Decoding SEO: Why Your Website Might Not Be Indexed by Google
Amid a recent Google Q & A session, John Mueller, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, helped shed some light on why a website might have trouble becoming indexed in search engines. The culprit turned out to be a widely overlooked technical SEO element related to domains and subdomains.
A website developed using Core MVC framework and published on the HTTPS secure protocol encountered difficulties being indexed. The web development framework and the HTTPS configuration were initially suspected to interrupt the search engine indexing process.
Discovering the Indexing Hiccup
The person running into the problem stated:
“I built a new site on Core MVC and moved it to HTTPS, and I have problems with indexing the new pages.”
Upon review, John Mueller concluded that neither the MVC framework or HTTPS were attributing to the indexing problem. The website, it came to light, was indexed without the ‘www’ subdomain. As a result, explicitly searching the www-version of the site yielded limited results.
“…I took a look at your site and how it’s indexed. It seems your site is indexed without the www subdomain, so if you explicitly look for the www version of your site, you won’t find much. However, if you search the domain alone, such as site:domain.com, you’ll find it indexed.”
Look Beyond the Apparent
When resolving an SEO issue, it’s crucial not to overlook potential solutions due to seemingly-obvious causes. In this case, it turned out that the issue was not the site failing to be indexed but rather the ‘www’ version of the site not appearing in indexes.
The ‘www’ in Domains: A Forgotten Subdomain
This incidence serves as a reminder that the ‘www’ version of a website is actually a subdomain of the non-www version, a technical detail often forgotten in search engine optimization. This detail can be found from John Mueller’s Google Office Hours, specifically at the 2:51-minute mark of the recording.
Critical Note: Why Isn’t My Site Getting Indexed?
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