At SEO Werkz, we know that several areas of the search engine optimization and internet marketing world may seem like a minefield to those without experience in them. That’s part of why we’re here: To help guide you through the complex areas of SEO, PPC and other online marketing tools to bring you maximum brand exposure and help you meet your goals.
We help head off significant SEO issues before they blow up, and a good example of the kind of thing we’ll help you prevent – or deal with if it’s already an issue for you – is an accidental de-indexing of your site from Google. This kind of mistake can be a big negative, the kind that drops your rankings across the site, but with the right guidance and tactics you can recover from it and rebound your rankings right back to where they were before, if not higher. In this two-part blog, let’s go over how to diagnose and address these issues if you’re noticing major ranking changes due to indexing problems.
The first sign of trouble here will come when you’re accessing your back-end SEO numbers through whichever primary tool you use for this purpose. You’ll notice that some or even all of your keywords are marked as “Lost” within the tool – they’re not simply lower, they are gone.
Here’s a general list of areas to check on to determine if this is an indexing issue:
For starters, you want to just be sure your tool isn’t undergoing a glitch of some kind. Check the numbers on other tools to confirm the major loss in keyword positioning. If Google Analytics and others back up the same info, you could have a problem.
Next, check to see whether a major algorithm update has taken place that might be impacting you. If this is not the case, move on to the next step.
If neither of the above are the issue, it’s highly probable you have an indexing problem. Try a Google search for the pages in question – are they gone? Search Console will also show a warning at the bottom: “’noindex’ detected.”
To confirm this information, check the source code for the pages in question. In your meta data sections, you will notice a “noindex, no follow” marking. This is proof that indexing is your issue.
This is a tougher area, mainly because Search Console doesn’t help here – its data lags behind and might not even pick up indexing changes until they’re already cleared up. It’s highly unlikely your entire site has been de-indexed, especially if the issue has only taken place over a period of a couple days.
In most cases, the issue will have resulted from a developer accidentally pushing code live for all your pages that should not have been pushed. In part two here, we’ll go over how you can reverse this and what the general timetable will be for such a reversal.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our SEO, PPC or social media marketing solutions, speak to the staff at SEO Werkz today.