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.