How to Check for Indexation Errors

Ilfusion Creative
5 min readApr 4, 2024


How to Check for Indexation Errors

Indexation errors can substantially impact the visibility and performance of your website.

These errors prevent search engines from correctly indexing your site, making it difficult for your target audience to find your content — and this is only one of the many negative effects it can have on your website.

What are Indexation Errors?

Indexation errors are issues that prevent search engine bots from crawling and indexing your website’s pages.

When a page is not indexed, it means that it does not appear in search engine results pages (SERPs), making it nearly impossible for users to find via organic searches.

There are several types of indexation errors, including but not limited to the following:

  • 404 errors: These occur when a page is requested but does not exist on the server, either because it has been deleted or moved without proper redirection. Search engine bots will continue to crawl these non-existent pages, wasting valuable crawl budget and potentially leading to indexing issues.
  • Soft 404 errors: Similar to 404 errors, soft 404 errors occur when a page is not found, but instead of returning a 404 status code, the server returns a 200 OK status code. This can happen due to misconfigured redirects or server errors, leading to search engine bots thinking that the page exists and should be indexed.
  • Duplicate content: When multiple pages on your website have similar or identical content, search engines may struggle to determine which page is the most relevant. This can result in only one version of the content being indexed or none at all.
  • Crawl errors: These occur when search engine bots encounter issues while crawling your website, such as broken links, server errors, or other technical problems. These errors can prevent pages from being properly crawled and indexed.

How Do Indexation Errors Affect SEO?

Indexation errors can have a significant impact on your website’s search engine rankings and overall SEO.

  • Reduced Visibility: When your pages are not indexed, they won’t appear in SERPs, drastically reducing your website’s visibility to potential visitors.
  • Decreased Traffic: With reduced visibility comes decreased organic traffic. Fewer people will be able to find your website through search engines when your pages are not properly indexed.
  • Lowered SEO Rankings: Search engines rank websites based on a variety of factors such as relevance, usability, and content quality. Indexation errors can negatively impact these factors, leading to lower SEO rankings.
  • Poor User Experience: Pages that return errors, display duplicate content, or load slowly due to crawl errors can lead to a poor user experience, which can damage your brand’s reputation.
  • Lost Revenue: If your website relies on organic traffic for sales or ad revenue, indexation errors can directly affect your bottom line by preventing potential customers from finding your site.

4 Ways to Check for Indexation Errors

It’s critical to regularly check for these errors and rectify them promptly to maintain the health of your site. Here, we will walk through several effective methods to identify and address indexation errors:

1. Use Google Search Console

Google Search Console offers a comprehensive suite of tools for website owners to monitor and resolve indexation issues.

When using Google Search Console for indexation checks, pay close attention to the following:

  • Coverage Report: This report provides detailed information about the indexing status of your web pages. It can tell you which pages are successfully indexed, which ones are excluded, and the reasons behind their exclusion.
  • URL Inspection Tool: This tool allows you to fetch and render your page as Google sees it. It is useful for identifying individual URLs that are not indexed. You can also use it to request indexing for a URL after resolving any issues.
  • Sitemaps: Sitemaps inform Google about pages on your site. The Sitemaps report can show if there are any issues with your sitemap that might affect indexing, such as format errors or unreachable URLs.
  • Crawl Stats Report: This report provides information on Google’s recent crawling history on your website. If Google is having trouble accessing your site, it could lead to indexation issues.

2. Perform a Site Search on Google

A simple yet effective method to check if your pages are indexed is to perform a site search on Google.

Simply type “” into the search bar and check the results. The number of results returned should ideally match the number of pages you expect to have indexed from your website. If the numbers aren’t aligning, it suggests indexation issues.

To delve deeper, you can further refine your site search by adding specific page URLs or keywords. For instance, “” will display only the indexed blog pages from your website.

You could also use keywords relevant to your website’s content, such as “ your keyword.” This will allow you to check if specific pages related to that keyword are being indexed.

3. Use a Site Crawler Tool

Tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider can crawl your website similarly to how search engine bots do.

A site crawler tool offers an extensive analysis of your website, but certain areas deserve special attention when investigating indexation errors:

  • HTTP Status Codes: Pay close attention to HTTP status codes. A 200 status code signifies a page is functioning correctly, while 4xx and 5xx codes indicate problems. Specifically, 404 errors mean a page was not found, suggesting a broken link which can hamper indexation.
  • Meta Robots Tag and Robots.txt File: Ensure these are configured correctly. If a page is accidentally blocked by these files, search engines will not be able to crawl and index the page. You should verify that no important pages are marked as “noindex” or blocked in the robots.txt file.
  • Canonical URLs: Check that canonical URLs are utilized properly. Misuse can cause search engines to index the wrong version of a page, or fail to index a page at all.
  • Duplicate Content: Duplicate content can confuse search engines and lead to indexation issues. Ensure each page on your site has unique content and meta tags.
  • Website Architecture: A clear, logical website architecture is crucial. Pages that are deeply buried or not linked to other pages may be ignored by search engines.

4. Check Your Robots.txt File

It’s important to make sure your robots.txt file is not accidentally blocking search engines from indexing your pages. You can use Google’s Robots Testing Tool to verify this:

  • Select Your Property: On the initial screen of the tool, select the property (website) you wish to check from the drop-down menu.
  • Input or Upload the Robots.txt File: Next, either paste the contents of your robots.txt file into the input box or upload the file directly if it’s available.
  • Run the Test: Click on the “Test” button. The tool will then check your file and highlight any problematic lines that could be blocking Googlebot.
  • Examine the Results: Pay close attention to the results. Each line representing a blockage will be marked as an error. Review these lines in the context of your site to determine if they are mistakenly blocking essential content.
  • Make Corrections: Based on the evaluation, correct any erroneous disallow directives in your actual robots.txt file, then return to the tool and “Test” again until all issues are resolved.

Wrapping It Up

Identifying indexation errors is the first step toward improving your website’s SEO performance. Once you’ve identified the issues, you can take the necessary steps to resolve them and boost your site’s visibility in search engine results.

For more SEO tips, check out our blog at



Ilfusion Creative

Ilfusion Inc. is a full-service creative agency located in Fort Worth, TX with talents in web, design, video, social media and marketing consultation.