Warning, warning, warning. It’s 2015 and we’re talking about index pages, because lately I’ve heard from companies—and people—and there’s just misconceptions that are leading people to believe that the more index pages you have, the better SEO you’ll have on your website. That is absolutely not true.
Before I dive into why, let me tell you what an index page is. If you go to your website platform and you look at the various pages that exist on your website platform, chances are those are indexed in Google’s search engines. Google will crawl your website and they’ll put those pages of content into their library, for the sole purpose of a consumer who’s using Google at a later time searching for an answer, they could pull that page from their library, and show it to the consumer to try and get a more relevant answer, right? We all know that’s how Google works.
So in theory, years ago, webmasters said, “Well, you know what? If I have more of these pages indexed in the library then that’ll be better for my SEO.” And that was true in 2005, 2006—but we’re in 2015, and Google is very, very intelligent. They know webmasters were trying to trick the system and create doorway pages. These doorway pages exist on many websites, and what they are is automatically generated content pages that have to do with cities, and vehicles, and spun content that exists on the web that may be slightly unique to that page, but not very unique. Typically, they’re not created by a human. They don’t really add value, and because of this, Google is actually penalizing and removing websites from their index because of it—because people are manipulating the system.
Listen, Google would not be in business if they didn’t provide great answers to consumers. If you fill their library with bogus content, is someone going to want to go to that library any more? No they’re not. So how do you know if you have this problem? Go to Google. Type in a site command. That’s just site: and then put in your web site URL. So in this case, site:dealerinspire.com. What will happen is Google will return a list of results only for your website. If on the top of that search result it says 150 thousand pages, or 200 thousand pages, or even 50 thousand you probably have an issue, because you’re a dealer website. You are indexing pages you may not even know you’re indexing because the platform’s just generating those pages for you. This is bad news. This could get you in trouble.
The other thing you want to do is look at Webmaster Tools. You probably have this. Your agency, your website company, whoever, probably has a connection to Webmaster Tools. If not I highly suggest you get it. Look at the index status in there. If you see a sharp curve like this for no reason, that means a lot more pages got indexed. Now there’s reasons for that, like a brand new website on a new domain or if you’re transferring a bunch of content over at once. So there’s just various reasons that that could happen temporarily. But generally speaking, if you’ve had a website platform on a domain that has been trusted, it has a 4, then all of a sudden you switch and your spike in index pages went up greatly, that’s generally not a good thing. I’d be worried about dormant pages.
The other thing that you really want to pay attention to is your Google Analytics. This is what matters. In a lot of cases, we’ve been able to take 50,000 index pages, 100,000 index pages down to a thousand, and increase organic traffic, and you know what? It’s one thing if I just talk about it. I will show you in this example. Not here, unfortunately, but I will put an attachment somewhere on this post, wherever this exists, to show you what I’m talking about.
You can actually reduce the amount of indexed pages significantly and increase traffic. Why? You have an efficient library that people want to go to then. So what should you do? There are a lot of problems on how to measure index pages. What do you do if you want to build good content? I’m not saying having a gradual increase in index pages is bad—it’s actually really good—but you want the graph to look like this. You want it to be like a little ramp with an incline. And you want to build quality content that adds new value to search engines with new opinions, that’s unique, that consumers are going to get to and they’re going to appreciate that you put the time and effort into making a good piece of content. That is search engine food. They will eat it up. They love it. That is what you want to concentrate on. Also, quality—strive for slow but incremental growth and quality matters.
Thank you for your time. I’m Joe Chura. I love doing these videos. If you guys have ideas, or questions, any kind of myths out there you want me to cover during these, please shoot them our way. You can post a comment, shoot me an email [at]firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, I’m looking forward to the next one. This is a lot of fun. Thanks!
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