Indexability refers to the ability of a webpage to be crawled and indexed by search engines. When a page is indexable, search engines can read the content of that page, store it in their databases (often referred to as an “index”), and potentially display it in the search results when a relevant query is made.
If a page is not indexable, it means that search engines will not include it in their search results, regardless of its content. Here is a deeper dive into the concept of indexability and its importance in SEO:
Website owners can control the indexability of their web pages through several means. One common way is using a
robots.txt file, which can instruct search engine bots which pages they should not crawl. Another method is using a
noindex meta tag in the HTML of a page, which tells search engines not to index that page.
Indexability is crucial for SEO because only the pages that search engines can index can appear in search results. Therefore, ensuring that important pages are indexable is a fundamental aspect of SEO. On the other hand, there might be pages (like private or duplicate content) that you intentionally want to exclude from search engine indices to prevent issues like same content penalties.
“Crawl budget” refers to the number of pages a search engine will crawl on your site within a given timeframe. Ensuring that only essential and relevant pages are indexable helps optimize the use of your site’s crawl budget. This means that search engine bots spend their time crawling and indexing the important, valuable parts of your site rather than wasting time on irrelevant or duplicate pages.
Indexability is indirectly related to the user experience. By allowing only high-quality, valuable pages to be indexed and preventing low-quality or duplicate content from being indexed, you’re ensuring that users are more likely to find valuable and relevant content when they search for topics related to your website.
Checking indexability is a common step in a technical SEO audit. It helps identify pages that are unintentionally blocked from indexing and pages that should be blocked to improve the site’s quality in the eyes of search engines.
In summary, indexability is a fundamental concept in SEO that plays a critical role in determining which pages of a website will appear in search engine results. Properly managing the indexability of your pages allows you to guide search engines toward the content that you want to be displayed and away from content that is not valuable or intended for public consumption.