Google’s John Mueller discussed the importance of helping Google understand which content is important in order to help it get indexed. While he mentioned the role of external links, his overall answer seemed to stress the importance of how important the content was and offered five ways to highlight that importance.
URL Discovered But Not Indexed
The person asking the question related that they are creating content for clients but that Google’s search console indicates that the content is discovered but not indexed.
Not indexed that means the content is not placed in Google’s index for ranking consideration.
Content that’s not indexed might as well not exist.
The SEO responsible for creating the content was looking for guidance and Mueller offered suggestions, including the idea of external links.
What Does It Mean to be Crawled But Not Indexed?
The person asking the question wanted to know what it meant for the content to be discovered (crawled) and not indexed.
“Does it mean Google thinks this content is not perfect for indexing? Or what does it mean?”
Within the context of the above question, John Mueller suggested that Google’s not indexing the content might not necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with the content.
John Mueller Discusses Google Content Indexing
“I don’t think it means anything, in particular. …I think that’s always kind of an easy, early assumption to say, oh Google looked at it but decided not to index it.”
Mueller next explains what he means by stating that everything is not automatically indexed.
John continued his answer:
“Most of the time, when we still crawl something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will automatically index it.
So I would almost treat those two category of not indexed as a similar thing.
And it’s tricky because we don’t index everything, so that can happen.”
How to Get Content Indexed Faster?
The person asking the question followed up by noting that the pattern of their content failing to be indexed is happening across five or six client websites.
He asked John Mueller for advice on what to do to help getting indexed.
“…is there any other thing, if we do this, maybe that will help for getting indexed?”
John Mueller offered the following suggestions:
“I mean… there are different things, which perhaps you’re already doing…
On the one hand, kind of making sure that it’s easy for us to recognize the important content on a website is really good.
Which sometimes means making less content and making better content. So having fewer pages that you want to have indexed.
The other thing is internal linking is very important for us to understand what you would consider to be important on a website.
So things, for example, that are linked from the home page are usually a sign that you care about these pages, so maybe we should care about them more.
Things with external links, they also kind of go into that category of where we see other people think that these pages are important, then maybe we will see them as important too.
And then site maps and RSS feeds from a technical point of view, also help us a little bit better to understand like these pages are new or they have changed recently.
We should check them out again and see what is there.
But all of these things …come together and it’s something where it’s rarely that there’s one trick that you’re missing to get these pages indexed.”
The person asking the question followed up on the question of external links helping to get those pages indexed.
He related how the client shared articles on social media and obtained links to those blog posts.
The person asked:
“Now we are using the blog post for interlinking as well to other pages. So getting linked to those blog posts, which are not indexed by Google, will have an impact on the website ranking or will add any value…?”
And of course, we all know that links help a site rank, so Mueller’s answer on that point isn’t surprising.
The more interesting part of his answer is how he emphasized again how an external link could help to highlight to Google that an article is important.
That theme about the importance of an article kept getting repeated by John so it may be something to think a little deeper about.
“I mean…if we find external links to those pages then chances are we might crawl and index that page, like a little bit higher, I guess.
It depends a little bit on what kind of external links, of course.
There is links from social media directly usually have no follow attached so we don’t really forward any signals there.
And if it’s something where we can recognize well, these are maybe problematic links or not that useful links, maybe we will ignore those too.
But obviously, if we can tell that something is seen as being important we’ll probably go off and crawl and index that page more likely.
What you generally won’t see is that we will kind of forward value to the rest of the website if we don’t actually index that page.
Because if we decide not to index that page then it’s still that situation that, well, we don’t have a destination for those links, so we can’t do anything with those links for the rest of the website.”
If Something Is Important It’ll Likely Be Indexed
John Mueller’s answer seemed to offer a small peak into one of the ways Google decides which content to index.
Obviously, Mueller didn’t give away the algorithm.
But he did share an important insight into indexing that relates to the importance of an article.
One of the takeaways is that it helps to make it easy for Google to recognize which content is important.
And of course, to do that the content should be important to begin with.
Make it Easy for Google to Recognize Important Content
John Mueller offered five suggestions for helping Google to recognize content that is important.
Five Ways To Highlight Important Content
- Make less but better content
- Internal linking can help signal which content is considered important
- Linking from home page can signal what content is important
- External links can signal that content is important
- Site maps and RSS feeds can signal which content is important
Creating content that is in some way important to readers is a good way to increase the likelihood of external links and enthusiasm for the website in general.
Google Will Likely Index Content That’s Important
Watch at 21:04 minute mark: