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In Google Search Console, why might the Pages report say that less pages are indexed than the actual total, even days after more pages have been indexed?

Searching in Google with the site: prefix currently lists 14 pages. And when I do a Google search for text that appears on those pages, my pages are listed in the results. So far so good.

The new site's robots.txt was switched from Disallow to Allow on 10th April. There are currently No Problems showing in the Crawl Stats. The site was crawled most days from 10th to 16th April, but only 4 pages were indexed. On the 16th I manually requested 10 pages to be indexed. Those pages were crawled in On 17th and show Purpose: refresh in the stats. They show up in search results and URL Inspection confirms that they are indexed. Other pages that were were crawled at the same time show Purpose: Discovery in the stats, and they do not show up in Google Searches, but I think that's another issue. There are no crawl stats after the 17th.

In Google Search Console, in the left menu under Indexing I select Pages. It shows:

Last updated: 16/04/2024 5 days ago, in UK date format
Not indexed: 3 2 reasons*
Indexed: 4

*The pages that are not indexed are the http and https versions of the root domain and the http version of the www subdomain, because they all redirect to https://www, which is correct.

When I click View data about indexed pages, there is a green tick next to Indexed pages - These pages can be served on Google then Affected pages 4. It shows the same Last updated date of 16/04/2024.

The same 3 not indexed pages 4 indexed pages shows on the Summary page.

URL Inspection shows that the 10 paged crawled on 17th are indexed.

Why is the Pages data out of date while other data has been updated?

1 Answer 1

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Several intrelated issues are manifesting here:

  • Google Search Console data is updated by batch processes, not in real time. That's why each report shows a 'Last updated' date.
  • The data shown in the different reports is updated by different batch processes. That's why reports may show different 'Last updated' dates. That's normal and not something to worry about.
  • Google updates a website's data as often as Google decides it needs to be updated. That applies not just to crawling the site, but also to updating data shown in reports. Data may not be updated for weeks.

If I were Google, I'd devote less resources to a site if

  • it is new
  • it is slow or badly written
  • it has few incoming links
  • doesn't change
  • when it does show a site in search results, it is rarely clicked. Check impressions vs clicks in Search Console and Google Analytics.

As usual with SEO issues, the solution is to resolve these issues by making a better web site with help from tools like Search Console, Google Analytics, PageSpeed and wait for Search Engines to reward your efforts.

For a more detailed explanation see https://support.google.com/webmasters/community-guide/269435714/about-last-update-in-search-console-reports?hl=en&sjid=8820985634285978505-EU

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