Before Google sends visitors to your website, it first needs to find and index pages. Otherwise, you’ll have to work hard to get visitors to view your content. Thankfully, learning how to index website pages in Google is simple.
That said, you should track which pages are indexed in your content keyword mapping document as it’s critical to your website’s success.
The goal of any SEO content strategy is to bring passive organic search traffic to your website. So, you should worry if Google can index your website and how quickly or easily it can find new posts and pages.
Google doesn’t magically start ranking pages as soon as you hit the publish button. The most basic indexation process has three steps:
We will be focusing on how to index website pages in Google, allowing you to increase the amount of targeted traffic and prospects your website receives.
How to check if Google has indexed your pages
Before covering how to get Google to index your website’s pages, it’s worth discussing how we can audit our current indexation performance rate.
Establishing a baseline
Using Google Search Console’s “Index Coverage Report” and your sitemap, you should be able to establish a baseline. Your sitemap will tell you how many pages your website has. While the Index Coverage Report will tell you how many pages Google has found.
For example, you might have 200 pages on your website. However, Google’s Index Coverage Report only shows 50 pages. So it hasn’t found 150 pages, meaning you have a big problem.
We call this number the Indexation rate = # of pages in Google’s index / # of pages on your site.
Brief guide to the Index Coverage Report
Without going into an endless amount of detail, the Index Coverage Report shows:
- Valid pages: Found and indexed.
- Valid pages with warnings: indexed but has issues.
- Error pages: Not indexed but found.
- Excluded pages: Intentionally not indexed.
It’s worth checking this report monthly and ensuring you have no page listed under Errors or Valid pages with warnings. If you do, you’ll need to fix them. Don’t worry too much about the list of Excluded pages.
If you have only a few pages indexed or a lot of errors, it could mean:
- You have a lot of low-quality or duplicate pages that Google doesn’t consider worthy of indexing.
- Certain URLs in your sitemap might be no-indexable (pages set to NOIXDEX, blocked using robots.txt, or hidden behind a login).
- You haven’t built internal links to improve crawling and authority.
Checking individual pages
There are a few ways to check the indexation of individual pages. Firstly, in Google Search Console, you can type the URL into the top bar. Doing so will produce a report that includes when the page was indexed and how Google discovered the page.
Another method is to open an incognito browser window and run a Google search for “site:YOUR URL“, e.g. site:www.bbc.co.uk/news. If that page has been indexed, you’ll see it appear as the top result.
Only use this method if you need to check one or a few pages or it will drive you crazy!
How to index website pages in Google, fast
If you’ve read a few blogs over the years, you’ll be able to repeat the phrase “create high-quality content” in your sleep. And while it is a cliche, it’s true.
What creating high-quality content means to me is a post or page that:
- Answers the user query (word count doesn’t matter)
- Uses short paragraphs and subheadings to improve readability
- Easy to scan (most of your visitors won’t read beyond the subheading)
- Links to worthwhile sources (both internal pages and external websites)
- Use images and videos where possible to reinforce your points and break up blocks of text.
But this is just the start of learning how to index website pages in Google and get it done quickly.
#1 Create internal links
As search engines crawl your website by navigating HTML links, it’s important to create internal links when the post or page goes live. Ideally, build 2 or 3 internal links from pages that are already indexed and get a good amount of traffic.
You want to create internal links from relevant pages that provides the user with value. If you run a car garage, it makes sense to create a link between a new page: “Sanding down a car body for respraying”, and an existing page: “10 steps to correctly respray your car“.
Finally, with the existing, already indexed pages, go to Google Search Console and type the URL into the top search bar. You’ll see a page report and the option to Request Indexing. Click this button as Google will recrawl your page and find the new link to your latest post.
#2 Use URL Inspection in Google Search Console
Google has a tool as part of Search Console that allows you to scan new pages and ask it to index them. In Google Search Console, type your URL into the top search bar and hit enter.
It will produce a report that says if Google has found and indexed that page or not. If it hasn’t found your page, click the Test Live URL button, it will see if it can crawl your page.
If everything is fine, you’ll see a green button that says “URL is available to Google”. To complete the process, click on the Request Indexing button.
It can take a few minutes to days for the page to be indexed. So you’ll want to use the URL Inspection tool to check if it’s indexed or not, in a few days.
#3 Add the page to your sitemap
One way search engines find new pages is by looking at the sitemap.
Having a page in your sitemap does NOT automatically guarantee indexation. However, by including new pages, you are nudging the search engines to find these changes.
If you’re using a CMS (such as WordPress, Wix, Magento, etc), you might be automatically generating a Sitemap or can easily add a plug-in that does. In WordPress, both Yoast and Rank Math are free to install plug-ins that update the sitemap every time you add or delete a page.
Otherwise, you will need to create a sitemap document, upload it to your server and resubmit it to Google Search Console.
After you’ve submitted your sitemap to Google Search Console, you can review it in the Sitemaps report. Again it’s worth reviewing this often and tweaking your sitemap to make it easy for search engines to find the pages you want indexed.
#4 Block low-quality pages from Google’s index
Every website has some low-quality pages that shouldn’t be indexed by search engines. A primary example is the contact page. It usually is just a line of copy and a form.
Too many pages with little or low-value content, and you might find the search engines don’t crawl your website often or fails to find your high-quality pages. So it makes sense to occasionally prune your website.
Pages that offer little or no value should be:
- Set to NOINDEX. If a page still has value to your audience, but not search engines (such as contact pages, thank you pages, log-in pages, etc).
- Block crawl through Robots.txt file. If a few pages have value to your audience, but not search engines (such as archives, press releases).
- Deleted and 301 redirected. If a page has no value to your audience or search engines but has existing traffic or links, delete it and use a 301 redirect to send visitors to a high-quality page (such as old blog posts, old product pages).
#5 Share the page on Twitter and Pinterest (if possible)
Another way to try when considering how to index website pages in Google is to use social media. Google regularly crawls and indexes Twitter and Pinterest. So it’s worth sharing your latest posts on these two platforms.
You can use Canva to create images for Pinterest in minutes!
However, Google doesn’t index Facebook and LinkedIn. So only share on those platforms to drive direct traffic. Part of knowing how to index website pages in Google is understanding what doesn’t produce results!
#6 Share the page on high traffic websites
You’re missing out if you’re not using Reddit or Quora to promote your blog and website. Both are superb for generating direct traffic to your website and speeding up the indexation of pages.
#7 Build external links to the page
As Google finds new pages using HTML links, it’s worth building both internal and external links. Of course, creating internal links takes little effort in comparison to external links.
Building external links takes time, effort, and money but can help you rank higher (as they are a ranking factor) and get new pages indexed within hours of being published.
Three easy tips to acquire links:
- PR (appear on podcasts, in your local newspaper, trade publications)
- Guest post on a relevant, authoritative website
- Buy/swap backlinks from authoritative websites.
While these tips are an oversimplification, they will point you in the right direction.
BONUS #8 Avoid ping websites
A few years back, SEOs believed you could use a ping website to tell search engines that you’ve published a new page. Doing so would encourage them to index the new page. I never found that it was a good way to actually index website pages in Google.
Since then, Google has added a URL Inspection tool to Search Console, which allows you to tell them directly and so ignores most of these ping websites. So rather than doing something that might not work, build internal links that will help the search engines find all of your latest pages.
Getting new pages indexed by search engines
Part of learning how to index website pages in Google is knowing the steps to follow to ensure the search engines find your new pages.
Don’t publish and pray that they’ll find your latest posts. Instead, turn these seven tips into a checklist that you follow every time you publish a new post or page. That way, you’re improving your odds of getting pages crawled, indexed, and ranking.
Last month Izabela saw her search traffic from Google increase by 400% using 3 SEO tips we taught her.
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