SEOs and webmasters often understandably assume that the pages Google does not index have potential quality issues; if there is a page of your website which is notable in the SERP listings by its absence, surely there must be something wrong with it, right?
Logic would suggest this is the case, but Google’s John Mueller has gone on record to say it is not. Specifically, Mr Mueller said that if there are any pages on your website that do not appear in the rankings, it is to do with site-wide issues, not issues with that specific page in its own right.
“When it comes to overall site quality, it’s not the quality of the missing pages from indexing, it’s the whole site,” he said in a recent Twitter post.
Roughly translated, this means that if there are parts of your site that are not being indexed by Google, there may not be anything wrong with those particular pages themselves. One of the most common approaches to SEO is to select pages that may not be performing as well and work on improving them.
What Mr Mueller is saying is that one of the most obvious indicators of poor page quality could actually be nothing of the sort. When pages do not appear in the rankings, it is to do with the quality of your entire site as a combined entity.
Here is Mueller’s Tweet in full:
“When it comes to overall site quality, it’s not the quality of the missing pages from indexing, it’s the whole site. For what it’s worth, you don’t have to convince us, we don’t turn any dials, and we’re just giving you advice. If you prefer to spend the time here, that’s up to you.”
Of course, exactly what qualifies as ‘quality’ in terms of web content is completely subjective. Something that continues to see criticism thrown Google’s way, having realised they have diametrically opposed views on what quality really means.