With Google Search Console you can submit your new content and pages directly to Google – but from 14th October, Google have disabled the ‘Request Indexing’ feature. Which in most cases, made Google index your URL quicker.
See all about why Google disabled the ‘Request Indexing’ feature in my news post.
There are other ways you can submit your content to Google, and other tools in Google Search Console.
Before we get into this guide, please note that there is no 100% guarantee that Google, or any other search engine, will crawl your new page or content if you tell them too. You can help speed up the process, but there is no quick-win to do so.
So don’t believe anyone who says they can index or get your website ranking instantly, because it is not true – you can only speed things up.
We know that Google have servers, and can be overloaded. With millions of pages on the web, and more added everyday, Google does have a system to prioritise crawling. But only Google know what this is.
Crawling a page is when a search engine bot scans your page for information.
Indexing is when a search engine bot has crawled your page, and it has been added to the search results.
A page has to be crawled in order to be considered for indexing.
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Submit your Sitemaps
If you have added some new content, or new pages, the first thing to do is submit your sitemaps. Yes, I said sitemaps.
If you have pages and a blog on your website, you will have 2 sitemaps for each.
Before you can submit a sitemap, you need to verify your website in Google Search.
To find your website’s sitemap, go to your website and type ‘/sitemap.xml’ after the domain.
With Yoast, the sitemap is ‘/sitemap_index.xml’.
Take for example phil-isherwood.co.uk.
I have 2 sitemaps submitted to Google Search Console, one for my main site, and the other for my blog section.
When I post a news item, or a guide, I re-submit my ‘posts’ sitemap. It will then show how many URLs have been discovered in that sitemap.
This is important because Google also index your sitemaps, and if they see that there are new URLs in your sitemaps, they are more likely to index them, or at least crawl them. Meaning that your new page or content will appear on the search results page faster.
Optimise your Content
With any new page or content, make sure it is optimised for search engines. This includes things like a; page title, meta description, schema markup (if applicable), internal linking, and site navigation. If you content is not search engine friendly, they won’t crawl it – and might not even index it.
Not all websites are optimised, so if you want your website to be fully optimised for SEO, why not enlist the services of a digital marketing consultant like myself.
Share your Content
The more people that visit your new page, the better signals get sent to search engines.
Always try to share your new page with your social networks, post a link to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – wherever and whatever you use. This helps push your new page, and sends ranking signals to search engines.
Add Schema Markup
Schema Markup is structured data that you can add to your website, which tells search engines exactly what your website is about. The main benefit of schema, is that structured data makes it easier for a search engine to understand your content.
Search engines crawl your website and pages to find information, structured data helps identify key data.
Take a look at the most common types of schema in my Schema Markup Guide.
Test the live URL in Search Console
With the test live URL feature in Google Search Console, you can test to see if your page can actually be crawled.
The URL inspection will tell you if your page is on Google. You can just about see the ‘Request Indexing’ button greyed out.
When I posted my troubleshooting for Ahrefs Site Audit Tool guide, I tested the live URL here. I got the message that is was not on Google.
I then re-submitted my sitemap, made sure the page was fully optimised, and then tested the live URL again, around 10 minutes later. What did I find? The message you see above, it was on Google. Submitted and Indexed. Happy days.
Things to note
- Indexing a new URL can be quicker than indexing a old URL
My website is mainly a blog site. Google know this, and therefor will expect new content to be published. However, if your website has mainly service pages, or has lots of products, it may take Google longer to index a page, and your website has so many.
- The Test Live URL works in real-time
You might get the message that your website has ‘usability’ errors. I get these too. Google can pick up if there are 2 items, or links too close together, that could cause issue if someone is trying to click them. It can even bring up if text is too small to read.
From recently working on a site that has lots of product listings, I know that the Test Live URL works in real-time. I had an area with 2 buttons quite close together. Google said that 2 ‘clickable elements’ where too close. I changed these to give them more space, tested again, and it was fine.
When one door closes, make sure you know about the other doors that are still open.
I hope this helps with anyone who is publishing new content, and is a bit lost with the ‘Request Indexing’ feature being disabled.
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