You’ve just created a beautiful new page for your website and after doing a mini victory dance, you search for the page name and your firm name in Google to see it appear in the search feed….but it’s not there! While there, you see a bunch of old webpage links that shouldn’t be there as you removed them from your site or changed the page names last week!
It’s unlikely that your updated or new page links will display straight away and in fact, this can sometimes take between a few days and a few months to display.
Google looks at a number of factors when indexing new content.
1. Newer websites may take longer to index because they don’t have many inbound links (a link pointing from another website to your own website). These are great links to have!
How do you get these you ask?
Create high-quality content that people will want to share and link to. Have a look at our blog on why quality content is so important.
2. Google also looks at things like site authority. This shows how your site ranks in terms of:
- Inbound links pointing to your site
- The authority of the sites linking to your site (are they a local or international company, a well-known name or a new business?)
- Your website traffic (how much traffic is it generating?)
- Quality content (is your content helpful and relevant to its readers?)
Is there anything I can do to speed the indexing process up?
Absolutely! Besides improving your site authority, you can give the following a try:
1. If you haven’t already got one, create a Google Console account by going here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/
Google Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service offered by Google that allows you to check the indexing status of your website. It also enables you to optimise your website visibility where possible so that it’s easier to find online.
2. Once you’ve registered, point Google to your sitemap.xml URL (a sitemap is a list of all the pages on your website. It’s super handy as it’s also able to tell search engines when new pages have been added to your site).
3. Request Google to recrawl your site URLs
Once you have sent the request to Google by following the steps above, your new page will be indexed within 24 hours. If you are needing some more help with indexing, check out our website maintenance packages or chat to the PF team who are always happy to assist.
Not seeing changes you made to a specific page on your site?
This has nothing to do with Google. This is due to a tricky thing called cache.
Cache is hardware or software component that stores website data (like page content and imagery on your site) so that the next time you visit the page, it’s able to load much faster. This speeds up your site overall and therefore boosts the performance of your site and your ranking on Google. Your website users will be able to browse through your web pages quickly which means your average ‘time on site’ will also increase, again boosting your Google ranking.
Sounds like a good thing, right?
Most of the time, this is a good thing. But, sometimes, this means that you don’t always see the latest version of the page on your site (especially if you visit the page often and have recently made changes to the page). Sometimes, the page you see is an earlier version of the same page.
How do I fix this so I can see the most recent version of the page?
Depending on your browser of choice, you just need to clear your cache by following the instructions for that browser below:
- Close the tab of the site that you are looking at
- Clear your browsing history by going to chrome://history/
- Click ‘Clear Browser Data’.
- You can select which sites to clear browser history for and you can select which dates to clear browsing history from.
- Go to Settings
- Scroll to ‘Clear Browsing Data’ and click ‘Choose what to clear’
- Select ‘Browsing history’, ‘Cookies and saved website data’, ‘Cached data and files’ and any others that are relevant to what you are looking at.
*Toptip: You can push Ctrl and ‘h’ as a shortcut to the browser history page for Chrome and Microsoft Edge
- Select the Favorites button (look for the little star!)
- Right click on the day/week/item you want to delete and select delete
- Click the History tab in the top menu
- Select ‘Clear History and Website Data’
- Choose the time range that you want to delete (or select all)
- Click ‘Clear History’
- Click the Library button, click ‘History’ and then click ‘Clear Recent History’
- Select how much history you want to clear by clicking the dropdown menu next to ‘Time Range’
- Click the ‘Clear Now’ button
Still having trouble seeing your most recent page changes?
If your website is built on WordPress, you can clear the cache of your website by following these steps:
- Login to the backend of your WordPress site using the Administrator login details (these allow you to access all the functionalities of your WordPress dashboard)
- Click on ‘Settings’ and select ‘WP Super Cache’
- Click the ‘Delete Cache’ button which you’ll find under ‘Delete Cached Pages’.
Too many types of cache for you to keep track of? Browser Cache is related to the browser only (e.g. Google, Internet Explorer, Safari etc.) and acts as the temporary storage of web pages. This type of cache is stored on the users computer or device. Website cache is related to your website only and is used to be able to increase the speed of your website by showing your users a temporary stored version of the page. This type of cache is stored on your website.
If your website is hosted on WordPress Engine, there is also a ‘clear all cache’ option available (on the hosting platform) which you can try. If your site is hosted elsewhere, like godaddy or 123reg we recommend you speak to them for options.
On a side note, if you are interested in installing a great Caching Plugin to help speed up your site, our Web Guru raves about WP Rocket! It’s a premium plugin, easy to use and great for WordPress beginners. WordPress experts have rated it as ‘the most powerful caching plugin’ and promise that there is no coding needed.
If you’ve had an issue with Google indexing or cache, I hope you are able to use some of these tips to sort it out so that all your prospects and clients are able to see your beautiful new pages and quality content! If you are still stuck, let us know and we’ll see how we can help.