What is Index Bloat and How to Fix It?


If you are an experienced SEO Company, there is a high possibility that you have managed several websites for which you must have created loads and loads of content. When you publish such content, consisting of so many blog posts, articles, test pages, thankyou pages, etc., things can often get very overwhelming after a specific period of time. Eventually, there comes a time when you yourself are unable to analyze which URLs are the most relevant?

While delivering the SEO Services, the major problem that arises in indexing of the pages is Index Bloat or Index Bloat Ratio that most people term.

This article explains Index Bloat and the purpose it actually serves.

Why is the number of pages indexed is important?

Index Bloat is a phenomenon that occurs when a particular website, comprising thousands of pages, is getting indexed by Google crawlers but is no longer relevant to your website visitors. This leads the google bots to crawl those pages that are obsolete instead of scanning the pages that are actually worthwhile and generates more volumes of traffic to your business. It can also create a low-level User Experience leading to more Bounce Rates, lower traffic, and severe hindrance to the SEO services.

It is prevalent among the SEO Companies that tie themselves with e-commerce websites having thousands of products or services under several categories with numerous consumer reviews. There are times when such information in bulk leads to lower quality pages that get actually picked by search engine crawlers. 

Unless this issue is addressed properly or taken care of, it leads to the slowing down of your site, wasting your entire crawl budget.

Identifying Index Bloat

When you monitor the index pages and SEO your website, you might start noticing a sharp increase in its number. It could be a signal that your website is suffering from Index Bloat issues. These obsolete pages can result in creating a negative impact on your relevancy score of google as it makes amendments in the algorithms. If these pages are not eliminated, the search engine crawlers might ignore your website’s important pages and waste their time crawling those pages with lower relevancy and quality. 

These pages might be:–

  • Archived Pages
  • Search Results Pages (in e-commerce sites)
  • Boilerplate Content Pages
  • Pages with the query string in the URL
  • Auto-generated User Profiles
  • Case Study Pages
  • Individual Testimonial Pages

For any SEO Company, the best way to avoid these pages is to audit them and ensuring no index bloat errors occur frequently.

How to locate all Indexed Pages on your website?

Eliminate unwanted pages from your website can be a daunting task. We suggest that you start by reducing the total number of indexed pages altogether. 

Here are some of the suggestions you might consider to filter down all the indexed pages on your website for quality SEO services.

  • Use Sitemap and create a URL List

    The sitemap of your website is the blueprint of all your URLs that you want to get indexed. Most of them that you will find in the XML format. Start with compiling an entire list of URLs of your website pages while starting with your SEO Services.

  • Download the published URLs from your CMS

    Once you get the list of all URLs, the next step is to download a CSV file of all the published pages of your website. In case your website is created on WordPress, we suggest you use plugins like Export All URLs.

  • Site Search Query

    Run a search query for your website, i.e., type site: ”your domain name” in the google search bar. Doing this will reflect the total number of pages of your website getting indexed by Google. Use tools that can help you filter down the list and eliminate the unimportant URLs. Most SEO Companies start their audit by taking this step. 

  • Analyzing index coverage report in the Webmaster Tools

    Monitor this report in the google search console. This will give the SEO Company a clear picture of how valid the pages are getting indexed by Google. Download this report in CSV format.

  • Analyzing the Log Files

    Log files allow you to access those pages with maximum visibility among your website users and search engine crawlers for any SEO Services. You can ask for the log files from your hosting service provider or contact them asking for files.

  • Use Google Analytics

    The reports on Google Analytics will give the SEO Company a clear picture about the pages that derive the maximum traffic and one that doesn’t. It allows you to have a list of URLs that actually drive page views and ones that don’t.

Watch this google analytics tutorial video,

How do you identify the pages to be removed or deleted?

It becomes imperative to eliminate the URLs or pages that can stagnate your website rankings in the SEO Services. To help you find the unworthy URL’S, here are some of the suggestions

Use tools to identify underperforming pages and delete them- Tools like Cruft Finder help e-commerce companies find the pages that are not SEO friendly and probably negatively affect their rankings.

Update important pages that derive lower-traffic- SEO Companies must also make sure to take note of those important pages but not getting enough visibility as they should. Restructure your website and ensure that all the static pages have unique and robust content.

No allowance of internal search pages from getting indexed- No SEO Company wants their internal search pages to get indexed. They have better pages to funnel traffic with superior content quality. These pages are not meant to be entry pages. For instance, if someone asks should thank you pages or landing pages be indexed, the answer shall be no as it adds no value to search queries.

We hope you found the above article informative.

ACECLiQ is an SEO company that helps businesses and professionals rank their websites on top positions of Google search results and gain online visibility. Our SEO Services comprise both On-Page and Off-Page.
Feel free to contact us for such services on the number mentioned on the website. Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂