One SEO professional asked John Mueller, during the submitted Questions and Answers segment in a recent hangout, about why very few pages on their site are indexed.
They have an e-commerce site that has more than 4,500 URLs. They have already submitted the proper sitemap..
They know that Google doesn’t index everything. However, in their case, Google is only indexing around 86 URLs.
Is there something else they can do to fix this?
John answered that some of the things that he has discussed before, regarding pages being crawled and not indexed, would apply here too.
The technical things – John would double-check these. Also, he would really give the overall quality of the site a review and ideally do that as well with people who are not directly involved with your site.
He would try to find people who are not associated with that site, give them tasks to do on the site, and go through those questions with them.
Try to get feedback that is as objective as possible, to see what you can really do to significantly improve the overall quality of your site. And John does realize that with an e-commerce site, it’s easy to simply take a catalog of products and dump them on a site, then submit them, and suddenly you have 10,000 pages.
But, just because you can make a site with 10,000 pages or 4,500, doesn’t mean that you’re providing something that is unique and valuable for the web that Google must have indexed, and that they must show people immediately.
This is something where the value also has to fit the number of URLs as well.
This happens at approximately the 44:16 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
I have an e-commerce site with more than 4500 URLs. I already submitted the proper sitemap of the site. I know that Google doesn’t index everything. But Google is only indexing 86 URLs, essentially. So what can I do there?
John (Answer) 44:34
I think some of the things we’ve talked about before with regards to crawled and not indexed, they would apply here too. So the technical things I would double-check, but also I would really give the overall quality of the website a review, and ideally do that also with people who are not directly involved with your website.
So that’s something where I think we have a blog post a while back about questions that you can ask yourself about your website. And I would try to find some people who are not associated with your website, give them some tasks to do on your website, and go through those questions with them. And try to get as objective feedback as possible to see what you can really do to significantly improve the quality of your website overall.
And I realize with an e-commerce site, it’s easy to just take a catalog of products and dump them on a website and then submit them and suddenly you have 10,000 pages. But just because you can make a website with 10,000 pages, or 4500 here, doesn’t mean that you’re providing something that is unique and valuable for the internet that we must have indexed.
And that we must show to people immediately. It’s something where the kind of the value has to fit as well.