Getting indexed by Google is easy. Harder is figuring out which blog posts are NOT indexed by Google, so you can tweak and tweet them. Here are five steps to finding posts Google hasn’t indexed, and helping Google do her job.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): An Hour a Day by Jennifer Grappone andGradiva Couzin is an excellent resource for bloggers and webmasters. I love how it’s laid out into daily and weekly tasks! It’s well-organized and easy to understand, and readers can jump to the week that is most relevant to their blog or website.
Reasons to know which posts are not indexed by Google:
- To retrieve valuable content – it takes me at least an hour to write and post an article on my blog. I want to capitalize on my previous posts!
- To share important information with others – information I didn’t know was banned to readers because the post wasn’t indexed by Google (bad doggy)
- To edit my past work – this is an especially important tip for bloggers who are also writers, because editing your writing is the best way to improve
- To increase traffic to my blog
- To increase my potential to make money blogging because my primary source of income is my blogs
If you have dozens or hundreds or thousands of blog posts, you don’t want to lose 10% or more of them to never never land! You want to gather those lost little ducklings and figure out if you should sacrifice them to the god of bad blogging, or rewrite and repost them on your blog.
Why was it so difficult to learn which blog posts aren’t indexed by Google? Google Webmaster tells me how my indexed blog posts are doing in terms of traffic, bounce rate, etc, but says nothing about my non-indexed posts.
I’ve often wondered which posts weren’t indexed, but I didn’t do more than occasionally do an internet search for “how to find what blogs posts aren’t indexed by Google.” I never found the answer, which surprised me. This is something I thought professional bloggers would be all over! I didn’t find the answers in blogging or SEO books, either – not even the search engine optimization book I recommended at the top of this article. If a blogger, webmaster, or programmer has written about finding blog posts not indexed by the Google search engine, I cannot find the article.
5 Steps to Finding Blog Posts Not Indexed by Google
Go to Google Webmaster Tools and download your full list of blog posts. These posts have been indexed by Google. Click the “Download this table” button in CSV format. When you open it, it should automatically give you an Excel spreadsheet of your blog posts and other information. Delete all the extraneous information – you only need the list of links (your indexed blog posts).
Google Webmaster tells me I have 499 pages published on Quips and Tips for Successful Writers. This does not mean I have 499 blog posts; this list includes category and tag pages. When I subtract my category and tag pages from my list of blog posts, I have 400 blog posts that are indexed by Google. My question is: how do I know what posts aren’t indexed?
Go back to the internet, and find your list of published blog posts via your xml sitemap. Here on Quips and Tips for Successful Writers, I have the Yoast SEO plugin installed. It’s easy to find the xml sitemap with Yoast. Under the SEO dashboard, I click on the XML Sitemap button, and voila! A list of links to the different sitemaps on Quips and Tips for Successful Writers. I click on post-sitemap.xml, and the sitemap opens in a different page. The xml sitemap gives you a list of all the blog posts you published – but it doesn’t tell you which posts have or have not been indexed by Google.
My Quips and Tips for Successful Writers xml sitemap proudly displays 477 urls. This means I have 477 blog posts published on this website. Google has indexed 400 blog posts, which means 77 have become untethered and are floating around in space. Why do I want to know what blog posts are not indexed by Google? So I can go save them, of course!
Copy and paste your xml sitemap list to the same excel spreadsheet that lists your indexed blog posts. I paste my published posts at the end of Google’s indexed posts.
Run a simple Excel spreadsheet formula. Go to Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules >Duplicate Values and click OK (if you’re okay with the results displayed in red).
Look for the non-red, unhighlighted links. The red links are duplicate blog posts, which means they are indexed by Google. Those blog posts are on both the Google Webmaster list of indexed posts and your blog’s sitemap of published posts. The blue links on a white background are the blog posts not indexed by Google’s search engine. Yay! Now you can save your babies, tether your free floating money makers, bring everyone home to mama.
I hope this helps you learn how to know which blog posts are not indexed by Google. The first time you do this, you have to focus and use your brains. You may have to sleep on it – I did!
Your thoughts on finding non-indexed blog posts are welcome below. I can’t promise I can answer your questions, though. I’m just a humble writer and blogger, not a webmaster. xo