Sites need to focus on creating quality content that will be of value to the reader, even if this means that it may not get indexed by search engines automatically.
Google Search Advocate John Mueller said, “search is never guaranteed,” in response to a site owner asking why their content isn’t getting indexed.
Reddit is a great place to grow brand awareness and to learn from others who are experiencing similar issues. When a user posts on the r/TechSEO subreddit, they were dissatisfied with a website that was re-publishing identical content and was being indexed more quickly than the original post.
A Reddit user posts a thread asking if they can use the Indexing API to brute force their way into Google’s index.
Mueller shoots down that idea, saying this API is only for specific types of content. It can’t be used for what you’re trying to do.
However, he also offers advice on how to avoid losing ground while still optimizing your business.
At Mueller, we care about great content. That’s why we’ll always prioritize indexing content that has a direct and accurate translation of an article or blog post into an infographic.
Although he’s said that websites have to have ‘worth’ in order to make it onto search results, Mueller stresses that “No individual owns their own search engine.”
Indexing means that Google considers your content worthy of appearing in its engine. Mueller goes over several criteria that are taken into consideration when indexing a piece of content, such as:
The key to SEO is providing value. We want to make your website unique and interesting so that your Google rankings will improve. We offer a range of unique, compelling, high-quality content that people can find online.
For context, the website features obituary content.
Muellers’ response calls out the challenge many entrepreneurs face when trying to keep the content contributed by other people in line with Google’s guidelines.
When you think about obituaries, do you think about them? If so, you’re in luck! Google is the last thing on people’s minds when they think of obituaries. Maybe it’s because people are showing their late loved one’s age more than ever before.
Users can contribute to, and share the content they create with other Reddit users. However, they are not limited to publishing their contributions on this site.
Mueller tells the site owner to implement ways to improve mobility. This includes providing a longer time on-page and/or by implementing mobile sitewide changes.
“User-generated content may seem like a tough obstacle, but ultimately your site is what you publish. So do everything you can to make sure the indexable content on your site is easily findable and significantly valuable to the web.”
When a search engine indexes articles faster than the original version, it means that the content source’s website is deemed less valuable.
There’s no easy solution to that problem, such as using Google’s Indexing API. The Reddit user will have to make changes to their website in order to prove it’s worth getting crawled and indexed faster.
Mueller recommends that websites look for a way to signal to Google that there is new content available.
Using new content from the home page can help get your website in Google’s radar and improve your rankings, says Muller.
Google sometimes refreshes homepages more than once a week, so if there is something important and new in the world, make sure you have it listed on your homepage. Most sites do this instinctively with a sidebar or an update section that mention the new headlines and link to the content.
As of the time of this writing, there’s still no clear indication that Google will index content more quickly because a white-label hub.