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Woman Thinking

“Index Bloat” – just another SEO theory?

Woman Thinking

“Index Bloat” – just another SEO theory?

In a recent ‘Search off the Record’ podcast, Google’s relations team addressed questions about webpage indexing. One of the key discussions was about “Index Bloat”, which has gathered attention in the search engine optimisation (SEO) community, but does what Google Search Advocate John Mueller said throw the theory out of the window, or should you think about this when optimising your website for search engines?

What is the “Index Bloat” theory?

Index bloat is when a search engine indexes more pages that it should have in its index. This can be due to pages on your website being indexed that shouldn’t be, such as internal search results, filtered product pages and even printable versions of your website pages.

During the recent podcast, Mueller tells listeners that index bloat doesn’t affect how your website performs in search results, so you shouldn’t be worrying about index bloat when optimising your website.

So, what should you be focusing on instead?

You should focus on making sure the content on your website is being useful for visitors, and that you are providing the best user experience. This goes hand in hand with improved SEO rankings and results.

The apparent “causes” of index bloat

SEOs who believe the index bloat theory often say that index bloat is caused by wrong robots.txt files, accidental page duplication, and poor quality content that doesn’t perform well. However, Google suggests that none of these are causes of any “index bloat” and that pages like these should be sorted in the general SEO practices you should follow when optimising your website.

If you have a website that doesn’t generate regular leads for your business, that means it’s not working as well as it should do. Have a chat with our friendly team at Engage Web to find out how we can help you grow your business through a new website or SEO-friendly content.

Jonathon Roberts

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