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Site Indexing Errors: A Silent SEO Killer

Site Indexing Errors: A Silent SEO Killer

You probably understand the significance of having your web pages indexed by search engines.

Proper indexing ensures that your content is visible to potential visitors through organic search results.

On the flip side, improper indexing can be a silent SEO killer that negatively impacts your website's visibility and rankings.

In this article, we will explore common causes of improper indexing and provide actionable solutions to ensure your pages get the attention they deserve.

Related - read this article summarizing Technical SEO.

Thin or Duplicate Content

Cause: Search engines may disregard or penalize pages with thin or duplicate content, considering them irrelevant or spammy.

Example: Your e-commerce website has multiple product pages with identical content, causing search engines to view them as duplicate pages.


  • Rewrite and expand thin content with comprehensive and valuable information.
  • Implement canonical tags on duplicate pages to indicate the original source and consolidate ranking signals.

Meta Tag Noindex

Cause: Accidentally setting the "noindex" meta tag on important pages can prevent search engines from indexing them.

Example: Your website's privacy policy page has the "noindex" meta tag, causing it to be excluded from search engine indexing.


  • Review your website's meta tags regularly to ensure critical pages like privacy policy, contact us, and services are set to "index" for better visibility.
  • Use SEO tools to crawl your website and identify any pages with the "noindex" meta tag for correction.

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Robots.txt Misconfigurations

Cause: Misconfigurations in the robots.txt file can unintentionally block search engines from crawling and indexing certain pages.

Example: Your robots.txt file contains a disallow directive that blocks access to an essential category of blog posts.


  • Thoroughly review your robots.txt file to ensure it doesn't block access to crucial pages.
  • Use Google's Robots Testing Tool to check for any issues and validate your robots.txt file.

Rel="nofollow" Attribute

Cause: The "nofollow" attribute on links can prevent search engines from following and indexing linked pages.

Example: Your website's footer navigation contains "nofollow" attributes, affecting the indexing of linked pages.


  • Use the "nofollow" attribute only when necessary, such as for sponsored or user-generated content.
  • Avoid applying "nofollow" to internal links that you want search engines to index.

Server and Website Errors

Cause: Server errors like 404s (Page Not Found) and 500s (Internal Server Error) can disrupt the indexing process.

Example: A recent website migration resulted in broken links, leading to multiple 404 errors.


  • Regularly monitor your website for server errors and use tools like Google Search Console to identify and fix 404 errors.
  • Implement proper 301 redirects to lead users and search engines to the correct pages.

Insecure Pages (HTTP)

Cause: Websites using HTTP instead of HTTPS may face indexing challenges as search engines prefer secure connections.

Example: Your website lacks an SSL certificate, causing it to be perceived as less secure by search engines.


  • Obtain an SSL certificate to migrate your website to HTTPS, ensuring all pages are indexed correctly.
  • Update internal links and external backlinks to use HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Low Page Authority

Cause: Pages with low authority may struggle to get indexed or rank well in search results.

Example: A new blog post on your website lacks backlinks and internal linking, resulting in low page authority.


  • Focus on improving your website's overall authority through high-quality content, natural link-building, and engaging user experiences.
  • Implement internal linking to direct authority from high-ranking pages to newer content.

XML Sitemap Issues

Cause: A faulty XML sitemap can lead to improper indexing or incomplete crawling of your website's pages.

Example: Your XML sitemap contains broken links or outdated URLs.


  • Regularly check your XML sitemap for errors and fix any broken links or outdated URLs.
  • Submit an updated version of your sitemap to search engines to improve indexing efficiency.

Overcome Indexing errors

Overcoming improper indexing is essential for maximizing your website's visibility and organic traffic.

By understanding the common causes and implementing the practical solutions provided for each section, you can ensure that your web pages are correctly indexed and positioned to attract organic traffic.

Continuously monitor and optimize your website to stay ahead of search engine algorithm changes and maintain a strong online presence in the competitive digital landscape.

Check out Hire a Writer's SEO services here.

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