Free Ways to Raise Page Indexing for Search

Perhaps your site has all of its pages already indexed by the search engines, but most don’t. Even well-known, large sites can have 50% or more of their pages missing. Every page you have missing from Google’s search index, for example, can never be found by Google. It is simple to get many more of your pages included in search indexes, and you don’t need to pay anyone to do it.

Every organic search engine provides a way to check the number of pages indexed for a particular Web site, usually using the “site:” operator, like so: “site:www.yourdomain.com” (where you put your own site’s name in place of the “yourdomain.com”). But there’s a simple, free tool that performs the same function much more easily. MarketLeap, the search marketing consulting firm, provides what it calls a Saturation Tool to check the pages you have included in organic indexes.

Under rare circumstances, your site might be completely missing from the search engines’ indexes. If so, you may want to submit your home page—some of the leading search engines allow free submission:

If you have some pages indexed, but not as many as you’d like, you have several actions you can take. Best of all, while these actions take some time and effort, you don’t have to shell out any money for expensive tools or advice:

  • Eliminate spider traps. Your Web site may actually prevent the spiders from indexing your pages. Have you checked your robots settings? Do you use pop-up windows? JavaScript navigation or redirects? Meta refresh tags? Each of these techniques can trap spiders from venturing deeper into your site, resulting in pages that are missing from the index.
  • Reduce ignored content. Spiders have certain rules they live by, and if your content breaks the rules, you lose. If your pages are overly long, or have invalid HTML, the spiders may ignore your pages. (You can validate your HTML with a free tool.) If you use Firefox or Mozilla, you can use the Web Developer plug-in to disable cookies, JavaScript, and CSS to see what your page looks like to a search engine. In addition, some search engines can’t see pages coded using Macromedia Flash or other rich media tools, so you may need to create HTML versions of that content to get it indexed.
  • Create spider paths. You can coax spiders to index more of your site by creating site maps and other navigation that simplifies the link structure for all of your site’s pages. If you don’t have a site map, you are missing the easiest way to show spiders around your site.
  • Investigate inclusion programs. Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft Bing offer a free inclusion program, called Sitemaps, which allows Webmasters to generate a list of pages to crawl from their site.

Remember, pages missing from search indexes means searchers miss your site. Use these free tools and techniques to increase your search visibility. Once you do, you’re ready to move on to keyword planning.

Want more tips to raise your Internet marketing success? Check out Search Engine Marketing, Inc., which contains a complete step-by-step program for successful search marketing for your business. For more ways to improve your overall Internet marketing, take a look at Do It Wrong Quickly, an indispensable guide to the new ways of marketing on the cheap.