Are your indexed pages WAY lower than they should be ?

This is a common problem in the past few months, since Google introduced some new filters .. And since the Sitemaps team screwed up the site: parameter and other issues.

What can you do to get your indexed pages back ?

1. Remove all the site-wide links in your website (or at least most of them, leaving a maximum of 1 or two). That’s the links in YOUR website, pointing to other websites. Try to explain to your link exchange partners, that a single link will anyway offer them aprox. the same benefits (as far as keyword weight and PR goes).

2. Try to minimize any site-wide links towards your website. That’s the links in OTHER websites, pointing to your website.

One strong advice (altough some will disagree): If you hae the opportunity to receive a site-wide link, just refuse it.. Ask the webmaster to give you 1-2-3 unique links (from different pages of the website) and that’s it.. If he can’t offer you a few unique links (this can happen with most CMS’s) just refuse it.

I will only advise webmasters to aquire site-wide links, if the total number of gained IBL’s do not exceed 20% (rough estimate) of their total other unique links (not site-wides).

In plain english : If you have a website that has 5000 “unique” (2-3 links from the same domain are still kind of unique) links (from 2000 to 5000 unique domains), and you want to aquire a site-wide links from a website with 100.000 indexed pages, it’s not good at all.. If the website had 800 total indexed pages, that would’ve beene acceptable.

And one other important aspect: since Google doesn’t list all the IBL’s that you will gain from a site-wide (altough they are counted internally), you can consider a 5/1 ratio (indexed pages/IBL’s), when calculating how many IBL’s you will gain from a website (just to be even safer).

So if a website has 100.000 pages, you can calculate that you will receive about 20.000 IBL’s that will show in Google.

These are all my aproximate calculations based on my sole experience.

3. Remove any duplicate content on your website. The most common mistake, is making your “PDF” and “Print” pages, indexable.. I can tell you for sure how I fixed one of my websites: I made the links pointing to the “Print this page” and “Transform this document into PDF” pages, with javascript (Google does not follow javascript links). All those duplicate content pages gradually decreased and stopped being in the Google index and now I have my usual number of pages (10 times more than I had before).

I think the duplicate filter is now (in the past few months) much more critical than in the past:

Occasionally, documents fetched by Googlebot won’t be included for various reasons (e.g. they appear to be duplicates of other pages on the web).

4. Try to add a few more pages to the website .. By this, I mean pages that were never in the website before .. so pages that were never indexed.

After doing all the above, wait 1 up to 2 weeks, to get all the pages in your website spidered/indexed again and see if you get any improvements.

If you do, drop a note here. If you don’t, drop a note here :)

Published by

Cristian Mezei

I am myself.

21 thoughts on “Are your indexed pages WAY lower than they should be ?”

  1. Hahhaah, nice post, but you see… my problem is that my page number is WAAAY HIGHER! And I mean like… 10 times higher than what it should be (seriously, I counted them) – that is… 165,000 instead of around 17,000-18,000 :)

    What do you think about that?

  2. As simple and trivial as it is, I think that might be one of the most useful SEO tips!
    I’ve recently noticed google deindexed lots of pages from my site, so according to your advice I removed a few sitewide links (linking pages again. It might not be it, but that sounds very reasonable, so all the sitewide stuff probably one of the things that can cause you trouble in google…

    thanks for the tip dude :D

  3. Interesting theory, but I’m not sure it holds up with all of my sites. For example one network I work with has about 93 different sites on different domains. Each one has a sitewide link pointing to each of the other 93 sites. None of these sites were impacted by the June 27 disaster.

    Yet another site I work with which has only one sitewide link pointing to it was destroyed in the 6/27 update.

  4. The problem isn’t that you have sitewide links. The problem is that the site wide links consist for the majority of the links. I have a site with about 200 indexed pages(unique content) that consist of about 200 pages. The number is higher then before. However, I have many site-wide links connected to it generated by Co-Op. New quality content and directory links is added on a weekly basis and I have good rankings.

    So my advise is, ensure to have a steadily influx of links and relevant unique quality content. Not some 500.000 scrapped articles.

  5. “Google does not follow javascript links”
    Well yes and no – if the link is in plain text in a javascript call, the bots will follow it. If it is built out of the code, or a reference lookup, then I agree.
    Google reads and follows plain text javascript displayed urls (found it out the hard way.)

    and Google’s site: numbers are inflated. All my sites have orders of magnitudes more pages reported than I can deliver – no duplicate content; I watch my logs and no extraneous pages are being delivered.
    Silly Google…

  6. Thank you for the observations. This is the first time I have heard the term, “site-wide links.” Is a site-wide link the main index page of a site?

  7. That explains a lot of my problems with Google. I purchased site wide links some time ago and many sites dropped from the G index. That’s because I had low volume of other links as you explained. Thank you

  8. what about links on your site that point to other pages on your site – for example, a footer on the bottom of each page with a cluster of links to different sections of an e-commerce site.

    For example, if you sell different models of the same type of device like a phone, and on each item page you have a footer of links going to every different model numbers section of items.

    is this also detrimental to getting to the top of google now, or is it only links that leave your site and go somewhere else or come to your site from another site?

  9. what about links on your site that point to other pages on your site

    Internal links are just not included in my ecuation. You can put them anywhere, anyhow.

    And if you include the main products that you want to rank for, in everypage, that’s actually a GOOD thing. A sitemap usually helps too.

  10. Hey,

    I just wanted to mention that I’m glad that Google has finally done something to stop the spammers from getting their site’s indexed so well. Although Google can be annoying from time to time, I prefer to think that I’m on the same side as they are.



  11. Really great things! I didn’t know about this site-wide links. I am programmer so I am “lazy” and I use global headers and footers for my websites. I will double think about this…

  12. My pages typically contain lots of direct outbound links, since they contain tables with product descriptions and links to their seller, and I cannot remove them, since users must be able to visit the seller’s web page. On the other hand, I recently added a section of 8 direct outbound links (site-wide) to display instead of AdSense public service ads. Do you think these last links will affect my Google page indexing? Should I take them out or use redirects (I read redirecting also causes number of indexed pages to drop)? How about those in the tables? Is there a way Google might be able to discern a page containing, say, a list o product descriptions + direct outbound links (as in a virtual shop) from a link-farm?
    I’m asking because my number of pages in Google keeps quite low (about 250), and the third-party spidering of the site yields 2000+ pages (true, most of them dynamic).

  13. Great read! Glad I found your blog. Especially the tip — “Remove any duplicate content on your website.” One way is to try somftware such as Artemis Pro is a good idea. Automatically generates and submits unique content, but makes changes not affecting the English language — no gibberish submitted under your name!

  14. Great post even after all this time. I have a small website (30 pages) and my indexed pages’ number just fell. I was a little surprised because usually the more pages I have the higher the number indexed. I think there are so duplicate content issues (just some tags I think though). Will clean them up and see how it goes.

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