Yesterday Google Webmaster Tools unveiled yet another cool tool that be provide some great insight for website owners and digital marketers alike. Google releases Index Status as part of the GWT toolkit. Index Status basically charts the number of indexed pages for your site over the last year.
Index Status will show you how many pages from your site have been included in Google’s index. The cool thing is that Google says that this data is accurate and more accurate than the site: query that can also be used to spot check the # of pages indexed for a site. This can be very useful especially if you cross reference with your actual inventory of pages. The count from Index Status only includes that canonical version and not duplicates.
If you click on the "Advanced" settings, Index Status will show you items such as:
- total number of index pages
- total pages ever crawled
- number of pages blocked by your robots.txt
Another interesting piece of data from Index Status is: if you change the URL structure of your site and don’t follow Google's recommendations for moving your site, you may see a jump in the count of “Not selected”. Fixing the redirects or rel=”canonical” tags should help get better indexing coverage
According to a post from ex-Googler Vanessa Fox, Google says that a URL can be not selected for indexing for many reasons including:
It redirects to another page
It has a rel=”canonical” to another page
Our algorithms have detected that its contents are substantially similar to another URL and picked the other URL to represent the content
Vanessa goes on to make a key point:
For very large sites, crawl efficiency can make a substantial difference in long tail traffic. More pages crawled = more pages indexed = more search traffic.
If you see a steadily increasing number of indexed pages, this should be an indication that new content on your site is being discovered, crawled and indexed by Google.
Labels: google webmaster tools, index status