As a small business owner you are working hard on your website’s search engine friendliness every day. But sometimes you get frustrated with the search engines honoring your hard work. Actually you are always getting frustrated with them, but let’s stay focused.
When you are trying to determine why your pages are not showing up in the results, you may ask the question?
What pages are indexed by Google, Yahoo or Bing after all?
It would be helpful to know what inventory of your pages do they have to consider when showing search results, right? There are two answers to the question: the quick and dirty and the more complex, but more reliable.
The Quick and Dirty Way to Find What Has Been Indexed
Regardless of the search engine, in the search box type “site:yourdomainname.com”. Actually try it on every search engine. You will get a different answer from each one.
With Google in the top right you will see their count of indexed pages. Even then, though, there is trickery going on. Click as efficiently as you can to the last page of these search results.
Typically I’ve found the results end long before that claimed amount. There are many possible reasons here:
Reasons Your Results May Vary Between Search Engines
- If you’re running a blog, you may have your tag, category, archive pages and more indexed. Some engines may store them, others may not.
- The search engine may choose to not be forthcoming about what it really knows. Yes this is the conspiracy response, but there is truth in not sharing too much detail about a site unless it’s confirmed you own it (see the next method).
- You may getting personalized search results.
The More Complex, But More Reliable Method To Find What Has Been Indexed
This one will only work for Google and Yahoo. For Google, using Google’s Webmaster Tools you can verify you own the site through a META tag or unique file on your web server. This grants you rights to more privileged data seen by Google. Yahoo and Bing have similar tools and insight.
I’ll cover Webmaster Tools in a later post.