Over the span of 2021 (and a little bit in 2022), I’ve had a frustrating experience with Google not indexing some of my blog posts. Over that long period of time, I’ve found numerous solutions that have helped mitigate that problem, and in this post, will be sharing 11 solutions that have worked for me.
Just so we’re all on the same page, when I’m talking about Google not indexing your blog posts, here’s what I mean:
You publish a blog post, let Google know about it (says it’s crawled, but not indexed sometimes), but after weeks and even months, you still don’t see that it’s indexed.
- If it doesn’t get indexed, it can’t get ranked.
- If it can’t get ranked, you can’t get traffic to your blog.
- And thus this cuts off your blog’s life (traffic).
This has been a problem MANY people have reported across SEO forums across the internet, and even to Google. Before I get to the 10 solutions I found, I want to offer more context and a backstory to where I’m getting these tips from, and thus, let me share:
My personal situation with Google not indexing my blog posts:
Table of Contents
- 1 My personal situation with Google not indexing my blog posts:
- 2 Before I show you these 10 solutions, know the following 5 rules for Google indexing:
- 3 My video explaining how I deal with Google not indexing my blog posts:
- 4 The 11 solutions to Google not indexing your blog posts:
- 5 1) Your blog post titles probably suck and are affecting Google indexing (easy fix):
- 6 2) Fix your permalinks (moderate-advanced method):
- 7 3) Internally link to the blog posts that aren’t indexed:
- 8 4) Socially share the blog posts that aren’t indexed:
- 9 5) Stick to writing personalized content, not robotic content:
- 10 6) Use the Google URL inspection tool (but don’t abuse it):
- 11 7) Make sure your site isn’t penalized by Google:
- 12 8) Don’t stop blogging because a few posts aren’t indexed:
- 13 9) After making the necessary changes, give the blog post 2 weeks to index:
- 14 10) Know that even if you do everything, it’s not a guarantee your blog post will index:
- 15 11) Sometimes you just have to wait it out and see if your blog posts get indexed:
- 16 Let me know if these solutions help your blog posts index! And also:
There are at least 2 major blog sites I run:
- This one (HelpingHandAffiliate.com).
- My travel blog (TheNatureSeeker.com).
About 90% of the blog posts on these sites index and rank pretty well on Google, but the 10% that don’t, have really annoyed me (unsurprisingly). Some of them indexed after a few weeks, while others have been in the “Google dog house” for months and still haven’t gotten that green light.
When I noticed this with one blog post, I didn’t think much of it, but when I started seeing it happen again and again, and began seeing that other people have also been seeing this problem, I realized this problem was widespread.
- But was the culprit myself or Google?
- Did Google penalize my site or parts of it?
- What was the point of working so hard on my blog when a chunk of my content wouldn’t even index?
I asked myself all of these questions and found some interesting solutions from 2 main sources:
1) First, a good friend of mine Jay, who is my affiliate coach and an SEO master.
We ran a bunch of tests, updates to my blog posts and indeed some of the posts that didn’t index, started to. However, the solutions we sought to try, didn’t work across the board.
Jay’s approach to the problem involved doing a lot of micro oriented SEO stuff such as optimizing the SEO of many of my posts that weren’t indexed and I’ll be sharing some of his strategies in this article too since it did help with multiple blog posts.
2) Second, 2 other good friends of mine who are super successful online marketers.
These 2 friends of mine (and technically bosses) are Kyle and Carson from Wealthy Affiliate. Over the span of 15 years, they’ve been giving out awesome SEO and blogging advice on their program and their basic solution to this indexing issue was more macro oriented SEO meaning:
They suggest focusing on creating a better quality content experience on your site and blog posts, such as fixing titles, permalinks and standing out from the competition. I’ve been trying several strategies of theirs for new blog posts I write and so far, the results are good, the blog posts are indexing and I’m switching up my older posts that weren’t indexed to apply their methods.
And thus, the 11 solutions I’ll be offering are a combination of the strategies I’ve been learning and applying from Kyle, Carson and Jay on my sites.
Before I show you these 10 solutions, know the following 5 rules for Google indexing:
1) First, Google’s own spokespeople have stated that Google doesn’t have to index every blog post and the reason I’m saying this is because even if you do everything I show you in this article and your blog post/s still don’t index, there might be another underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
2) These 10 solutions should only be applied to older websites that are not in the Google sandbox. Understand this: If your website is under 6 months old and doesn’t have any authority and/or 1st page rankings, it’s still new and that itself is the reason why indexing is taking so long. Let your site grow more before you start using these solutions.
3) Know the very basics of SEO before we proceed. Here is what I’m talking about:
- Know how to create keyword targeted titles.
- Have a good website template and hosting that helps the site load up quickly (very important).
- Know how to write quality content (that is unique).
- Know how to create good imagery that also targets keywords.
- Know about internet and external linking.
4) Have a Google search console account and verified site on it (as well as a site map):
Some of the methods I’ll be talking about involve having to URL inspect the blog post that isn’t indexed by Google and having to submit things like a sitemap.
These super basic things are very important fundamentals to SEO and will themselves help the indexing and ranking take care of itself. Very often, lack of indexing and ranking issues stem from not having one of those above things down.
Now if you don’t know any of this stuff (or very little) of what I just mentioned, join a program like Wealthy Affiliate and get the training you need for this as some of the solutions I’ll be giving you are advanced.
5) Make sure your site has not been penalized by Google:
To check, you can log into your search console account and look at the manual/security actions section. I do need to stress that even if it’s fine (no penalties), that doesn’t mean you are out of the woods. Your content may still suffer from indexing problems from Google, but at the very least, you can cross out a Google penalty as being the reason for it.
My video explaining how I deal with Google not indexing my blog posts:
Ok, and now that I’ve got this out of the way, let’s get to the solutions I’ve found:
The 11 solutions to Google not indexing your blog posts:
- Fix your blog post titles.
- Fix your permalink.
- Internally link to the blog posts that aren’t indexed.
- Socially share the blog posts that aren’t indexed.
- Stick to writing personalized content, not robotic content.
- Use the Google URL inspection tool (but don’t abuse it).
- Make sure your site isn’t penalized by Google.
- Don’t stop blogging because a few posts aren’t indexed.
- After making the changes, give the blog post 2 weeks to index.
- Indexing is not a guarantee in Google (know this).
- Just wait it out (maybe it’ll index on it’s own).
These 11 solutions are not in any order, but I’m giving you SEO ammo to use to help your indexing issues potentially fix.
1) Your blog post titles probably suck and are affecting Google indexing (easy fix):
Very often what a lot of people who try to “over SEO” their titles do is they literally just use one of the following titles:
- The keyword they are targeting and nothing else to decorate it.
- A very basic keyword like “Product name + the word review”.
- Very boring titles in general which get no real eye catching attention.
One of the tips I’ve been using in recent weeks (which has been working for indexing) is to decorate my keyword titles in a much better way.
Say 10 people are trying to target the same keyword like “Product name + review” and nothing else. If I’m someone who makes my title a bit better like “Product name + review – 3 reasons I returned it”, that already makes me stand out more.
So in short, use less titles like these:
Product name + review. Is it a scam?
Because frankly, too many people are doing that, and you want to stand out. Not to mention the fact that if there’s so many people using the same title format, it will mess up indexing because Google wants there to be diverse titles. If you have 100 people all using the same format, be the one in 100 that stands out with a unique title!
You can still target your main keyword in the title (as you should), but just make it look better. Google likes this, and people who see your article do too.
Once you update the title to a blog post that hasn’t been indexed in weeks, inform Google by doing a URL inspection of it (on search console).
A lot of SEO people will recommend that if you make your title one thing, that your permalink should be the target keyword you’re looking to rank for. Here’s an easy example to illustrate this:
- I’m targeting Super MMO program review.
- I’d make my title something like “Super MMO Program Review – Why it Isn’t Super at All”.
- And my permalink would be mywebsitename.com/super-mmo-program-review
The idea is that when you use the exact keyword in the permalink, you can get ranked easier for it. This is sort of true, but I’ve seen numerous cases of these types of blog posts not getting indexed.
What I was advised to do was not just change the title, but to also change the permalink, so that it matches the title too. In other words, if my title is “Super MMO program review – Why it Isn’t Super at All”, then my permalink would be: mywebsitename.com/super-mmo-program-review-why-it-isnt-super-at-all.
Notice how it’s now literally the same thing as my title. What I’ve been recently testing is following this strategy for all my posts, including affiliate product reviews and so far, every single one has been getting indexed by Google.
Now I’m well aware that there are PLENTY of review posts targeting products that are using the old school SEO approach I initially talked about and they are getting rankings. However, if you’re using this strategy, it’s been weeks and the product review post has NOT been indexed yet, maybe it’s time for a change and this one might be the one to help you finally get that blog post indexed.
Note: If you are internally linking any of your blog posts to the one that isn’t indexed and you change the permalink, absolutely make sure to do one of two things:
A) Change the internal links of other blog posts so they’ll go to the new URL whose permalink you changed.
B) Use simple 301 redirects when adjusting the URLs, otherwise, you’ll get 404 errors and screw up your site.
Moving forward with new blog posts, post them using the new strategy I just outlined (permalink matches the new title) and see how that works out for you.
And once again, as soon as you change the permalink, inform Google through a URL inspection on search console.
Link juice is a huge aspect of the SEO game and one way to get Google spiders to crawl blog posts that are not yet indexed by Google is to internally link more of your other posts that are indexed to the one that isn’t.
For me, I have not noticed this strategy working all that way for indexing problems, but it’s still good SEO practice and CAN help especially if you have a post that gets traffic going to the one that isn’t indexed.
This is standard practice for any blog posts, including those that are or aren’t indexed.
For me, I have several places I share my blog posts through:
- For my Helping Hand Affiliate site, I share it on a Facebook Fan Page.
- For my Nature Seeker travel blog, I will share it on places like: Keen, Pinterest and a Facebook Fan Page.
That extra exposure helps.
I would say that this practice has a low chance of fixing your indexing issues though unless you have a very popular social media page that gets viewers, so don’t rely too much on this strategy, but instead make it a part of your overall SEO game.
This strategy can be associated with backlinking, and in some ways it is, but just keep it on the back burner just in case.
I don’t want people to think that backlinking is the strongest way to get indexed on Google (it isn’t).
5) Stick to writing personalized content, not robotic content:
The more SEO evolves, the more this advice rings true folks. I see TOO many websites and bloggers trying to write content to make Google happy, vs writing natural content that speaks from the heart and to ACTUAL people who will read your content.
One of the wisest pieces of advice I’ve gotten from Kyle and Carson from Wealthy Affiliate is that Google’s algorithm is reflective of how people browse it’s search engine, view websites and is catered to it.
Let me give you an example of what “robotic content” looks like:
- Blog title: MMO product review: Is it a scam?
- Permalink: sitename.com/mmo-product-review
- First paragraph: Welcome! You’re probably wondering if MMO product review is a scam. Well in this MMO product review post, I’ll tell you!
Folks, this is robotic content and the more you write like this, the more likely your rankings are in jeopardy (including indexing). And if not now and you’re riding that SEO wave of high rankings, sooner or later, it’ll happen (I’ve personally seen it and it’s happened to me).
Now compare that piece of content to this (personalized):
- Blog title: MMO product review – 5 reasons I gave up on it.
- Permalink: sitename.com/mmo-product-review-5-reasons-I-gave-up-on-it
- First paragraph: I purchased MMO product with high hopes it would deliver on it’s promises and what I got was trash beyond my wildest dreams! Let me share the 5 reasons I gave up on MMO product in this review.
It may not be perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot more personalized and readable by HUMAN eyes than the previous one. Write more like this folks and be personal with your content. Personalized content just reads better.
If it reads better, it performs better for bounce rates and other factors Google looks at, which helps with rankings (and of course indexing).
I’ve seen numerous examples of blog posts getting ranked on page 1, position 1 of Google and one of the main things I’ve noticed is how personalized they are. When I read them, I feel like the person writing it is talking to me one on one. It’s no wonder such content indexes and ranks well.
It’s also one of the most important SEO trends to adhere to moving into 2022.
6) Use the Google URL inspection tool (but don’t abuse it):
When I first started noticing Google not indexing my blog posts, I figured that maybe I forgot to tell it to index/crawl it or perhaps I just needed to let Google know about it more than once.
And so, I’d head over to search console, enter the URL, see that it wasn’t indexed and tell it to do it, but no matter how many times I’d do it, nothing would happen. In fact, I’d always get the “Crawled but not indexed” message from search console.
The question then became:
- Should I just wait longer?
- Why was Google not indexing this post, but quickly indexing my other ones?
- Should I improve the content and do a URL inspection on the blog post again?
Well here’s what I learned:
1) Firstly, the URL inspection tool should be used seldomly, meaning that if you have a situation where a particular blog post or page isn’t being indexed for WEEKS and you’re sure you did everything right, then do a URL inspection. If the situation doesn’t change, try to update the blog post with the tips I gave you, make some serious changes to the title, permalink and content, and then try it again.
2) Second, do NOT abuse the search console all the time. This can lead to red flags for your site based on what I’ve learned. Just because you keep telling Google to index a post it hasn’t doesn’t mean it’s broken. It could mean you haven’t done enough for Google to like it enough. Pinging it to index your post won’t help. Make serious changes first, then do it.
3) Third, if your blog has good authority, you should let Google crawl and index your new posts on it’s own without you having to constantly remind them of it.
7) Make sure your site isn’t penalized by Google:
Sometimes you lack of indexing could be do to a manual action on your site (that is the worst thing that can happen).
To check this, simply head over to search console and look at “Manual Actions” and “Security Actions”. If there is a green check mark, you’re good. If there isn’t, then read what needs to be fixed and do it, or just start a new site by that point.
Manual actions take place for several reasons:
- You have malware or viruses on your site.
- You are using duplicate content and/or plagiarizing people in other ways.
- You are using crappy content spinner/scaper tools.
- You’re basically engaged in black hat marketing.
Getting out of a manual action can be a lot tougher to alleviate than most people know and starting a new site by that point might be the best option.
8) Don’t stop blogging because a few posts aren’t indexed:
I can totally understand how blogging confidence can die out when you see that one blog post after another isn’t being indexed.
But if you’re following the tips I’m giving you and some ARE being indexed, then you’re doing something right and the other ones may likely be fixed too, so it’s a matter of doing more of what works and fixing the blog posts that weren’t working to mimic the ones that are.
When I first started seeing my issues with indexing, it eroded my confidence in blogging actively.
Active blogging is actually one of the best things you can to do show Google that you are a serious content creator who deserves to be crawled by it’s spiders (your blog that is, not you).
So make new blog posts even if it doesn’t seem like you are getting anywhere.
So long as you’re targeting good keywords and (again) following the tips I’ve been giving you, then you should see results.
9) After making the necessary changes, give the blog post 2 weeks to index:
Once you’ve made serious changes to a blog post that wasn’t indexed originally, do one URL inspection through search console and forget about it for 2 weeks.
You can’t expect a blog post that has not been indexed for weeks and months to suddenly be fixed in a day or two.
You have to give it time and that requires patience.
I know that’s tough especially when you’ve already been waiting this long, but this is how the game works, and you have to play it, lest you keep getting the same results you have been (no indexing).
I had one blog post that had this issue. It was on a park I’d visited and I’d written some nice content for it, but for MONTHS, it wasn’t getting indexed. Finally when it did
While the wait is happening, blog more, add more content to existing posts, improve your quality. In other words, don’t just stop your blog’s progress because one or a few posts aren’t indexed.
10) Know that even if you do everything, it’s not a guarantee your blog post will index:
As much as I’d love to tell you I guarantee you these solutions will fix your indexing problems, I just can’t. It might be you, and it might also be Google.
The point is, you shouldn’t expect a perfect indexing spree all over your site. You just do your best, don’t try to game search engines and wait things out for older posts to index and rank while writing new ones that are high quality. That’s really all you can do.
I understand people who try to have OCD about SEO and try to make everything perfect. It just doesn’t work this way. It’s much more personalized to people’s reaction to your content than it is to gaming search engines now and this is an important thing you have to understand to survive in this game.
11) Sometimes you just have to wait it out and see if your blog posts get indexed:
Overall, I’ve had about 20 blog posts across my 2 sites have posts which weren’t indexed for weeks and even months for a few of them.
The advice Jay, my affiliate coach gave me was to let it go and just wait for it to happen and it actually did.
One of my blog posts on my travel site wasn’t getting indexed for MONTHS, but by waiting it out, internally linking to it more, it eventually happened on it’s own.
I did also improve the quality of the content after it got indexed, but aside from this example, of the 20 blog posts I mentioned that weren’t indexed, about 10 of them did eventually index on their own. It took many weeks and months in some cases, but it fixed itself.
This to me shows that sometimes we shouldn’t stress too much over a blog post not indexing. If you feel you did everything right (be honest with yourself here), then just wait it out and internally link to it more. It may just resolve on it’s own.
Here’s an example:
Originally, they were all X’s which meant they weren’t indexed by Google.
Now it’s up to 5 indexed and 5 not indexed still.
For some of those blog posts, I made several changes to them and it worked.
And for others, I just waited it out and eventually it ended up indexing on it’s own without me ever having to lift a finger.
Update: One person I know who is successful at making money online (he’s a member of Wealthy Affiliate) made a few posts about his posts not indexing. Well today, he updated everyone to let them know his posts have been updated on their own. Read the full indexing post here.
Let me know if these solutions help your blog posts index! And also:
Keep in mind that there may be more solutions that pop in the future, which I’ll add to this blog post. You’re welcome to share your strategies below and if they have merit, I just might add them in too.
Remember the major points I listed above on the advice my SEO and affiliate coaches gave me and ensure your blog content is unique, high quality and is written for readers, not search engines. Thanks for reading!
Note: Ironically enough, this article indexed very quickly on Google after I published it following the guidelines I listed here 🙂