The most interesting aspect of SEO is that when you are doing the same thing repeatedly over a period, you would be getting different results. The process of SEO is so dynamic that the background or algorithms keep changing almost regularly.
Staying alert and agile and adjusting your SEO all along to match the changing ways of Google is the only way to ensure that you derive some consistency in the results. Search rankings earn the maximum attention because it directly relates to SEO performance but there is another aspect that you must track and monitor closely to take some action proactively that could prevent any impending downfall in rankings.
The indexing of content provides the foundation for determining search rankings. Unless the content undergoes indexing by Google, there is no possibility of your website featuring in Google’s search list. In simple words, if any page remains unnoticed by spiders, Google will not index it hence there is no question of considering it for ranking. To avoid any surprise later, an easier way to stem the decline in ranks is to keep track of indexed pages. The higher is the number of indexed pages; higher would be the chances of earning better ranks.
To know the number of indexed pages, you can check the overall indexation status of your website. In the Google Search Console, look for SML sitemap submissions status and use the site: operator. By comparing successive numbers, you can make out if indexed pages are gradually reducing in number. The decrease is a clear indication that your web pages have escaped Google’s notice, as spiders might not have crawled it.
It might also happen that Google has slapped a penalty on your website or have felt that your content is not at all relevant and have preferred to skip indexing. Although these observations might worry you, any SEO agency would tell you that there are ways to find out the real reasons and take corrective measures to set things right.
Page loading may be a problem
When you face problems in the loading of web pages, it could be that your domain has expired a few days back and you have not yet renewed it. Server disruption that results in long downtime is another reason that affects the page loading speed. If the pages do not have proper 200 HTTP Header Status, then you could face such problems. To resolve the problem, you can eliminate the possibilities one by one. To determine whether the proper page status is in place, you can use an HTTP Header status-checking tool for the average size of websites. For very large sites, you have to use some typical crawling tools like DeepCrawl, Xenu, Botify and Screaming Frog for testing it.
Have there been any recent changes to URLs?
It might happen that there have been some changes done to the server settings or backend programming or CMS that resulted in changes to the domain, subdomain or folder that might consequently affect the URL of the site, which also changes. While such things can happen, it is important to redirect the URLs properly, or else the spiders that are familiar with the old URL would lose track of the pages and leave it out from indexing. If this happens to many pages, you face heavy losses in indexing.Taking measures to implant 301 redirects to the old URL would resolve the problem as spiders would get the proper direction of reaching the new URLs.
Removing duplicate content
While it is important to identify and remove duplicate content, it entails the use of 301 redirects, canonical tags, disallows in robots.txt and no index Meta tags. The total of these actions is that you have to encounter with a decrease in indexed URLs. This is perhaps the only instance when the reduction of indexed pages does not harm your SEO prospects. On the contrary, it is good for SEO because Google hates duplicate content. However, you must be very sure that removal of duplicate content is the reason for the reduction in indexed pages.
Pages timed out
Your hosting service is often responsible for not displaying pages continuously because some servers have bandwidth restrictions related to cost that restricts some pages from showing. You may have to move over to a higher bandwidth by paying more. If hardware problems and memory issues are the cause, you have to rectify it. To avoid DDOS attacks some sites block IP addresses when viewers access too many pages at a time, and this could have a negative impact on indexing. Resetting the anti-DDOS software to allow Google bots crawl the pages would solve the problem.
Most importantly, you must ensure that the search engine bots view your sites just in the way others do.Use the fetch and render feature on Google’s Search Console that confirms it.