What to Do If My Pages Are Deindexed?
Finding out that Google has deindexed pages on your website can be really frustrating. All the hard work you’ve done in building your business suddenly starts slipping away.
Once you’ve identified the pages on your website that are deindexed you’ll want to take the right steps to get them back in the SERPs.
Follow these guidelines to help discover the reasons why your site is deindexed and how to reindex them.
Are you Accidentally Using Noindex?
Are you using an SEO plugin and have accidentally selected to noindex on certain pages?
Yoast offers options to noindex certain pages of your website. Some plugins have been reported to noindex random pages on your website without warning.
To check if your page has the noindex attribute, open the page source and look for <meta name=”robots content “noindex”>. Below is an example of a page that has been noindexed by Yoast.
If your pages have been noindexed by Yoast. Check in Yoast > Search Appearance, and make sure Show in search results is set to Yes for each page type.
If you’re using WordPress, make sure you don’t have your website set to noindex. Navigate to Settings > Reading and ensure that Search Engine Visibility is not ticked.
The robots.txt file is an important part of your website that tells search engine crawlers how to navigate through your website and which pages to ignore.
Make sure you don’t accidentally exclude certain pages of your website in robots.txt. Just one line of code can block search engines from crawling large areas of your website.
To check your robots.txt, visit www.yourdomain.com/robots.txt and check if your web pages are being blocked.
If they are blocked, you will need to edit the robots.txt file in the root of your domain and allow it to crawl the right web pages.
Is it a Google Bug?
One of the reasons you’re site has been deindexed could be because of a Google bug. Google can make mistakes, and in April 2019 they accidentally deindexed approximately 4% of the total Google index.
As a result, website owners were forced to either wait till Google fixed it or manually resubmit each page for reindexing through the Google Search Console.
If you suspect there has been a bug, check on Google News and the Google Twitter account to see if there has been any mention of a bug. If there has, open up Google Search Console, navigate to URL inspection on the right and request indexing for each URL.
Has a Manual Action Been Applied?
If you violate Google’s quality guidelines they may apply a manual action to your website and deindex certain pages. To check if you have a manual action, navigate to Manual actions in Google Search Console.
If your website has been affected, you will have a description of the problem and the pages that have been affected. There are many reasons why your website may get a Manual Action, including:
- Unnatural links
- Thin content
- Keyword stuffing
- Cloaked images
- User-generated spam
To fix a manual action, follow the instructions inside Google Search Console and then select Request Review. Here you can describe the steps you’ve taken to fix the issue. Reconsideration takes approximately one week.
Follow these steps to help get your website indexed in Google again. If you’re still having trouble, please get in touch with our team to see if we can help. We are a full service digital agency with experience in web development, digital marketing and SEO. We can help your pages get back on track and reinstate security for your site should you need it.