Mastering Google’s Index: 5 Proven Steps to Fix “Crawled – Currently Not Indexed”

There are three robots below the GSC screenshot. One is looking through binoculars, the other is busily watching the website through a magnifying glass. The third little robot, however, does not want to work and rests on a deckchair.

Navigating the world of SEO can sometimes feel like decoding a complex puzzle, especially when you encounter the “Crawled – Currently Not Indexed” status in Google Search Console. But don’t worry, this guide is your roadmap to understanding and fixing this issue. Before we get into fixing steps lets explain what this status means shortly.

“Crawled – currently not indexed” – what it mean?

“Crawled – currently not indexed” is a Google Search Console status. It means that Googlebot visited a given page but didn’t index it. As a consequence, the page won’t appear in Google Search. At Onely, we fix this problem by addressing low quality, duplicate content, and poor website architecture.

Now let’s dive into these actionable steps to enhance your site’s visibility in Google’s index.

STEP 1: Cultivate High-Quality Content

Quality is king in the digital realm. But what does “high-quality content” really mean? It’s about creating value that resonates with your audience and satisfies their search intent. To self-assess, ask yourself:

  • User Intent: Does my content align with what my audience is actively searching for
  • Engagement and Authority: Is it comprehensive, informative, and also engaging, and authoritative?

Creating high-quality content is not only about satisfying user intent but also aligning with Google’s evolving algorithms.

Actionable Strategy

Assess your content through the lens of >Google’s recommendations for helpful, reliable, people-first content and Quality Raters Guidelines. Check if it answers your audience’s questions comprehensively. Is it updated and relevant?

Advanced Tip

Don’t overlook optimizing user-generated content on your website. For instance, if you have a forum and someone asks a question, the lack of immediate responses might lead Google to classify the page as low-quality content. To counteract this, consider strategies such as encouraging more user engagement or featuring frequently asked questions and expert answers to add value to these pages.

Final Note

Remember that Google can’t index all of the pages on the Internet. Its storage space is limited, so it needs to filter out low-quality content. Google’s goal is to provide the highest quality pages that best answer users’ intent. If a page is of lower quality, it will most likely be ignored to reserve storage space for higher-quality content. As such, we can expect the quality standards to only become stricter in the future.

STEP 2: Master Your Index Coverage Monitoring

Understanding and staying on top of your index coverage is crucial for maintaining your site’s visibility on Google. This step is particularly vital for large websites, where numerous valuable pages might end up not getting indexed.

In-Depth Analysis

  • Quality and Freshness: Regularly review your content to ensure it’s up-to-date and maintains high quality. Outdated or stale content is more likely to be deindexed.
  • Algorithmic Changes and Bugs: Stay alert to changes in Google’s algorithm. A change can suddenly affect how your pages are indexed. Additionally, be aware that sometimes a deindexing issue might be due to a bug on Google’s end.

Staying updated with Google’s algorithm changes is a key part of monitoring your index coverage effectively.

Real-World Example

Consider how Search Engine Land was temporarily deindexed due to a misinterpretation by Google, highlighting the importance of staying vigilant.

Proactive Strategy

  • Regular Monitoring: Use Google Search Console to check your index status. Watch out for trends or sudden changes in how your pages are indexed.
  • Responding to Changes: If you notice a page has been deindexed, investigate the cause. Was it replaced by more authoritative content? Is it affected by a recent algorithm update?

Final Note

Never assume that once a page is indexed, it will stay that way indefinitely. Google’s evaluation of content is ongoing. Keeping your content aligned with current standards is a continuous process, essential for maintaining your site’s SEO health.

STEP 3: Architecting Your Website for Optimal Indexing

A robust website structure is not just about aesthetics; it’s a crucial component in how effectively search engine bots like Googlebot can discover, crawl, and index your content. For large websites, this becomes even more critical due to the sheer volume of content.

Key Elements of Website Structure

  • Internal Linking: This is the backbone of your site’s architecture. Proper internal linking ensures that valuable pages support each other, enhancing overall site discoverability. Ensure that each important page is seamlessly integrated into your site’s internal link network.
  • Clear, Logical Navigation: Imagine your website as a map. Is every destination easily reachable? A clear navigation path not only improves user experience but also guides search engine crawlers through your content more efficiently.

An optimized website architecture not only enhances user navigation but also improves SEO by making content more accessible to search engine crawlers.

Practical Example

Consider a scenario where you have a high-quality page that’s only accessible through your sitemap. Without internal links, Google might crawl it but deem it less valuable due to a lack of connectedness to the rest of your site. This can lead to a lower indexing level or not indexing parts of your website.

Final note

A well-structured website is more than just user-friendly; it’s search-engine friendly. Regularly revisiting and refining your site’s architecture is key to staying competitive and ensuring your content gets the visibility it deserves in search engine results.

STEP 4: Strategically Manage Duplicate Content

In the vast landscape of SEO, managing duplicate content is crucial, especially for large websites where content replication can be more frequent and challenging to control. Properly handling duplicate content is key to ensuring that your most important pages are indexed by Google.

Understanding Duplicate Content

  • Why It Matters: Duplicate content can confuse search engines, diluting the authority of your pages. Google aims to index unique and valuable content, often choosing only one version of similar content to display in search results.

Effectively managing duplicate content is crucial to prevent potential SEO ranking issues.

Tackling Duplicate Content

  • Canonical Tags: Utilize canonical tags to tell search engines which version of a page is the original. This is essential for pages with similar content, such as mobile and desktop versions.
  • Internal Linking: Reinforce the importance of your original content through strategic internal linking. This signals to Google which pages should be prioritized.
  • XML Sitemaps: Ensure that your sitemap reflects only the canonical versions of your content. This helps search engines understand your site’s structure and content priorities.

Real-World Scenario

Consider the case shared by Adam Gent, an SEO freelancer. His page was marked as “Crawled ‐ currently not indexed” because it was perceived as duplicate content by Google. This underscores the importance of clearly marking original content and staying aware of how Google interprets your site’s content.

Final Note

Duplicate content is an extremely common technical issue and a quality problem. To some degree, it will be difficult to avoid completely. However, thanks to regular audits and strategic use of SEO tools (like GSC or ZipTie) you can limit its negative impact on your results in search.

STEP 5: Mastering Direct Engagement with Google’s Indexing

In the dynamic world of SEO, sometimes the direct approach yields the best results. Actively engaging with Google to manage the indexing of your website, especially when overseeing a large site, is a crucial strategy.

Proactive Steps for Indexing

  • Manual Request for Indexing: Utilize the URL Inspection Tool in Google Search Console. Here, you can submit individual URLs for re-indexing. This step is particularly useful after making significant updates to your content.
  • Automated Monitoring and Validation: For broader monitoring, use the “Crawled – Currently Not Indexed” section in Google Search Console. This feature allows you to validate fixes for all known pages, streamlining the process of keeping tabs on your site’s indexing status.

Direct engagement with Google’s indexing processes is a vital part of a comprehensive SEO strategy, especially for large websites.

In-Depth Tactics

  • Pre-Submission Check: Before submitting a re-indexing request, ensure that your content is optimized for SEO and builds authority. Google prioritizes content that adds value and meets quality standards.
  • Patience and Observation: After submission, patience is key. It can take a few days to a few weeks for Google to process your request. During this time, monitor the changes in your site’s index status closely.

Final Thoughts

Direct engagement with Google’s indexing process is a powerful tool in your SEO arsenal. It requires a strategic approach, meticulous attention to detail, and the right tools to ensure success, particularly for large, content-rich websites.

Addressing Additional Factors in ‘Crawled – Currently Not Indexed’

After diligently following the five steps outlined in our article, give Google some time – typically a few days to a few weeks – to index your pages. Revisit your Google Search Console to confirm the changes. However, if the issue persists, there might be other underlying factors to consider.

Enhancing Domain Rating (DR) and Backlink Profile

Your website’s link profile quality is a crucial factor for Google Search. Both high-quality content and strong backlinks are the foundation of good SEO and can significantly impact your indexing.

  • Check DR (Domain Rating): Start by assessing your current Domain Rating using tools like Ahrefs’ DR Checker. Low DR compared to your competitors may mean that your links are lacking. Don’t rely on it too much though, as it is a third-party metric that doesn’t reflect the link profile perfectly.
  • Acquire Quality Backlinks: Focus on building natural, relevant backlinks. Start with guest posting and explore other methods like creating shareable content or infographics.
  • Consistency is Key: Regular acquisition of quality backlinks signals to Google the credibility and value of your website, potentially improving your indexing status.

Enhancing your Domain Rating (DR) through quality backlinks is an integral component of your overall SEO strategy.

Temporary Sitemap.xml for Redirected URLs

Sometimes, redirected URLs get caught in the “Crawled – Currently Not Indexed” status. A practical solution is to create a temporary sitemap.xml.

  • Extract and Align URLs: Start by extracting all URLs from the report and align them with your redirects using tools like Excel or Google Sheets.
  • Generate and Upload Sitemap: Use sitemap generation tools and upload the new sitemap to your Google Search Console for better indexing of these URLs.

Need Specialized Technical SEO Help?

If these strategies don’t resolve the issue, our team is here to help. We offer personalized plans to tackle your specific indexing challenges. Don’t hesitate to reach out for expert assistance in getting your content indexed.

Understanding Different Indexing Statuses: ‘Crawled – Currently Not Indexed’ vs. ‘Discovered – Currently Not Indexed’

It’s important to distinguish between these two statuses in Google Search Console:

  • ‘Crawled – Currently Not Indexed’: Google has crawled the page but hasn’t indexed it. This might be due to issues like page quality or site architecture.
  • ‘Discovered – Currently Not Indexed’: Google is aware of the URL, but it hasn’t been crawled yet. This could indicate issues such as overall site quality, crawl budget constraints, or server overload.

Grasping the nuances between ‘Crawled – Currently Not Indexed’ and ‘Discovered – currently not indexed’ statuses is crucial for refining your SEO tactics.

Wrapping Up and Key Takeaways

Dealing with the ‘Crawled – Currently Not Indexed’ status often involves a multifaceted approach. Remember these key strategies:

  • Continuously add unique and valuable content.
  • Regularly review and optimize your website architecture.
  • Make strategic decisions on which pages to index.
  • Build a strong backlink profile based on quality links.
  • Utilize temporary sitemap.xml for better handling of redirected URLs.

For more comprehensive assistance, our technical SEO services are designed to address these complex challenges and enhance your website’s performance in search results.

Useful facts on ‘Crawled – Currently Not Indexed’

  • Google and RSS Feed URLs: Google typically doesn’t index RSS feeds as they’re meant for content distribution, not direct search results.
  • Indexing and Redirects: As per John Mueller of Google, URLs with redirects are not typically included in Google’s indexing process and should not be confused with the ‘Crawled – Currently Not Indexed’ status.

Elevate Your SEO Game with Us

Join us in navigating the complex world of SEO. With our guidance and your dedication, transform your website’s challenges into success stories.

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