what are the reasons why Google does not index a website?

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A common problem faced by many users is that Google is not indexing their website. In reality, there are many factors that can cause indexing problems, either for some web pages or for the entire website.

Problems with SEO, a misconfigured domain or poorly written code, are just a few problems that can cause Google to not index our website.

To help all those users with indexing problems, we are going to review some of the twelve most common reasons for which Google is not indexing a website:

-Domain: Although it sounds basic, a common problem is that the website lacks a domain name. This may be because the DNS have not been configured correctly on the server or because WordPress has a problem with the URL. A common problem is that we have not configured the “www” prefix, which will force us to create 301 redirects to fix it.

-Domain Properties: If our website has more than one domain property, for example “http” and “https”, we must configure both versions in Google Search Console and verify our property, otherwise we may have indexing problems.

-Code issues: If the code of our website is too complex for Google or poorly written, we will have indexing problems. It doesn’t matter if it is old languages like HTML or if it is JavaScript, if Google detects errors or problems it will not index the website. We can identify this kind of problems using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.

-We do not have Sitemap: The Sitemap is essential for the correct functioning and indexing of our websites, since with it we are indicating to Google where our pages are, so that we ensure that all of them will be indexed correctly.

-Google penalties: If Google has penalized us in the past and we have not fixed the errors, it is possible that it will not allow us to index our websites until we fix it. Getting out of these penalties can be very complicated, since many times the solution is to create new content and redo the website from scratch, which usually requires a lot of effort.

-Mobile-Friendly: Making the website Mobile-Friendly is vital for our website to be indexed by Google. To make our site Mobile-Friendly we just need to have fluid CSS layouts using “GRIDS” (grid layouts) that improve loading times and stability of all elements.

-Little content: If Google believes that our site does not meet the minimum standards of good content, it will not index the site. In this sense, those contents with less than 1,000 words are usually more problematic when it comes to indexing. However, quantity is not everything, quality also counts, since Google wants those web pages that offer solutions to users’ questions to be at the top of its results pages.

-Usability: Recently, Google has implemented the Core Web Vitals, a series of factors that measure the usability of a web page. This means that it is increasingly important that our websites are accessible and easy to navigate, eliminating loading errors and improving loading times so that the user does not have to wait to enjoy the content.

-Blocking the Googlebot: A common mistake is to block the Googlebot in our “Robots.txt” file, this way, Google cannot scan our website and our content, therefore it cannot index us. Some WordPress plugins can also block the Googlebot, so it is important to check both the file and the plugins and make sure that the bot has access to all our content.

-JavaScript rendering issues: JavaScript is often one of the major performance and indexing issues on many web sites. Websites that use JavaScript for rendering often have problems with poorly written HTML lines or lines that have been left out of the rendering process. It is also not good to hide JS and CSS files from Google, as Google prefers to check them.

-Meta tags: It is also possible that our meta tags are set to “Noindex” and “Nofollow”, which prevents Google from indexing the website. Although this is not a common problem, it can happen. Fortunately, the solution is simple, as we only have to change the tags to “Index” and “Follow”.

-SEO problems: Google penalizes those websites whose technical SEO is of poor quality. In this sense, it is important to comply with the Core Web Vitals indicators, to have a sitemap, to be Mobile-Friendly, to have a well configured “Robots.txt” file, etc.

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