Why Are My Site Indexed Pages Being Dropped from Search?

Why Are My Site Indexed Pages Being Dropped from Search

Google’s algorithm crawls your website and keeps these pages in their index so they can show up in search results for specific queries. You can check the Google Search Console (GSC) to see how many of your pages are in their index.

If you keep adding new content and keeping a valid sitemap, this number should keep rising. Unless, of course, if you intentionally delete some pages. However, if this number declines suddenly or over time, then you might have a problem.

Why does this happen?

Google deletes pages from its index for various reasons. This is why you need a good google SEO strategy.  

Sometimes, pages can just disappear because of their age or lack of visitors.   In some other cases, however, Google deindexes pages because of unnatural backlinks or spam.

When a page is removed from the index, it will no longer show up in Google search results. The fewer indexed pages you have, the less probable it is that you will rank for specific keywords.  

Has your traffic declined?

When you lose organic traffic, you have to tackle this issue as soon as possible. Every website traffic fluctuates, but if this becomes a trend, it can be alarming.

Are your pages loading properly?

You need to have the proper 200 HTTP Header Status.   Did the server experience frequent or prolonged downtime?   Did the domain expire recently, and you renewed it late?  

Did you lose links?

A quality link profile is the key to a great website. You just can’t have a strong internet presence unless you have a lot of healthy links leading back to your site.   But what if they start disappearing?   When this happens, you may lose your ranking, revenue, and traffic.   This is why you need a quality SEO services agency implementing your SEO plan.

Did you change your URL?

Sometimes the change in the URLs can occur due to a change in CMS, backend programming, or server setting that results   in changing a domain, subdomain, or folder.

Google can remember the old URLs, but if they don’t redirect, your pages can get de-indexed.  

Did you try to fix duplicate content?

Duplicate content is when your content is shown on multiple on – or off-site locations. It can hurt your rankings, and you might even face algorithmic penalization.  

Fixing duplicate content often includes canonical tags, 301 redirects, noindex meta tags, or disallowed robots.txt.  

Are the pages timing out?

Some servers have bandwidth restrictions because a higher bandwidth comes with a cost, and the site may need to be upgraded.   Sometimes, the issue is hardware, and it can be resolved by upgrading your hardware processing or memory.   Some sites block IP addresses when they access too many pages.   This is a way to avoid DDOS hacking attempts, but it can hurt your site indexing.  

Do Google bots see your site differently?

Sometimes developers build sites without having a Google SEO strategy in mind, or a preferred CMS will be used without it being search engine friendly.   Sometimes, an SEO services agency might have tried to do content cloaking to try to “play” the search engines.   Other times, the website can be tampered by hackers.

The point of this is to see if Google can crawl and index your pages, not as a key performance indicator (KPI), which measures the success of your search engine optimization services agency.

If you want the best search engine optimization services, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to discuss your marketing strategy and help in any way I can.

Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 25 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.