Discovered but not indexed

Discovered but not indexed… what is going on?

Recently a message has been appearing on some Google Search Console Dashboards that says “Discovered – but not Indexed”. This has been a message that many web owners have been running into and they have been puzzled into why is happening and many people were led to believe that this was a bug in the Google Search Console.



Is your site discovered but not indexed?


When this started happening, a lot of people rushed to social media in a community effort to discover what was going on. While many people were commenting on the issue, Google’s Search Marketing Expert Dan Shure shed some light about the issue, explaining why an article could have been discovered by the crawler but have not been indexed.

He showed an example of a client site. On that site, there were two articles posted in recent days, and they were appearing on Google Search Console as discovered but not indexed. After a request for a recrawl, the result was the same: discovered but not indexed. 


Theory: Issues with the URL. 


Dan Shure suggested that maybe there was an issue with the URL since it was being discovered but not indexed, so he copied the content to a new URL. He did this with only one post, the other was left on the previous URL as a control.

The results were impressive. The post that had the new URL, indexed in just a few hours after being submitted. The control one was still not indexed after all this time. So, the decision was made to move the control one to a new URL. There is an explanation for this: Google uses the URL as some sort of ID so maybe the URL was having issues. 

At this point, John Muller also from Google dropped to comment this kind of stuff can happen when certain factors are preventing the content to be indexed, one of those factors was the overall site quality. When Google says discovered but not indexed, Google might be telling you: “You need to convince me a bit more than your content deserves to be indexed.”

So basically, he said that your content needs to be awesome to be always indexed. 


What makes content awesome?


Being awesome is something that sounds vague, so what is being awesome?

Well just to put it easy, it could be as simple as distinguishing yourself from the crowd. Don´t do anything that others are doing, follow your heart and do what you think it´s the best. An idea on how to tackle this is… Imagine you are new to the subject… how could you be impressed when you get in front of the topic? That thing you are thinking now is what makes you awesome. 


Stop copying the competition. 


Those times were copying the competition was the main thing to do have been left behind. Businesses used to be watching their competition all the time, checking the words they used, and battling to the death for the same keywords until there was only one.

That used to work, but now that just leads to re-written content that is read over and over again in different pages… hence, you might be discovered, but not indexed. 

To be indexed, stop rewriting content, and focus on being unique!

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