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Partially Indexed Site on Google



2:29 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is my first post, but I have been reading a lot of threads at webmasterworld and although much of it is technically over my head, I have learned a lot. Thanks everyone for being my "teachers."

I have a relatively new website that I put together using a very user-friendly software package because I am a complete novice at website building but needed a website for a very small business. So far, so good ... I've been through the stage when you are first indexed and given great exposure on Google, then went through at least 6 weeks of "on again, off again" status, then finally became indexed with a PR4, and my site could be found on Google using a variety of search terms related to my site with very good placement on page 1 or 2 depending on the terms (it's a very small "niche" business).

My problem is that every time I add a new page or optimize a page and then repost it, I go from indexed to partially indexed. I thought Freshbot loved new pages and new information. My site spends a few days to a week partially indexed, with my URL as my title and no description. This is the second time it has happened this month. I found this at Google's webmaster info pages:

"The Google index contains two types of pages--fully indexed and partially indexed pages. Your page is currently partially indexed, which means that although we know about your site, our robots have not read all the content on your page(s) in past crawls. This does not adversely affect your PageRank or your inclusion in our index. It does mean that we don't 'know' what to call your page, so it gets listed with the URL as the title and no description.

We appreciate the frustration this causes webmasters who work hard to make their sites accessible to users. We are working to increase the number of fully indexed pages in our search results to alleviate this problem"

Customers can't find my website when it's partially indexed. At this point, I'm afraid to make any changes to my website at all, or attempt to add any new pages. Does anyone have any idea why this is happening?


2:54 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

Try posting your url in your user profile (not in your reply) so we can take a look and see if there is a particular reason why Googlebot isn't reading the full page in its entirety.


2:57 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

OK, I added it to my profile. Thank you ...


5:55 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ciml is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Welcome to the forum RosemarieJ. Profile URLs don't show at first as we try to discuss the issues rather than individual sites, but you've described the situation well.

Normally, the 'URL only' listing that you describe is for a URL that Google found via links, but hasn't crawled. This may be due to /robots.txt problems, lack of PageRank (especially for URLs with a "?" character), or presumably just because Google didn't find the URL until the end of the crawl and ran out of time.

I find it very odd that you lost your proper listing, to be replaced by a URL only listing later during the cycle.

I haven't seen that problem before, hopefully Google will give you a more stable listing after the next update [webmasterworld.com].


12:15 am on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you for your response. It's worrisome that you find my problem to be odd. With this being the third time it has happened, I am concerned that until I get to the bottom of the problem, it will happen every time I update the site. I'm sure I will get back to a fully indexed listing in a few days, as has happened the last two times, but I worry about the next time I make a change to the website. I can't afford to keep disappearing from the search by becoming partially indexed every time I update a page or two. I better leave well enough alone next time I come back fully indexed and stop changing things! That seems to be the only solution until I can figure this out.

I can correlate the times this has happened to when I updated and posted only one or two pages from my website. It hasn't happened when I have uploaded the entire website. I'm pretty sure I'm doing it right since I have a success message at the end of the upload, but you never know. I know so little about all of this it's really a miracle I have a working ecommerce site at all!

Anyway, thanks again for your comments. I look forward to the next update with both hope and trepidation! :)


12:24 am on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)


I wonder if, when you repost, the old links are then invalid? If so, bots hate a 404 error... maybe a redirect would help?


12:53 am on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, I don't have any 404 errors in my stats -- I'm guessing that's where I would check for errors? The website is very small with just a handful of pages, but a pretty large ecommerce area located on a secure server. I don't know what *exactly* a redirect is (I looked in the glossary to understand the term better, but I couldn't find it). I am pretty sure, though, if I ever update my site again, I will send the entire thing up rather than just a page or two. It seems like the safer thing to do.

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