Does your online store have all of it’s pages indexed in Google? How do you find out?
I have been looking for an while at Google’s indexing of one of my online stores, www.tacklemania.com.au. We have over 2,000 SKUs, and a few more pages that we have created for some simple SEO efforts, but only about 1,100 pages are in Google index.
This means we won’t be attracting the traffic that we should, as customers may be searching for some of our products in Google, and our product pages won’t even exist in the index!
How do you fix this? There are some easy solutions that can make a big difference…
The solution is effectively to make all of your content ‘visible’ to Googlebot and other search engine crawlers.
In the case of our store (a ChannelAdvisor store) there are lots of characters in URLs that spiders don’t like, including ‘&’, ‘?’ etc. This signals to search engine spiders that the page may be dynamic, and often subsequent pages are crawled at all, or ranked very low.
Check your site status in Google
First, you should check your site’s indexed status in Google.
At the Google search prompt, type “site:www.mysitename.com”. This will show you how many pages from that domain Google has in it’s index. Keep in mind this is an approximation, and may change slightly each time you run it but it should be a good indicator.
If it says you have 100 pages in the index, but your store has 500 products, you know you have some work to do!
Make a sitemap
A sitemap can help a search engine, or a user, find content they are looking for on your website.
Google has a webmaster section here : http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools where you can, as a website owner, submit a XML sitemap to Google which Google is supposed to use to help index your site.
To create a sitemap there are some free tools on the net. The one I tried is a web app here : http://www.auditmypc.com/free-sitemap-generator.asp.
I generated a sitemap of my store, and exported is as a HTML file. I uploaded this HTML file and linked to it from my home page. As my online store is externally hosted, I don’t have access to ‘claim’ the site as my own using Google’s webmaster tools (and therefore submit an XML sitemap) so this HTML fileis the next best solution.
What I hope now is that Googlebot will see this new HTML page, and visit all of the URLs, ensuring all of my product pages are indexed.
Why don’t you check your site today, and see if you can be indexed a little better?