Getting your blog deindexed from Google stinks! Deindexing is when Google just simply doesn’t bother to include you in the listings and feigns ignorance about your content.
While there is no easy solution to recover from any Google penalty based deindexing (examples here), sometimes we self-inflict deindexing on ourselves when we have server issues, outages, site crashes, and other such technical headaches.
If Google visits you a couple times and finds your site missing, it makes obvious sense that it will remove you from the search results.
But what happens when you fix the site and need to beg Google to come back?
WP Indexer Review To The Rescue!
Let me start out by saying that this problem would eventually fix itself for the most part. Google will eventually sniff you out and poke through the site again. But sometimes you want an honest quick fix to a mess you’ve made and the downtime is costing you money.
We’re going to use this plugin a little “off label”.
Why you ask?
Because this plugin is intended to help you increase bot traffic to your site. It’s a maintenance sort of thing.
Yet we just want Googlebot to come find us, index us, and return to normal behavior.
In fact, we actually don’t WANT a perpetual spike in bot traffic because over-crawling can lead to excessive server load and… get this… more site downtime!
We want the RIGHT amount of crawling but what we need is a whistle to use to page Googlebot to come visit!
That’s where WP Indexer comes in!
What Is WP Indexer
WP Indexer is a plugin that steadily “walks” through your current posts, pages, tags, etc and checks if they are indexed with Google. If they are not, it sends a ping out in order to result in the bots visiting and getting that item indexed.
There’s a little bit more to it than that, but that’s really all you need to know.
This plugin looks for items on your blog that are NOT indexed in the Google SERPs and pings them to improve the odds that they will GET indexed.
Doing this by hand would be tedious, time consuming, and aggravating. But this plugin makes it smooth.
Installing WP Indexer
This is a reasonably advanced plugin and requires more care in installation than some. You MAY (I did) need to set your log file to 777 using your CPanel file manager (or FTP) and you may also need to route your cron scheduler through the cronjob utility.
This kinda stuff can be overwhelming for a WordPress newbie but any intermediate user can probably handle the task using the included PDF guide.
Once it’s correctly installed though, it’s a piece of cake to use.
Using WP Indexer
Install and activate the plugin. Adjust the (few) settings to your needs per the guide. And kick back and let it run!
Initially you’ll probably want to let it run at full speed (9 items checked every 15 minutes), but later you can slow it down to reduce server load.
There’s a lot more useful screenshots on the main page if you want to have a closer look.
Initially most of your posts will be unchecked. Over the day or two it takes to check your site, the graphs will adjust to tell you where you are at.
There are two similar plugins on the market. I chose this one due to feeling much more confident about the developer and plugin history than the alternative.
It turns out I made a wise choice. The developer, Sam Wood, is friendly, supportive, responsive and all in all has turned out to be a pretty cool dude. Definitely a “would do business again” quality transaction.
You’ve got a 30 day guarantee that the developer can help you get it working. You also have a guarantee that within 6 days of using it, you’ll have an increased number of pages indexed. A solid, measurable promise, using the “Indexed” report in Google Webmaster Tools.
My Results/Review Using WP Indexer
This product appears to do what it says on the tin. It was stable, carefully throttled, easy to configure and as easy to install as is “feasible” at this time.
Did I see an increase in indexed pages? No… but…
It turns out, that Google had already done a very nice job re-indexing my site after my server down-time. Because my site is high-volume and updated frequently, Googlebot hangs out here a LOT. My posts are indexed MUCH more rapidly than the posts of those that do not blog often.
The plugin double-checking things gave me some peace of mind.
I did discover that I have many WordPress tags (and by many I mean too many) and that Google is selectively ignoring most of them. Not uncommon and no fault of the plugin. I need to do some housekeeping and merge those tags as I did for categories prior.
We ran the same test against an established blog of a business partner of mine who had also had the same server outrage I had had. She noticed that it picked up a few posts that had been overlooked and she was overall pleased with it’s performance and handling.
This plugin has an affiliate program with Avangate. Unfortunately, there is a $100 sales threshold making this plugin out of reach for marketers with small lists. (6 sales would be required to reach the payout threshold)
At the time of this review, a one time purchase provides use on unlimited blogs and (as far as I can tell) provides lifetime upgrades. The plugin carries a commercial NON-GPL license and an “as is” disclaimer on the plugin code itself.
Use As Directed?
For me, this is not a plugin that I will be leaving to run in the background. If you’re a regular reader you know how I feel about “daily use” plugins and you know that the WordPress core is not optimized to run a lot of them.
If I were running an affiliate niche site and doing things that Google might not like – leaving the plugin running might enable it to (after it gets an upgrade) send me an email if Google deindexes the site. That would provide me with an early-alert system for trouble. But that is not trouble that is likely here on this blog.
I’m going to give this a 4.0 star rating. Knocking it just slightly for the installation challenges, affiliate platform, and also for still needing certain updates (that I believe are coming). Most of the other deficiencies that one might cite are made up for by superior dev support.
I will say however that I am reviewing this plugin as a re-index tool. Creating higher-than-usual bot traffic on a daily basis isn’t actually my definition of a good idea. It has it’s uses, such as this, but it can result in severe hosting headaches as well with no gain in ranking or real visitors if it is not controlled for.
You can learn more about WP Indexer by visiting their main page (aff) or by asking questions in the comments below.
~ Kim ~
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