What you need to know about URL indexation
- Web pages must be in Google's index before they can appear as search results
- You can request indexing but you can't force it
- Create original, helpful, high-quality content to increase your chance of getting indexed
- How long indexing takes depends on Google and on your crawl budget
A quick introduction to indexation
Before your new web page can show up in Google search results it needs to be added to the Google index.
There are two fast and easy ways to find out which pages on your website have been indexed.
- Do a Google search for site:yourdomain.com
Don’t put a space between site: and your domain. Don’t include https or www before your domain name. The results of that search will be all the URLs currently indexed by Google. To search for a specific topic or keyword within a single domain, perform the above search and add a space and search term after the domain. Example: site.domain.com keyword
- Use the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console.
Enter the URL in question and Google will tell you whether it’s been indexed or not. You can also use this tool to request that a new URL be indexed. Just know that there’s a limit for how many indexing requests you can make each month, and multiple requests for the same page will not make it get indexed faster.
After publishing new content or update existing content on your site, there are specific steps you can take to help search engines (re)index your page.
New content post-publishing checklist:
- Use a canonical tag to mark your piece of content as the canonical version (assuming it has unique content)
- Submit the URL for indexing in Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools
- Add the new URL to your sitemap
- Add internal links from elsewhere on your site pointing to the new page
- Create a post on your Google Business Profile
- Share a link on your social media platforms
- Link to the new page in your marketing email blast or newsletter
Be creative in thinking of ways to promote your content: who is it likely to interest and help the most, and how can you reach them?
How long does Google take to index a new page?
According to Google’s documentation it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks. And there’s no guarantee that your page will be included in Google’s index even after it’s been crawled. Quality and originality are factors, because Google doesn’t want to add low-quality, duplicate, or unhelpful web pages to its index.
Another factor is crawl budget. Sites that publish new content more often get crawled more often. Google calculates crawl demand based on how frequently content is updated. Site speed also affects how often Google crawls your site: faster websites allow a higher crawl rate and more URLs can be crawled.
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