Another SEO professional was concerned about Google indexing issues, and why content on their site—as of November—is no longer being indexed.
Many of these pieces are well above Google’s quality standards. They have tried everything to get them indexed. But even so, they are still showing up in Google Search Console as discovered but not indexed.
They’ve looked at technical issues, and the linking is also good.
His main question is: is there a paradigm shift where Google might be saying “Thank you for suggesting these new articles, but we just don’t want to index it right now.”
John said that no, there hasn’t been a paradigm shift in this regard. Everything is still the same where indexing is concerned.
The one thing he did mention—that he sees with a lot of websites—is that from a technical perspective, it’s very easy for websites to make websites that just work.
Everything is automated, including the SEO. You set up WordPress, and voila, it “just works.” From Google’s perspective, this means that it’s not the case that there’s a technical problem. It means that much of the content they are getting is simply “okay.”
When it comes to indexing, Google has to be more critical with regards to the overall website quality. Things like the quality of the pieces of content that they get, and other things.
John went on to further explain that if it’s the case that you have a site, a smaller site, where the content is of sufficient quality to get indexed, then you definitely want to let him know.
He says to ping him on Twitter if you’re having trouble with this. Especially if you’re not just rewriting news articles from other sites.
One of the things he does is he takes the examples to their search team, and he shows them that this type of content is not being indexed.
He explained that if he just says that people are complaining their content isn’t being indexed, and he isn’t bringing anything in terms of examples, then the search team is going to say “Sorry, there’s nothing we can do without an example.”
This happens at approximately the 54:54 mark in the video.
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John Mueller Hangout Transcript
SEO Professional 9 54:54
Last one in, I guess. So I posted this also in the comments. So I have a small website. And a couple of hundred URLs only. It’s a software company and it’s a small team, producing content like white papers and help articles and blog posts.
And it has been going well for a long time. And suddenly now in November, the posted pieces, the published pieces are not indexed anymore, not all of them. Which is very sad, because they’re writing nice little pieces for Black Friday, how to write a newsletter for Black Friday or for Christmas, and then we’re sitting there and seeing that Google is crawling them or discovering them—we see that in the Search Console—but it’s not indexed. So I tried everything. I looked at the technical issues, the linking is good.
So my question is, is there a paradigm shift that Google is saying, “Well, thanks for suggesting these new—publishing these articles, but we don’t want it right now. Is this something new that has changed recently?
Not really, at least, not that I know of. I mean, I think what I see a lot with regards to a lot of the indexing questions that I get nowadays, is from a technical point of view. It’s very easy for websites to make websites that just work. You set up WordPress, and essentially, all of the SEO is done for you. It just works. And from our point of view, this means that it’s less often the case that there’s a technical problem with a page that it doesn’t get indexed, that means all of the content that we get is essentially technically okay.
And our systems have to be a lot more critical with regards to the overall quality of the website, the quality of the pieces of content that we get. And then it’s something where additionally, in Search Console, we give you all of the information on things like discovered and not indexed, or crawled but not indexed.
And then suddenly, you see all of these problems, and it seems like something that people have to fix. So from that point of view, it feels like it’s kind of normal for us to get a lot more of these indexing questions just because, well, a lot of content is kind of okay, and we still can’t index everything on the web, so we have to make a cut somewhere.
That said, if you’re really looking in situations where you’re seeing this as a smaller website, and the content is really reasonable. And it’s not something where they’re just rewriting news articles from other people’s sites, I would love to have example URLs.
SEO Professional 9 57:38
I pasted them actually in the comments.
Okay. Perfect. Perfect.
SEO Professional 9 57:43
And I would love to hear your—because, you know—it’s just not, you could say it’s not a big deal. I understand that Google cannot index everything. And we do rank for some of these topics, for example, Black Friday 2020. We rank for that.
And now we wrote a new piece, “Black Friday, 2021: What to do With Your Customers,” and that’s a handwritten piece. So the question would be there: should we just lay off the content team? Because it’s really expensive to produce content. I mean, they’re writing all those pieces a couple of days, I mean, those are nice ladies. They’re sitting there writing that content, and then they aren’t getting indexed without getting any traffic from Google for that.
So basically, the management is asking me, “Well, why should we do that?” There’s no sense in producing good content if we don’t get that part of the traffic that we get from Google normally, because Google says, well, we just don’t want it right now. So it’s tricky, isn’t it?
Yeah. I mean, that’s why these examples are really useful, because we do bring them back to the indexing teams and kind of say, Well, what is wrong here? Why, why aren’t we picking this up? This is something reasonable, we should be doing a better job at that.
SEO Professional 9 58:51
Well, and especially when things are good, or something technically wrong, but I just don’t see anything. And again, it’s not a site with millions of pages, but we have 500 pieces, I think, and they’re all handwritten. And it has always worked, just suddenly in November it stopped, just you know, during the time of the core update, so I was afraid that Google is busy with other things right now.
It shouldn’t be. But I mean, having these kinds of examples is really valuable for me, because going to the team and saying like, “Oh, people are complaining that content is not being indexed, and I don’t have any examples for you.” Then they’ll be like “Well, we can’t do anything.”
SEO Professional 9 59:28
If you need the—content. I have the okay from the company to use this in public. So it’s okay.
Okay, cool. You can also send it to me privately if there’s anything that you or anyone else kind of runs into.
SEO Professional 9 59:41
Great! What’s the best way to send it to you, email or Twitter?
Twitter is probably easiest. And for the most part, people can ping me and ask to kind of like be followed so that they can send me a DM, if that makes it easier.