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As a follow up to our FAQ on Why doesn’t the title and description I set appear in search results?, this article describes how you can check your index status in Google search results.
Why do you need to check your index status?
The answer is that you spend time optimizing your site for search engines and you want to know when those changes are reflected in search results.
For example, you change an SEO description for a page to comply with Google’s Quality Guidelines, but when you check Google search results, the change is not reflected.
This is because search engines don’t have to update their index for your site every time you make a change. It could take days, weeks or even in some cases, months for search engines to update their index to reflect a change you made which can be very frustrating.
How do you check what Google has in their index for your site?
- Head over to Google.com and enter site:domain.com (replace domain.com with your domain name). So for example, to check our site, we’d type into Google search “site:aioseo.com”
- Next click on the “Tools” tab under the search bar
- Now click on the “Any time” dropdown and select a period to narrow down changes they’ve indexed in the past week or month
- You will now see the familiar search results but limited to just your site for the period you specified. You can now check things such as have they updated their index for that page you updated the SEO description on, or are any of my SEO titles or descriptions too long and being cut off.
Using the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console
You can also use the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console to check whether a URL has been indexed or not.
To do this, log in to Google Search Console and click on URL inspection in the side menu.
Next, type the URL you want to check in the highlighted search field at the top of the screen.
If your URL is not in Google’s index you’ll see this stated in the results. There’s a Request Indexing link in the bottom right corner which you can click on and this will trigger a request to Google to crawl and index that URL.
There’s also a Test Live URL button in the top right corner you can click. Google will the test that URL on your site to see if it can crawl and index it.
If the live test comes back that Google can crawl your page, then you can click on the Request Indexing link to request Google indexes that URL.
Remember that you can’t make search engines index your content when you publish or modify it. You can only influence them to index your site more frequently. The more regularly you post content, the more regularly Google will update their index.
Make sure you submit your XML Sitemap to Google via Google Search Console.