Most Common Google Indexation Issues For SaaS Websites and How to Fix Them
Published on November 6th, 2023
13 min read
Published on November 6th, 2023
13 min read
Indexing web pages on Google is organizing and storing them in Google’s database to ensure they appear in search results. This is especially important for SaaS companies as it directly affects their visibility and ability to connect with customers.
This article will explore why effective indexing is crucial for SaaS businesses and discuss strategies to overcome its associated challenges.
For SaaS companies, having an online presence is essential. Google indexing plays a role in achieving this by allowing businesses to reach an audience and drive conversions. It serves as the foundation of their storefront, enabling them to be discovered by clients. Without indexing your SaaS website, you risk losing a lot of organic traffic and a competitive edge in the digital landscape.
However, despite its importance, SaaS websites often face obstacles regarding indexing. These challenges can range from issues to suboptimal site structures. It is crucial for these companies to address these challenges head-on to maximize their visibility on search engines.
In the following sections, we will delve into the indexing issues faced by SaaS websites and provide practical solutions that ensure their offerings are prominently featured in search results, making them easily accessible to their target audience.
Identifying indexing issues is the first step in ensuring your SaaS website is visible on SERPs. Google Search Console (GSC) is your go-to tool for uncovering and rectifying indexing woes. Here’s where you need to look:
Go to GSC and navigate to the ‘Pages’ section under ‘Indexing.’ This report provides a comprehensive view of how Google is indexing your pages. Look for errors like “Submitted URL seems to be a soft 404” or “Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt.” These indicate indexing problems.
Use the URL Inspection tool to check the indexation status of specific pages. It provides detailed information on how Google views that particular URL. If a page is not indexed, the tool will provide insights into why.
Head over to the ‘Sitemaps’ section in GSC. Ensure that your sitemap is correctly submitted and that there are no errors. If there are issues with the sitemap, it could lead to indexing problems.
The ‘Robots.txt Tester’ in GSC allows you to check if any important pages are being blocked from indexing by your robots.txt file. Ensure that critical pages are accessible to search engines.
Use the ‘Fetch as Google’ tool to see how Google renders specific pages on your website. This can help identify any rendering issues that may affect indexing.
Remember, addressing these indexing issues promptly can significantly improve your SaaS website’s visibility and performance on Google. Keep a close eye on these indicators and utilize the powerful tools in Google Search Console to stay on top of your indexing game.
Let’s understand a few common crawling issues that can impede your SaaS website’s indexation process. We’ll discuss what each issue entails and offer practical solutions to get you back on track.
This resembles hanging a ‘No Entry’ sign for Google’s web crawlers. When your robots.txt file blocks your pages or has no index tag, it won’t reach Google’s index. This means your valuable content remains hidden from potential users.
Picture sending someone on an endless loop – frustrating, right? That’s what happens when Googlebot encounters redirect loops. It keeps getting redirected from one page to another in an infinite cycle, preventing proper indexation.
Even Google has limits! If your site has many pages, Google allocates a certain budget for crawling. If you exceed this budget, some pages might not get crawled, leading to potential indexation issues.
A prevalent problem for multi-language and/or e-commerce websites with numerous pages featuring identical or closely related content for distinct purposes is the occurrence of duplicates without user-selected canonicals. To rectify this, it’s advisable to designate one page as the canonical version, mitigating potential duplicate content complications.
This situation is quite intriguing. You may have specified a particular page as canonical, but Google may independently select a different version for indexing.
It’s important to understand the canonical tag serves as a directive to search engines, indicating which version of a page should be considered the primary, authoritative source. As a website owner or administrator, you may have diligently designated a specific page as canonical, believing it to be the most accurate representation.
However, Google, with its sophisticated algorithms, occasionally makes independent assessments. It might analyze various factors, such as content similarity, user signals, and metadata, and arrive at a different conclusion regarding which version should be prioritized for indexing.
Encountering a ‘Not Found’ error (404) or stumbling upon a broken URL is a prevalent issue in the realm of indexing. There can be various reasons behind a page bearing a 404 status code. This includes instances where a URL was deleted but not removed from the sitemap or when a URL was initially written incorrectly, among others.
According to Google, 404 errors do not inherently harm your site’s performance unless these URLs were explicitly submitted for indexing.
If you find 404 URLs in your indexing reports, there are several potential courses of action to rectify them if they were not intended to occur.
Soft 404 issues arise when a page returns a 200 OK response code, yet Google cannot locate its content and interprets it as a 404 error. These occurrences can stem from various factors, some of which may be beyond your control, such as browser-related errors. Here are additional reasons:
Resolving these issues is generally straightforward. Here are some common scenarios.
Server errors can occur for various reasons, including server crashes, timeouts, or unavailability when Googlebot attempts to access the site.
The initial step is to examine the affected URL to address this issue. Utilize the Inspect URL tool in Google Search Console (GSC) to verify if it still displays an error. If it functions correctly, your best action is to request a re-indexing.
If the error persists, consider the following options based on the nature of the error:
This issue arises when Google discovers a page but chooses not to index it. It can occur due to factors related to the crawl budget or issues with page content quality.
In this scenario, Google has crawled the page but hasn’t indexed it, often due to concerns about the quality or relevance of the content.
A missing sitemap can hinder Google’s ability to crawl and index your site effectively. It serves as a roadmap for search engines to discover and understand the structure of your website. To rectify this:
By addressing these issues, you’ll improve the chances of your pages being properly indexed, ultimately enhancing your site’s visibility in search results.
In exploring indexation challenges for SaaS websites, we’ve uncovered critical insights into ensuring optimal online visibility. Each facet plays a pivotal role in enhancing search engine performance, from resolving common crawl issues to addressing duplicate content.
Taking proactive steps to resolve these indexation hurdles is not just a matter of optimization but a strategic move toward securing a prominent position in the digital landscape. It’s the key to attracting organic traffic, engaging potential customers, and, ultimately, driving business growth. Feel free to reach out to our team of experts if you need assistance solving your indexation issues.
Shivam Kumar is an SEO Strategist with over six years of hands-on experience in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing. Throughout his career, he has consistently demonstrated his prowess in optimizing SaaS websites and delivering tangible results for multiple enterprises.
With a passion for precision and a keen eye for emerging trends, Shivam excels in crafting tailored SEO strategies that not only bolster online visibility but also drive substantial revenue growth for numerous E-commerce businesses.