LowFruits Case Study Site, Month 4: How to Solve Indexing Issues on a New Website
January was a good (and fourth) month for the case study website. In the span of one month, the website received:
- 242 clicks (185% growth compared to December)
- 7.69k SERP impressions (161% increase compared to December)
- Average CTR: 3.1%
- Average SERP position: 13.1
With a new website, these increases are exactly what you want to see. However, every new website suffers from the same problem: indexing issues.
Let’s dive in and see what we can do!
Why Isn’t Google Indexing My Site Faster?
By the time of writing, I published a total of 35 articles. But, according to Google Search Console’s Index Coverage report, Google only indexed 15.
Indexation issues are normal for an up-and-coming website (new websites have fewer inbound links) but that doesn’t mean I’ll just stand by.
Playbook: How to Fix Google Indexing Issues for New Websites [SCENARIOS]
If you’re dealing with the same problem, there are four tactics I use to fix Google indexation:
Indexation Scenario #1
Cause: Glitch in Google Indexation, but the search engine sees nothing wrong with my authority or my content quality
Solution: Use Google Search Console’s URL Inspection tool once per month for articles that haven’t been indexed to give the search engine a bit of a nudge.
Paul : I’ve had indexing problems on some of my website too and tested a few of the tools out there like :
The Rank Math “Instant Indexing” plugin (free), that uses a Google API (not the same as in the Google Search Console).
It’s normally only recommended for Job Posting and Live Streaming websites but it (seems) to work on other types of websites too (use with caution).
Did it help ?
Worked on some articles but not on all.
There is also the Foudroyer app, that seems to use the same technique as Rank Math (free).
Worth testing (easier to setup than Rank Math – use with caution too).
There are some other tools out there that I haven’t tested yet like IndexMeNow.
They don’t say how their tool is working but state on their homepage that “On average 80% of pages are indexed in 24 hours – In addition, indexing is re-credited if your URL is not indexed within 10 days”. The basic plan starts at $49.
Indexation Scenario #2
Cause: My new site needs a boost of trustworthiness (at least as far as backlinks are considered)
Solution: Build a small number of high-quality, dofollow and nofollow links to the site.
I will be using Help a Reporter Out (HARO), blogger outreach/guest posting, and a few other tricks up my sleeve. Some will be branded links to the homepage; others will be reference links to specific posts.
Indexation Scenario #3
Cause: Google needs more coverage to see my articles as written by an expert.
Solution: Boost the topical authority of the website by creating a dictionary/glossary page that gives unique, useful definitions for the entities (things) written about in the blog posts.
This is also an opportunity to build more internal links and it acts as a linkable asset that attracts external links over time.
Indexation Scenario #4
Cause: I’ve gotten the article search intent wrong (it can happen), or the articles need more on-page SEO optimization.
Solution: Update the non-indexed posts and add “meatiness” to them with more facts, more illustrations, and/or more questions/answers.
Review SERPs for my target queries in LowFruits again and make sure my articles are meeting the search intent. If I look at posts that rank well in SERPs (especially if weak websites rank), I’ll know what to improve.
Change the URLs of the posts that aren’t getting indexed, 301-redirect the old URLs, do a manual inspection in Google Search Console, then wait to see if that does the trick (when nothing else works, it usually does).
I’ll also use tools like Surfer SEO or PageOptimizer Pro to make sure my content is optimized for search engines.
Curious to know if you have any other tactics that have worked for you in similar situations? Let me know in the comments below. Also, stay tuned as I’m about to reveal the niche in Month 6 and the website itself in Month 9!
LowFruits Tip of the Month
The most common reason why Google isn’t indexing your content faster is because you’re not getting a lot of backlinks, or your content isn’t better than your competitors’ content.
If you’re a LowFruits subscriber, use the Competitor Extract tool.
- Type in the domain name of a competitor
- Get a list of keywords they target
- Analyze the list in LowFruits
- Find “low fruits” in your target SERPs (websites with weak Domain Authority that have content so good (or often linked to) that they’re ranking against stronger competitors)
- Go to the “Related tab” and perform an analysis
- Find even more low-hanging keywords your competitors haven’t seen yet
- Incorporate the insights into your content strategy
This process is exactly why I’ve chosen LowFruits to grow my new website with, and why I’ve started seeing results from the first month.
Metrics Over Time
Compared to December, the growth comes in at 185% in terms of clicks and 161% in terms of SERP impressions—exactly what you want to see on a young website that’s slowly but surely getting picked up by Google.
From October 2021, the month I launched the website, until the end of month January 2022, the Google Search Console’s Performance graph looks like this:
One of the things you want to see early on, when your website is still in its infancy, is a growing number of queries under the Performance > Search Results > Queries tab in Google Search Console.
Scroll to the bottom of the Queries list and play with the date filter:
You want to see these growing month over month. It’s a sign that your website is showing up for more and more search terms over time. (SEO suites like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Ubersuggest will do this for you.)
The total number of queries for our case study website looks like this:
- October 2021 – 0 queries
- October through November 2021 – 72 queries
- October through December 2021 – 181 queries
- October through January 2022 – 560 queries
This is strong momentum. I’m satisfied with the website’s direction and my use of LowFruits is paying off.
In January 2022, I published a total of 12 articles.
This brought the total article count on the website to 35, with an average word count of 1,050 per article.
I wrote the first few articles. Later, I hired a team of freelancers to write the others. (So far, I’ve invested $1,088.58 in content. If the website continues to grow at this pace, it will “earn” more of my time and capital.)
My original goal was to publish at least 6 articles on this site so that it would have 72 or more pieces of content to rank in the SERPs in Year 1. It’s Month 4 and I’m halfway there, which means that the number will be closer to 100 articles by the end of Q3 2022.
|Date Checked||January 31, 2021|
|Avg. Position (Google, USA, Mobile)||11.76|
|Avg. Position (Google, USA, Desktop)||12.04|
|Positions in Top 3 on SERPs||5 (+4 Month-over-Month)|
|Positions in 4-10 on SERPs||3 (-4 Change Month-over-Month)|
|Positions in 11-100 on SERPs||9 (+7 Month-over-Month)|
Four keywords moved up from Positions 4-10 to Top 3 in the SERPs last month. And, although they didn’t get replaced by new ones, additional 7 keywords started showing up in Positions 11-100 on Google’s search results.
|Time Period||January 1, 2021 – January 31, 2021|
|Avg. Engagement Time||1m 13s|
|Engaged Sessions / User||0.66|
|Pageviews / Published Post (PPP)||18.97|
Source: Google Analytics
Apart from the impressions that I generate when I publish articles, we’re seeing mostly organic traffic by now.
|Time Period||January 1, 2021 – January 31, 2021|
|Total Revenue Since Start of Site||$0|
|Total Revenue YTD (2021)||$0|
Of which $0 from display ads
Of which $0 from affiliate commissions
|Revenue / Published Post (RPP)||$0|
Who I Am
Thank you for reading (or scrolling?) this far.
Since 2007, I have been building, buying, investing in, and selling websites. I’ve been in and out of this business, sometimes full-time, other times as a side hustle. Wherever life takes me, I somehow seem to find my way back to this game.
How do you know you can trust me?
I have experienced pandas and penguins. I owned Facebook pages with millions of likes back when Facebook pages brought traffic, and earned passive income from niche sites before it was cool (back then we called ourselves “webmasters”).
More recently, I started a website under a new domain name in August 2020 that reached 88,000 monthly page views and a DR of 10 in Ahrefs in August 2021. Here’s a screenshot of that hockey-stick growth, with a few bumps along the way, that everyone likes to tell you about:
Since, monthly traffic has increased by 15-20%, and revenue (display ads and affiliate programs) has grown at about the same rate.
I am a Certified Ezoic Expert, an Ezoic Premium Publisher, and a member of Ezoic’s Premium Accelerator Program.
I am not the most public person on earth, and I prefer privacy to the spotlight. However, if you like what I have to say and want to get in touch with me, you can do so on my website AskDim.com (ask as in “ask me a question”).
I have just noticed today that the indexing API doesn’t work as well as it might appear!
Instant indexing doesn’t actually work… I’ve just been researching this and you can’t trust the response from GSC saying an article is indexed. If it’s not a job posting or live stream, nothing actually happens. Google does crawl your page but it won’t find the markup it’s looking for so the result is nothing happens.
It’s explained here:
I have confirmed this by comparing GSC coverage with the pages indexed by searching “Site:mysite.com”. Plus Google have confirmed this themselves.
Using the indexing API for the wrong type of pages won’t help (or hurt). It’s just irrelevant to what the API does.
Annoying but thought people should know and double check the rate of indexing!!
Submitting your XML sitemap can help a lot, anyway you are doing great.
Thanks for sharing, Eliot! The plot, as they say, thickens =)
I was just chatting with Yoyao of Niche Surfer how, after seeing him write about RankMath’s Instant Indexing plugin in his email newsletter and watching Carl Broadbent talk about the results he had with it on one of this sites in a video on his YouTube channel, I’m keeping this option in my back pocket as a last resort in case none of my other tactics work out.
I’ve heard quite a few stories about website owners resolving indexation issues with success using Google’s Instant Indexing API, even on content types that don’t classify as job postings or live broadcasts.
Who knows, perhaps Google caught on and adjusted the inner workings of the tool. Or maybe this is a play to discourage people from “abusing” it.
And fully agree with you that a sitemap is key for efficient crawling. One of the first things I do when I set up a website is to install Yoast, no-index taxonomy and author archives, then enable and submit a sitemap for the pages and posts.
Sadly, having one submitted in Google Search Console for this site hasn’t helped indexation (which started out fantastically, articles getting picked up almost the next day, and stalled at Month 3-4).
Still, it will resolve sooner or later, with or without the help of these tactics above. When trying to nudge Google, you never know if you’re really trying to change the lightbulb on the ceiling by tilting the fridge sideways =)