Why Your Pages Aren’t Indexing On Google

Person using laptop to check if their pages are indexed on Google.

Ranking high on Google hels bring traffic to your website and clients to your practice. But sometimes the problem isn’t getting ranked highly but getting ranked at all. 

Google crawlers search the web to find pages to index. If you aren’t indexed, your web page (and therefore your practice) will be  almost impossible to find

Discover why your pages aren’t indexing on Google, and what you can do to fix the problem, here.

What Is Indexing On Google?

A page is indexed by Google when it’s been crawled by Google and then displayed in Google Search results. When the Googlebot crawls a page it notes the content and purpose of the page, so it can show up in relevant searches. 

If your page isn’t indexed by Google, then it won’t show up anywhere in Google search results. That means if someone is searching Google for private practices in your area, they won’t find your private practice. 

Why Your Pages Aren’t Indexing On Google

Even a great web page won’t show on Google search results if it isn’t indexed. Let’s explore why that might happen and how to fix the problem.

First: Double-Check If The Page Is Indexed

Before you try and solve the problem, first double-check that there is a problem. It might be that you are indexed, just low on the search results.

To check your page is indexed, you want to do a site search. Google the phrase “site:” followed by your full domain. If it turns up, then your page is indexed!  (This also works for any particular page on your site.)

If you don’t see results, it means the page isn’t indexed. 

Second: Sign Up For Google Console

Google Search Console is an incredibly useful tool that essentially tells you what Google is thinking when it crawls your page. 

If you sign up for a Google Console account you can check if your pages have been crawled and indexed, and why Google might have rejected indexing. 

It’s A New Page

Google takes some time to index pages. If your new page isn’t showing up in search results right away, it might just be a matter of time.

It can take Google anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to index a new page. Check back after 2 weeks, and then again after 4. If it still isn’t indexed after a month, then you can start looking for the problem.

You’ve Made The Page Non-Indexable

It is possible to prevent a page from being indexed by Google, and if you’ve done this by accident, it will stop your page from showing in search results.

To make a page non-indexable, you need to add a “noindex” meta tag. 

You can check the source code of individual pages yourself to see if a rogue “noindex” tag is holding you back. Alternatively, an SEO crawler such as Screaming Frog can check your entire site in one go.

Robots Are Blocking You

A misconfigured robots.txt can also prevent Google crawlers from indexing your page. The Google crawlers will head to the robots.txt directive on the page, and if this instructs them not to index the page, your page won’t get filed.

You can check the robot directive by adding /robots.txt to your domain, or with the robots.txt tester tool on the Google console.

The GoogleBots Are Being Redirected

If you have a particularly long redirect chain, the crawlers might give up before they find the correct web page. 

There can be benefits to using a redirect chain, particularly if you’re moving a site, and a redirect can help your page keep its high-ranking spot. 

But stay away from long and complex redirects. The crawlers will get confused, assume the page is unreachable, and move on.

Google Can’t Find The Page

Google crawlers search the web to find pages that need to be indexed. If they can’t find your page, it won’t be indexed! This is a big problem for orphan pages that have no links going to or from them.

A quick fix is to add an XML sitemap. This sitemap has all the topic clusters and individual pages of your website, making it easier for Google to discover every page. You can add a sitemap via Google Console.

Make sure to include internal links on every page. Even if an orphan page is indexed, it’s unlikely to rank highly if it doesn’t have any links.

The Content Is Duplicated

To avoid clogging search results with multiple versions of the same page, Google won’t index pages with duplicate content. 

This is often an issue with e-commerce sites that pull Amazon descriptions for products, but it can affect your private practice website as well.

If you have a multilingual practice, you may have set up web pages in different languages. Make sure that you have a canonical tag directing the crawler back to the original content. This will help Google index all pages correctly. 

The Page Runs Slowly

Slow page times affect user experience, search engine rankings, and indexing, so you really need to get this one right. 

The website needs to have quick reactions for the user and the capacity to handle Google crawl requests.

You can optimize load time with good hosting, by compressing images, reducing redirects, and caching pages.

You Have A Soft 404

A soft 404 is essentially a working webpage that Google crawlers see as an error. 

A Googlebot will see a soft 404 if they think page quality is thin or lacking.

Final Thoughts

You need your private practice website to be indexed otherwise potential clients won’t be able to find your services. If you have a good site, Google crawlers should find it and index it. 

If you aren’t being indexed, use the Google Console to check the reason, and find a solution.

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