How to See What Pages of Your Site Google Has In Its Index

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Copyright 2004 Tinu AbayomiPaul

There is a lag time between the indexing or updating of your site, and the time it takes to show new results in the database. Depending on your site, where it was linked from, who it was linked from, and who knows what other factors, the amount of time varies.

With the method I teach in my book it seems to take two to four days on average for the Googlebot to stop by initially, and then another two days to one week to appear in search listings for the first listing.

(You can read more about the book here: http://www.freetrafficdirectory.com/book )

But even if it takes more than four to seven days for the Googlebot spider to show up at your site, or to return, if ever, there are several ways you can track the results. First, you can use Google itself.

Go to www.google.com and type in site: then your domain name. So for yahoo.com, you’d type in “site:yahoo.com”.

The results will show you which pages of your site are showing up in Google.

If you know you won’t have time to check on a daily basis, you can use a site called Google Alert, which you can find at http://www.googlealert.com.

The great thing about this site is that it will track up to five terms per email address and have them sent to you via email on a daily basis. Using this you can track your ranking for your most important terms, or see how often your competitor’s site comes up versus yours.

To use this to see when pages of your site come up, create an account , then in the search terms section, type in, as one word, whatever is between “www” and your site’s suffix (.com, .net, .org, .biz, .uk, etc.) and you will start getting emailed results.

The only problem is that the resulting page is sometimes a day behind Google’s actual indexing. But for a free automated resource, you really couldn’t beat it.

Until now.

Google’s new Web Alerts just came out on the 29th of March. You can access it here: http://www.google.com/webalerts

You can use Google’s new Web Alerts service in much the same way. It’s currently in Beta development, so make sure you save the information sent to you. Since it’s so new, you’ll probably want to sign up to both services and compare the results.

My favorite use for this is finding out when people mention my name or re-print my article at their sites, so that I can link back, or email to thank them. A big advantage Google.com’s in-house version of the web alerts system is that they have a news version that you can subscribe to, which will help you stay on top of your niche in whatever industry you’re in.

Currently I use the Google Alert’s site for several on-going searches, and Google’s Beta Web Alert’s for my most mission-critical, time-sensitive news.

There’s yet another way to use Google to track how your site is doing in Google. It will tell you the cached version of your page, which Google stores. Sometimes the date posted next to the listing of the cached page can help give you a good estimate of when Google will be back at your site.

For example, at the moment, I seem to see the spider most predictably every day between midnight and 6 am EST since my home page began to score a PR of 5, then periodically at other points in my site during the day. I figured this out by looking at Google’s cache of my home page over a period of one week.

This search will tell you pages that Google considers similar to yours. It will also show sites that it considered linked to you, and show sites that carry your full url, hyperlinked or not. It’s not 100% accurate, but it will give you a much better idea than you’d get from guessing- and it’s free.

Go back to Google’s home page - www.google.com - and type in info:yoursitenameandsuffix. So if your site was ExactSeek.com you’d type info:www.exactseek.com. You can also use site:yoursitenameandsuffix to find out which pages have been indexed by Google’s search engine spider.

Curiously, Google used to show different results for info:www.exactseek.com and info:exactseek.com – instead of including results for exactseek.com in the www evaluation. I haven’t seen this much anymore, but if you see one permutation showing up in results for the other, you may want to do both.

You’re going to want to bookmark this page and visit it on a weekly basis. The best day to look would be the one week anniversary of what day Google last cached a page at your site. The date will often be shown next to the word “cached” on one of your page results. If the cached page date is the same, that means Google hasn’t been back to your site.

Marry this information with your study of your web stats to get more ideas on getting the most out of your weekly or daily exercises involving search engines and links from other sites, not just Google.


Publication Date: Thursday 8th April, 2004
Author: Tinu Abayomipaul View profile

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