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Google’s John Mueller: “Search Is Never Guaranteed”

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10 Nov 2022

Google Search Advocate John Mueller stated that content is not always guaranteed to be indexed by Google, in response to a question from a site owner asking why their content was not appearing on the search engine.

In the TechSEO forum on Reddit, a user is questioning why a website republishing the same content is being indexed faster.

The Reddit user asks if they can use the Indexing API to Mad Lib their way into Google’s search results. Mueller refuted that claim, saying the Indexing API is only meant for specific types of content, like live streams and job postings.

He then goes on to say that search isn’t guaranteed and provides insight into what Google prioritizes indexing-wise.

Google Answers: Does Adding Content Daily Improve Rankings?

Mueller on What Deserves Indexing in Content

Mueller reiterated on Reddit that Google would only index sites that are beneficial to users. Besides, Mueller gives several examples of what Google’s algorithm looks for when trying to index content. 

There’s no guarantee when it comes to searching, and there are always new sites vying for attention from Google. Muller said the best way to get noticed is by offering something unique and valuable that users will appreciate. Quality is key, so make sure your updates are well-written and informative.

In the next part of his response, Mueller acknowledges that it can be difficult to ensure content contributed by other people meets Google’s guidelines.

The importance of thinking about Google Search when writing obituaries cannot be overstated.

However, the site as a whole is within the Reddit user’s control, allowing them to publish contributed content without any limitations.

Mueller said on Reddit that Google would only index sites that are beneficial to users
Mueller said on Reddit that Google would only index sites that are beneficial to users (Source: Internet)

Mueller tells the site owner that the best way to get Google to index their pages quickly is to make their website more valuable. This means thinking of ways to improve the content, making it more relevant and useful for users.

“I realize that’s hard when it comes to user-generated content (which I assume some of this will be), but ultimately your site is what you publish, regardless of where it initially comes from. So the more you can do to make sure the indexable content on your site is easily findable and significantly valuable to the web, the more likely Google will be able to pick it up quickly (and that can mean that you block content that you determine is less-valuable from being indexed, for example).”

When Google indexes content that has been republished faster than the original version, it sees the source website as being less valuable than the site that copied its content.

There’s no easy fix for that particular issue, and the Reddit user will have to make some changes to their website if they want to see it get crawled and indexed faster. However, using Google’s Indexing API is a start.

For that reason, Mueller suggests that all sites make a slight change to signal to Google that there is new content available. This change will help Google index your site’s new content more quickly, making it more likely to appear in search results.

Tweet from John Mueller about the index problem
Tweet from John Mueller about the index problem (Source: Internet)

Faster indexing by Google can be achieved by linking to new website content from the home page. Mueller says that one thing even newer and smaller sites can do to improve their ranking is to mention and link to recent updates on their home pages. Google usually refreshes home pages more frequently. 

So, if there’s something important and new, make sure you have it there. Many sites do this intuitively, with a sidebar or a section for updates, mentioning the recent headlines and linking to the content.

While that will help increase the chances of Google indexing it, there’s still no guarantee.

Sum Up

John Mueller, the Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, wrote a blog post about the fact that getting indexed in search is not guaranteed

The best way to show Google (and users) that your updates are worthwhile is to make sure they’re unique, interesting, high-quality, and not something that’s already been published elsewhere. By doing this, you’ll be able to prove that your content is valuable and worth indexing. So, if you have any questions about this topic or anything else, please contact us anytime at EverRanks.

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