Google doesn't seem to realize that there are links on my page.

I don't yet have provided a sitemap, and I know that I should (and I will).

Regardless, I'm trying to figure out whether I've done something fundamentally wrong with my site/links so that Google does not want to accept them.

  • The links in the main navigation are like this:

    <a href="/en/learn"><div class="material-icons-outlined"></div>LEARN</a>

  • The links are not created via JS. They are served on the initial html.

  • I have not provided a robots.txt (as I want everything to be crawled).

  • I have not added a rel="nofollow" to those links.

Why I think that Google didn't just crawl all subpages, but didn't even read the hrefs from the main page:

  • Google has crawled my main page three times in the past couple weeks. It also crawled some resources (images and JS files).
  • Google Search Console does not list any internal links (or external ones, for I have not published the site's URL yet to anyone except you helpful helpers).
  • When I enter a subpage URL (like https://example.com/en/print) directly into Google Search Console, it tells me that "Page is not indexed: URL is unknown to Google". I would assume that a URL is only unknown to Google if it hasn't found the URL in any link whatsoever.

Question: What could I be doing wrong (apart from not having a sitemap yet)?

  • How old is the site? You say "in the past couple weeks" which makes me suspect that it just hasn't been around very long. Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 16:05
  • @stephen It was first uploaded ca. 5 weeks ago. I immediately asked Google to crawl via Search Console, which was then done on July 27th. Google revisited/recrawled the site since then three or four times, but it just keeps recrawling the same URLs (main page, and some resources). I would think, that once Google crawls a page even once, it should at least now know the subpages' URLs, even though they themselves would be indexed way later. Isn't that correct?
    – 144226734
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 16:15
  • Yes, it should crawl all the linked pages. I assume you are looking in your server's log files to know what Googlebot is accessing? Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 16:17
  • I like your site, BTW. I have my own sudoku software and site (qqwing). Your solver rates puzzles with more granularity than mine and looks like it tests for a couple techniques that mine does not. Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 16:19
  • @StephenOstermiller Thank you =) I have checked the logs but nothing particularly alarming. Some calls from several crawlers, but errors are seemingly only from blackhats trying weird URLs. All other calls that I guess was Google, are the same ones listed inside Google Search Console. (Main page + some JS + some images)
    – 144226734
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 16:23


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