My Shopify pages aren’t indexed. What should I do?
You know the story – you have finally launched your store, wrote a few great articles and suddenly you find out that Google hasn’t indexed some of your (product) pages nor articles. What should you do in this case? I’ve put together a few steps to follow to get your pages finally indexed. Keep reading!
1. Head over to the Google Search Console.
I assume you have already done this step but for those who haven’t, let’s repeat the steps you should do.
Note: If you haven’t added your property to the Google Search Console yet , please do so, otherwise you won’t be able to check the URLs.
To find out whether the specific URL is indexed or not, inspect any URL in the search bar on the top (or in the left menu click “URL inspection”. Press enter and the page status value will show up.
You can see different status values:
- Valid: Congratulations! The page is indexed.
- Excluded: The page is not indexed and Google assumes that it was your intention to disallow indexing the page. You might have excluded the page in your robots.txt file, putting a code for not indexing the page or the page might be a duplicate of a canonical page that Google have already indexed on your site.
- Warning: The page is indexed but there are some issues you should definitely check.
- Error: The page isn’t indexed. Click the error types to see what the problem is.
—> According to the type of the status value, follow the instructions on Google. If not sure what to do, feel free to contact me.
2. Request indexing new pages or changed content
If you have a completely new content (new store/products/pages/articles), or have changed the content, inspect the URL of the specific page and hit the button “request indexing”.
It might have happened (and there’s a high chance) that Google hasn’t indexed the pages yet.
Please, be patient. Crawling can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Don’t request recrawling multiple times. This won’t help. You just need to wait.
3. Submit your site’s sitemap to GSC.
A site map is basically a map of links of your site. Shopify generates the sitemap automatically and you can see your site’s map under this url:
your domain/sitemap.xml (e.g. www.myawesomestore.com/sitemap.xml)
Adding sitemap to GSC is recommended for larger sites, however, I also recommend doing it even if you have a small store (especially, if it’s a newly created one). If by any reasons, your sitemap isn’t generated, I recommend using Screaming Frog App to get the sitemap.
4. Check your robots.txt file.
The robots.txt file tells the search engines robots what pages on your site to crawl. Shopify creates this file for your and it’s optimal for your store’s SEO.
However, it might have happened that there are some pages excluded from indexing in your robots.txt file (maybe you or your colleagues have played a bit with this file).
Important note! Making any changes to this file might be critical for your site’s traffic! If not written correctly, you might lose all traffic to your site. See a basic robots.txt file below:
5. Inspect the code of the non-indexed page.
I assume this won’t be the problem you would encounter in your Shopify store. However, I would rather check it as well. Go to the head section of the specific page and make sure that there isn’t this code included:
<meta name="robots" content="no index">
This piece of code won’t allow Google to index the specific page and hence this will be the reason why your page isn’t being indexed (similarly to excluding the page in the robots.txt file).
6. Does your page work without any issues?
- Make sure that you page works on desktop as well as on mobile phones.
- Last but not least, check the status of your page – is it 200 or is there any status error?
7. What content is on the page?
Google doesn’t like duplicate content. Make sure you aren’t indexing a page with duplicate content.
Plus, check whether you aren’t using any “grey techniques” such as keyword stuffing, hidden text, spammy structured data, copied images, spammy links, etc.
Well, these are the most common issues why your pages on Shopify aren’t indexed. Go through the steps, do any needed changes and try inspecting the URL again. If you still encounter any issues (errors, warnings, or else), feel free to contact me. I’ll be happy to help you!
Interested in other SEO Shopify questions? Keep reading my other blog posts about titles, meta descriptions or alt tags!