Despite the many algorithmic updates by Google, it is still not possible to tell how long it will take for a search engine to index your backlinks. This means that indexing services that give you specific time frames, like one-hour indexing are making promises that they know very well cannot be delivered.
For some backlinks, indexing is a matter of minutes or hours, while for others it could take weeks or months. Worse still, some backlinks may never be indexed. There are some factors that determine how fast your backlinks can be indexed though. In this article, we will get into what exactly we mean by indexing, the factors that affect backlink indexing, and what to do to decrease the time it takes for your backlinks to get indexed.
What’s Backlink Indexing?
In simple terms, a search engine can be seen as a huge database that contains information about the billions of webpages on the web. This database has an organized index that helps to tell the exact location of a page, website or link. When Google’s bots crawl the web, they detect new links on web pages and sites and add them to the index. Dead links are also noted and the index updated.
What Determines When Links Get Indexed?
There are very many factors that determine how quickly your backlinks get indexed ranging from the site authority of the source of the backlink, how frequently you update your website, your web pages’ PageRank, the quality of the backlinks, and how popular your site is.
Let’s look at a few factors:
- a) Link domain age – Backlinks from older domains are generally more powerful than newer domains.
- b) The authority of the referring page – this is an important factor in ranking, as well as how soon the backlinks get indexed.
- c) Social shares of the referring page – This, too, contributes to the page’s authority, determining how quickly a link will be indexed.
- d) Site popularity – News sites are very popular, since they are constantly publishing fresh content, and generally have high trust and authority as well (although not always!). They are thus frequently crawled and indexed. This means that linking to news sites will result in faster backlink indexing.
- e) Diverse link sources – When all your links come from the type of sources, for instance, blog comments, they could be flagged off as spam, which will make Google bots index them slowly, or fail to index them at all. After all, they deem your site to be low quality, with no authority or trust.
How Can You Get Your Backlinks Indexed?
First, you need to know whether your website is already indexed in the first place. How do you go about this?
Check Google’s index
Unless your domain is absolutely brand new – that is, you have just bought the domain name, it’s likely already indexed.
To check, go to Google’s search query button and type site:yourdomain.com (if for instance, your domain is mywidgets.com, then you will type site:mywidgets.com). Note the lack of a space between “site:” and your domain.
If it is indexed, it should appear as the second search result (appearing below a result for Google Search Console). If it is not, your result will be that your search never matched any documents.
Check your Project’s Discovered Pages criteria so see how many pages we’ve discovered in Google’s index.