When was the last time you checked to see what Google indexed on your site?
Has Google indexed all your posts? Do you have unique titles and descriptions?
Is there content that should not be indexed?
To check what Google has indexed on your site you can view details in Google Webmaster tools or go to google and type in site:<name of site>.
Here are 5 problems with solutions to these problems.
1. Pages Indexed that shouldn’t be
If you find that there are some pages indexed that shouldn’t be, there are a few ways of to resolve.
a). Exclude the files in robot.txt. Google will read this file (normally stored in root directory of your website) which can include files or directories you do not want indexed. For example, the following command tells Google not to index files in the wp-admin directory.
b). In Google Webmaster tools select the ‘remove URLs’ section and create a removal request by specifying the page name you want removed.
c). Within most content management systems you can set a ‘no index’ flag. This means it will add a line to the page telling google not to index the file.
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow”/>
2. Page Titles not configured correctly
The ‘Title Tag’ is read by Google when indexing your content and is one of the most important elements of on page optimization (on page is what you can do on your website, offsite is work you do off the website).
A couple of tips:
a). The words at the start are more important than the words at the end so make sure your relevant keywords are at the start of the title or at least close to the start.
b). Make sure you have no duplicate title tags on multiple pages. Every page should have a unique title tag.
c). If pages are not of value to index (e.g. the Contact us page) then remove them from the index by setting the no index flag.
d). Make sure your titles are configured for every valid page!
3. Page Descriptions not created
The page description meta tag is not used by Google as part of ranking your content but it is displayed in search results. If you don’t have a description configured Google will try to construct a description from the content on the web page. It is much better if you have control over this so make sure to create relevant descriptions.
4. Some Pages not indexed that should be
This is a more difficult one.
a). Make sure you have a sitemap which lets Google know about the pages on your website.
b). Check Google webmaster tools and resolve any errors found.
c). Identify the pages that are not indexed and link to them from another page on your website that is indexed. When Google is crawling through your website to index it, it will have a much better chance of finding the page.
5. Blog Posts don’t have your Google Author Image
When you link your Google + profile to your e-mail address Google will display your picture as part of the search results for your blog posts. This is called Google Author.
By setting this up this will improve the click through rate on blog posts that have this image. It will also help with branding.
We’re near the end of 2012 which is always a good time to do some tidying!
Have you any additional tips to add?