Google to rank the page in its algorithm.
Though most pages become indexed through crawling, it’s possible for Google to index pages which crawlers don’t have access to, e.g. if they’re blocked by a directive in the site’s robots.txt file. It’s also important to note that indexation is just a prerequisite for ranking, and if a page is indexed it doesn’t guarantee that it will be ranked on any given SERP.
How to Ensure your Pages are Indexed
If you’ve determined that some of your important site content isn’t being indexed, you can manually ask Google to index it, thereby maximising your chances of the content ranking.
To do this, go to the URL inspection tool on Google Search Console and paste in the URL of the page you’d like to index. Once Search Console has checked the URL, click the “Request indexing” button.
It’s a good habit to carry out this process when you’ve made changes to your site that you think will have a positive effect on your rankings. This will ensure that Google registers any new content quickly, and means you won’t have to wait for it to crawl and index updated pages in due course.
Bear in mind that requesting indexation manually won’t fix any underlying issues that could be preventing indexation, such as rogue canonical tags, nofollow internal links, and pages missing from xml sitemaps.
What does indexed by Google mean?
When a page is indexed, it means that the page has been registered in Google’s database, commonly called its “index”. Search engines index pages by having bots called crawlers visit the page through hyperlinks, which analyse the page for content and meaning. Though indexation doesn’t guarantee a page will rank, it is a fundamental prerequisite for a page appearing on Google’s SERPs.
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