Hey guys, one of my new sites is having serious indexation issues and nothing seems to help.
I've tried: changing the domain, optimizing internal linking, building backlinks, created social media accounts. The content is objectively better than all other competitors.
How are you guys dealing with indexation issues and what's the quickest way to get a page indexed using white-hat methods?
26 👍🏽2 😢29
Can you share the URL?
I'd prefer not to as I'm testing a niche I'd rather not share 🙂
Ammon Johns 🎓 » Morgan
Okay, this is difficult without knowing the niche (whether it is one with special factors kinda like Your Money or Your Life (YMYL)) or the keywords (which again can trigger certain signals to be prefferred such as QDF, or high authority, etc.)
The first thing to really look at is the links because honestly, there are very, very few things that *good* links won't get indexed and ranked. The only problems I have ever seen here is when people think 'good' is about tool scores, rather than "is this a link/citation that would seriously impress someone who knew nothing about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you don't have a link you could tell your mother about and have her understand it was a big deal, get one. 🙂
It doesn't matter what kind of Public Relations (PR) stunt you have to pull to get a genuine link, or what you have to invest into creating a killer piece of 'must share' content, it is *always* worth it if it gets that link. I've seen the toughest, most competitive keywords dominated on the strength of one awesome link that, sure, was tricky to get, but still cost less overall (I mean in investment, never a 'paid link') than the whole year of tricks the competitors tried that couldn't budge it.
If you have that kind of backlink profile, STOP changing stuff. You've already changed everything from the domain and URLs up. Get the site into what you are certain is its best shape to rank and then STOP messing with it.
Your own changes and tweaks might be the problem.
There was a paper quite a long while back that I can never remember the true name of (I leave that stuff to Slawski's encyclopedic knowledge of patents and papers), in part because mentally I always call it the "F 'em Up" paper. It was a specific anti-spam approach that where it detected continual tweaking of a site over time, like someone trying to 'backward engineer' the algo, to hold back any positive effects for weeks or even a month or so.
Now, I am certainly NOT saying that the paper is used and in effect. But I absolutely am saying that actual search engineers thought it up, tested it enough to write a paper about, etc. There *could* be some threshold of tweaking that effectively puts a site on hold for reindexing, beyond standard crawl priority processes.
I think such a thing would be rare, limited probably to competitive niches, and I wouldn't normally suggest it *except* that you've basically told us you have tried everything to the best of your ability, and I don't think you're a fool.
So if all the good stuff that usually works hasn't, then you KNOW that something unusual is happening. Let it rest for a while, in the best state you know to leave it, and see what happens.
Morgan ✍️ » Ammon Johns
Thanks for this amazing answer! This actually makes sense. We normally don't start building links until we have at least some traffic coming from low comp keywords, so new sites don't have any links.
It used to be this way: Create content -> wait for it to get indexed -> wait for some traffic to prove that the domain is ok -> start linkbuilding
Now with the indexation issues, it might actually be that Google doesn't even want to index pages that no one talks about (i.e. no links). Might be a great idea for a test to see if links can solve this issue.
Google doesn't care about paid social shares.
"The content is objectively better than all other competitors."
To YOU. Maybe it's a content quality problem. Maybe it's something else.
How have you organized the site? How are you publishing the content? Does Google Search Console complain about anything on your site – in any way, in any report?
Content is definitely not the issue here. I am literally competing against Artificial Intelligence (AI) writers and content with lots of grammar errors.
In terms of site architecture, it's a typical affiliate website structure, nothing too complicated. I've tried several internal linking strategies as well.
No issues in Google Search Console either, the ones that were flagged we fixed.
Gillispie » Micha
It's not about the "shares." It's about the TRAFFIC. FFS.
My statement was about buying real social ads/paid placements on social media…not some bullshit vanity metric with a bunch of Indian paid for FB likes (which is the quickest way to kill an account unless you are going for Indian traffic).
Google doesn't measure traffic from social media and then use that to decide whether to index sites. The "crawled – not indexed" problem needs to be solved ON THE SITE getting crawled, not indexed.
How new is the site? And wum by "changing the domain"? What does your Google Search Console (GSC) say when you run the urls through inspection tool, any warnings etc?
So we initially bought an expired domain a couple of months ago and have put about ~30 posts live. In the first month ~10 pages got indexed, and then whatever we did, we couldn't get the other 20 indexed.
We thought that expired domain might have been the issue, so we migrated all content to a fresh domain.
Akar » Morgan
Oh I see. and since when the new domain is live? This might sound obvious but is everything on the technical side on place? Like your canonicals and such?
about 1 month. Only 2 pages are indexed – the homepage and contact page 🙂
All good on the technical side
Akar » Morgan
Even tho 1 month is a relatively short time for a brand New domain, I'd have expected more pages to be indexed by now even if not all. You'd need to investigate more, can't say much as idk the site. But maybe it's a matter of time after all. Good luck.
Jesse Neubert 🎓
Outside the box strategy that works: Get the site approved for Google News
We do this for clients' sites as a service.
The potential benefits of being G news approved aside, it's the fast indexing that led us down this path.
If you need help let me know.
Absolutely the best way to do it. But a generic affiliate site has low chances of being approved
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Tulic
Nah, we have our ways 😎
If you're interested I can have my team take a look at the URL and let you know if it's doable.
Tulic » Jesse Neubert
I have one in foreign language – German. I would be interested to get it into Google news. Do you do foreign sites as well?
Morgan ✍️ » Jesse Neubert
Wow didn't think about that. Will read more on that. Thanks!
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Morgan
No prob. It's not rocket science, but if you run into issues getting approved, let me know 🙂
Colin » Jesse Neubert
Are you saying it is possible to get an un-indexed site approved as a G News site? Care to share any outline of steps? Can a G News site be a sub domain?
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Colin
Subdomains yes. Unindexed website? I don't think we've tried yet to be honest.
All client sites we have worked with thus far have had the homepage indexed at least. But if they're having indexing issues with inner pages and new blog posts this is a round-about alternative. Although I'd argue there are a few other benefits.
If you have trouble or run into issues let me know the URL via Direct Message (DM) and I'll let you know if we can guarantee approval or not.
Colin » Jesse Neubert
Thanks for the information . The Un-indexed site question was in relation to the OP question. But I see they had some pages indexed, and your G News solution helps with indexing additional pages. I guess if used correctly a G News site could help with indexing other sites, via a relevant back link.
If your domain is just 1 month old as I saw here then it's still in sandbox.
If you tested each page after publishing and no issues were reported then there is nothing to worry about.
This will take a longer time to be resolved especially if you're in a competitive niche.
Keep editing your published articles to make them better and publish new ones as much as you can with good internal link structure. As soon as Google understand your new website, everything will become easier. Most new websites face this challenge.
Because is you asking this question, I'm sure the job is well done. The only (kinda) new factor is Google. I'm already used to see it taking two months to just index a page, but in very short time after that already starting to produce good traffic. So I simply stopped carrying about the waiting. I know I've done my job right, I know only after I see data in Google Search Console (GSC) I can think of a proper re-optimization (if needed), so I move to the next project. Sure, I keep on doing the usual as if that page is going well – updates from time to time, social shares, new links (internal & backlinks).
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