Simple Seo – Use Sitemap File And Count Indexed Pages

The basic principle of every search engine optimization is to create content and make it indexed hoping for top positions in search results. Main activities are focused on only one search engine–Google. The reason is very simple–it has the biggest market share. While there are many rules for what should be included on the page and how to promote websites, there is absolutely no guarantee that every page of our website will be indexed. And if some page is not indexed it can not be present in search results. In principle, there are two methods to check pages that are included in the index. Both methods are useful for quick check and basic information about our sites.

The first method is a simple search with the “site:” operator. This way we can check any domain or page to see if it is included in the search engine’s index. The advantage of this method is that we can actually see which pages are included. It is also pretty simple to count all indexed pages, unless the number is not very high. On each page with results Google displays an estimation of the total number of pages that match the search criteria. The only drawback of this method is that each time we have to manually search for every website. If we would like to monitor sites on a regular basis then this is not a good approach.

The second method is more automatic. Most search engines allow us to submit a sitemap file. This file lists all pages that we would like to submit to search engines. In some cases there are pages that are not discovered by spiders or crawlers and sitemap files provide an elegant way to submit pages for crawling and indexing. The format of the file is very simple, for small sites it can even be created manually with a simple editor like Notepad. This is an XML file with a simple structure and there are many tools around for creating and validating sitemap files. Most popular content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal have extensions that can automatically create sitemap files.

Once you have a sitemap file you can submit it to the search engine. Google Webmaster Tools is a place where you can add as many files as needed. Yahoo and Bing also provide similar tools for sitemap files. Once the file is added it will be downloaded and at some appropriate time also analyzed. During regular crawling processes the links listed in the file will be visited and if possible also indexed. For each submitted file Google displays the number of indexed pages. This is a very important indicator of the quality of our website. If everything listed in the sitemap file is not indexed than this is not a big problem. Standard pages like About us, Contact us or Privacy policy have little value and many times are not included in the index. However, if we see that, for example, one third of submitted pages are not indexed then we need to find the cause and act accordingly.

Submitting a sitemap is one of the simple seo north lakes that can give us valuable information about our website. In general, the most common reason for not including pages in the index is poor or duplicate content.