The “Crawled — currently not indexed” status may describe some URLs in your Google Search Console. It means that Googlebot visited those pages, yet they aren’t present in the Google Index. The possible reasons for this problem are low quality, duplicate content, and poor website architecture.
Let’s get to the bottom of the problem and navigate what you can do to troubleshoot it.
How to fix Crawled ‒ currently not indexed issue
Provide high-quality content
As a website owner, you should ensure your page provides high-quality content. Check if it’s likely to satisfy your users’ intent and add good quality content if needed. Google offers a list of questions to help you determine the value of your content.
Additionally, you can use tips on quality content from Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines. Even though the document is meant mainly for Search Quality Raters to assess the quality of a website, webmasters can use it to get some insights on how to improve their sites. If you want to learn more, check out our article on the Quality Rater Guidelines.
Another aspect to focus on is optimizing the user-generated content on your website.
For example, let’s assume you have a forum, and someone asks a question. Even though there might be many valuable replies in the future, at the time of crawling, there were none so Google may classify the page as low-quality content.
What should you do to protect yourself from this situation? Read my article to find out what Quora’s strategy was to solve this problem.
Remember that Google can’t index all of the pages on the Internet. Its storage space is limited, so it needs to filter out the low-quality content.
Google’s goal is to provide the highest quality pages that best answer users’ intent. If a page is of lower quality, Google will most likely ignore it to leave the storage space available for higher quality content. And we can expect the quality standards to get only stricter in the future.
Monitor your index coverage
A URL can suffer from the Crawled — currently not indexed status because it was indexed in the past, but Google decided to deindex it over time.
If you wonder why, it likely is:
- Replaced by higher-quality content, as mentioned by Gary Illyes on Twitter,
- Affected by a new algorithm that rolled out,
- Caused by a bug on Google’s side. For example, Search Engine Land got deindexed because Google wrongly assumed the site was hacked.
The solution to deindexed pages is closely related to their quality. You should always ensure your page serves the best quality content and is up to date. Don’t assume that once a page is indexed, you don’t need to do anything with it again.
To monitor your index coverage easily, use ZipTie ‒ the technical SEO and indexing intelligence platform. ZipTie lets you monitor indexing delays and updates you weekly on the amount of content that got deindexed.
Keep monitoring your pages and implement changes and improvements if necessary. After fixing the issues, you can submit the analyzed URLs to Google Search Console to help Google notice the changes quicker.
Design a sound website structure
Good website architecture is key to helping you maximize the chances of getting indexed. It allows search engine bots to discover your content and better understand the relation between pages.
That’s why it’s crucial to provide a good website architecture and ensure there are internal links to the page you want to be indexed.
Let’s imagine a situation where you have a good quality page, but the only way Google found it is because you put it in your sitemap.
Google might look at the page and crawl it, but since there are no internal links, it would assume the page has less value than other pages. There’s no semantic or structural information to help it evaluate the page. That might be one of the reasons why Google decided to focus on other pages and leave this one out of the index after crawling it.
To learn more about website structure, check out our article on How To Build A Website That Ranks And Converts.
Limit your duplicate content
First and foremost, you should ensure you create original pages. Google wants to present unique and valuable content to users. That’s why, when it realizes during crawling that some pages are identical or nearly identical, it might index only one of them.
Unfortunately, duplicate content might be unavoidable (e.g., you have a mobile and desktop version). You don’t have much control over what appears in search results, but you can give Google some hints about the original version.
If you notice a lot of duplicate content indexed, evaluate the following elements:
- Canonical tags: these HTML tags tell search engines which versions are the original ones.
- Internal links: ensure internal links are pointing to your original content. Google might use it as an indicator of which page is more important.
- XML Sitemaps: ensure only the canonical version is in your sitemap.
But remember that these are only hints, and Google is not obligated to follow them.
For example, Adam Gent, an SEO freelancer, shared an interesting case with the SEO community. His page was reported as Crawled — currently not indexed because Google thought it was a duplicate page.
It’s not entirely clear why Google might choose Crawled — currently not indexed over a dedicated status for duplicate content. One of the possible explanations is that the status will change later after Google decides if there’s a more suitable one for the page.
Another option might be a reporting bug. Google might simply make a mistake while assigning the statuses. Unfortunately, the situation is more challenging because Crawled — currently not indexed doesn’t give you as much information as a dedicated status for duplicate content.
How to check if a duplicate page is showing in the search results? Head to our article on How To Optimize Duplicate Content for SEO.
Crawled — currently not indexed vs. Discovered — currently not indexed
The Crawled — currently not indexed status is commonly confused with another indexing issue in the Index Coverage (Page indexing) report: Discovered — currently not indexed.
Both of the statuses indicate that the page is not indexed. However, in the case of Crawled — currently not indexed, Google has already visited the page. Meanwhile, in Discovered — currently not indexed, the URL is known to Google, but it wasn’t crawled yet for some reason.
|Crawled — currently not indexed||Discovered — currently not indexed|
|Page discovered by Google||Yes||Yes|
|Page visited by Google||Yes||No|
Some of the reasons for these statuses might be similar, including poor-quality pages and internal linking problems. However, when you see a Discovered — currently not indexed status, you need to additionally investigate why Google couldn’t or didn’t want to access the page. For example, it might indicate problems with the overall quality of the whole website, crawl budget issues, or server overload.
Crawled — currently not indexed is mainly associated with page quality, but in reality, it can indicate many more problems, like a confusing website architecture or duplicate content.
Here are the key takeaways that can help you deal with the Crawled — currently not indexed status:
- Add unique and valuable content to your pages. Once you have done it, submit those URLs to the Google Search Console. This way, Google may notice changes quicker.
- Review your website architecture and ensure there are internal links to your valuable pages.
- Decide which pages should and shouldn’t be indexed to help Google prioritize the most valuable URLs.
If you need help addressing the Crawled — currently not indexed status on your website, our technical SEO services are what you’re looking for.