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Why Your Backlinks Aren’t Being Indexed

Why Your Backlinks Aren’t Being Indexed

Do you find ranking on Google difficult? Struggling to get noticed even after all of your hard work? Even if you’ve put in months of research, outreaching, content writing, it will be really difficult to stay relevant on search engines if your backlinks aren’t being indexed.

Getting backlinks from influential websites in your industry is not that simple. If your backlinks aren’t being indexed, you’re practically invisible in Google’s eyes. The more content backlinks you index, the more traffic you’ll receive from search engines. Indexing backlinks works similarly with content indexation in SERPs. Your backlink strategy must be accepted and added to the search engine database, which is the initial step to ranking.

However, what if all of your SEO and outbound effort doesn’t pay off? The process of getting backlinks to a website can be difficult and time-consuming, and you’re entitled to know what’s wrong before you continue with your ineffective efforts.

Here are the following reasons why your backlinks aren’t being indexed:

1. You Don’t Fully-Understand the Value of Backlink IndexingBacklink Illustration

You won’t achieve backlinking success if you’re not aware of its benefits, and the effects that it can have on your web ranking and your business in general. What are you going to do, wait for your blog to get ranked?

Creating backlinks is good practice, however, you need to make sure that they’re indexable and get more search engine exposure and traffic as a result.

Are You Prepared for Backlink Indexing?


Besides understanding the value of backlink indexing, you also must have a website that is worth indexing. Before you ask for a backlink, ensure that your website is prepared for the visitors, Google, and blog owners that will include your link.

Examine Your Outbound Links

If you have outbound links, you need to ensure that they work. If a person opens a backlink to your site and then encounters an invalid link, it’ll destroy your credibility.

Fix Broken Links

On smaller websites with tens of blog posts, you can find and fix broken links manually. However, if you have a larger website with hundreds or thousands of links, you shouldn’t waste your time checking URLs one by one.

One of the shortest methods is the W3C Link Checker, a tool that checks your website for broken links and more. When you locate the links, you have 3 ways to resolve them manually:

  • Correct the Link: Perhaps you’ve entered an incorrectly spelled link. All you have to do is edit the broken URL and replace it with the correct one.
  • Replace the Link: Sometimes it is better to replace a link with a functional one.
  • Unlink: If the page that you’ve linked to doesn’t exist anymore, or it’s a resource that is no longer relevant, then it is better to remove the link from the page.

Fix Page Load Speed

What do you think will happen when a reader clicks on a backlink and waits forever for the URL to load? If the page takes too long to load, people will either click the back button or move to another tab. The same can be applied to the mobile version of your pages. If your articles are not displayed properly and fast on a smartphone, users will leave and might never return.

To make sure that you’ll provide a positive experience, your pages must load fast and appropriately on all devices.

Minimize Duplicate Content

If you have the same content on multiple pages of your site, Google’s crawlers will have a hard time navigating it. Google’s main goal is to provide users with the best possible content. To get there, you must have unique content or a fresh viewpoint on a topic that will help you distinguish yourself from your competitors. Remember that Google appreciates original content, and 2 identical or very similar pages just confuse them and they don’t know which one to give advantage to.

Duplicate Content Affects Backlinks Strategy

Fix Canonical Issues

A canonical URL is the “accurate” address for a given page, chosen out of a group of URLs that look similar.


If the first URL,, is your current homepage, the other URLs can be the older versions of your site or URLs that are not available anymore. You need to send your web visitors away from the nonexistent URLs and toward your real site.

2. Your Backlinks Are Not Worthy Enough

Google has a policy that doesn’t recognize low-quality links. When Google doesn’t value those low-quality backlinks, then your website traffic from search engines will be dramatically reduced and your SEO efforts will be completely hindered.

It’s the reality, you can’t fool Google with low-quality backlinks anymore! Before you even think about backlinking strategies, you need to know what Google looks for in a backlink. Low-quality backlinks are long gone after the Penguin update took place. The following are the vital aspects that Google assesses before a backlink is indexed or not:

  • Domain Authority: The higher the domain authority, the bigger the value of your backlink.
  • Relevance: A link from a relevant blog that is in context with the product/service that you provide on your website will have a greater value in Google’s eyes.
  • Contextual Links: A backlinks must be implemented in context with the piece of content. Preferably, they need to be editorially positioned in the content. An unnatural link is entirely against Google’s guidelines.
  • Dofollow vs. Nofollow Links: Google doesn’t value nofollow links. For greater link juice, you need dofollow links. Still, nofollow links stop your link building campaigns from appearing as spammy and can bring substantial referral traffic.

Getting Quality Backlinks

When you know what Google values in backlink creation, it’s time to get to work and build.

Develop Quality Content

Content is pivotal for a successful link building campaign! If you want quality backlinks, you need to develop a good catalog of linkable assets. Good backlinks won’t appear like mushrooms. You need to produce your content and outreach to the right people/websites regularly.

Hence, you should always start by developing a list of relevant websites that you want to outreach to. Start with a simple Google search:

Entrepreneurship plus articles Google search results

entrepreneurship plus blog google search

When you examine the domain authority for each of the websites that are of your interest, you need to make a detailed list with websites that have high enough authority for you to capitalize on with your link.

After that, the next logical step is to start developing valuable content that the blog owners of your list will like. Figure out what are the most popular or most interesting topic, as well as the type of content assets that you need to develop. Some influential blogs might want a case study, research, a long-form guide, and some of them would love just a guest article.

Once you have your content assets ready, you need to start outreaching to the influential blogs from your list. When you outreach, make sure that your emails are completely personalized. Fakeness and spamminess are easily detectable, and you might lose that backlink opportunity forever. Instead, use a template that you can fine-tune for every site that you’re trying to reach out to:

Hey [Name],

Came across your article about [topic] and I love the part/section where you [told a profound thing]. I enjoy reading your blog [Reason why].

Our team developed a data-packed piece on [topic], and it’s something that your audience will definitely appreciate.

Would love it if you have a look and let me know with your feedback?

[Your Full Name]

High-quality content mixed with the perfect personalized outreach immensely increases your chances to get a quality backlink on an authority website.

Analyze Your Competitors

To get quality backlinks, you also need to know how to assess your competitors’ link profiles and uncover new backlink opportunities. Several competitive analysis tools can help you out, such as SEMrush and Moz’s Open Site Explorer.

However, you can begin with a simple Google search for a service that you provide.

business planning software google search results

Collect the top ten websites of your search and put them into a spreadsheet. Next, you need to inspect each competitor from your list. Enter one of the competitive domains in SEMrush and then open the ‘Referring Domains’ report.

semrush referring domains report

Those are the domains that you need to outreach to if you want to beat your biggest competitors in the industry in search engines. You can also uncover additional insights in SEMrush’s ‘Backlinks Report’. It will present you all the competitive backlink changes, backlink types, follow vs nofollow, as well as brand new and lost spikes.

semrush backlinks report for ahrefs

The ‘Indexed Pages’ report points out to the URLs on a competing domain that are best known for linking. Analyzing the URLs with the most backlinks can help you comprehend how to develop content that is worthy enough of linking. If you know the type of content that is often referred to in your competitive niche, you need to start creating it immediately!

semrush report ahrefs indexed pages

To create a full list of competitive domains that have more backlinks than you, use the ‘Backlink Gap’ tool. Apart from domain comparison, it provides comparison by specific URLs, if you want to compare URLs that have equivalent content.

backlink gap tool semrush used to search ahrefs referring domains

3. You Don’t Have the Content to Support Your Backlinks

Lurking around the internet looking for high authority sites that can give your low-quality link a chance is not a good strategy at all. You just can’t get quality backlinks that are indexed, you must earn them!

The truly best way to earn indexable backlinks is to produce content that is worthy enough to be backlinked to.

Create Data-Driven Content

People want to read authoritative content that is backed with elaborate research, which means that if you develop content that is packed with important insights, anyone who wants to write about will want to link to it.
According to Moz and Buzzsumo’s 2019 report on the relationship between links and shares, people want to link to content that is backed by data and that provides brand new viewpoints with data. The content with the highest number of backlinks was the content that offered the best-researched and unique data.

Write Amazing Headlines

The advertising legend David Ogilvy famously said:

“When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents of your dollar.”

It’s being said decades ago, and it means that you need to properly introduce your content to people that are likely to link it.

Even if you’ve already pitched the title and the blog owner approved it, you might want to analyze it again to see if it can be improved. For this purpose, you can use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.

coschedule headline analyzer tool

It will score your headline on a scale of 0-100, and anything 70 and above means that the headline is effective enough with the right ingredients.

74 headline score result coschedule headline analyzer

Optimizing your headline and incorporating words that evoke emotion from the readers is the perfect method for writing excellent headlines.

Make Your Content Engaging and Actionable

What’s the point of a boring article? It won’t be read at all, won’t be useful, and definitely won’t help you earn backlinks.

To create an interesting article, first of all, you need to research well the topic that you’re writing about, and second, the entire tone of the article must be engaging for the readers.

Furthermore, your article must have a unique take, supported by genuine data. Your content must be actionable as well, because if your information is beneficial enough that made the blog owner include your link, then the readers must take some sort of action towards those benefits, right?

Articles that speak about a niche topic theoretically can be good as well, but if you provide the audience with actionable tips, you’ll gain more shares, attention, and backlinks.

Make It Long-Form

If you truly want to cover a topic, your article must be at least 2,000 words long. Because in most of the cases they’re evergreen content, long-form articles can attract backlinks and organic engagement in the long run. That can provide you with an advantage over your competitors that are trying to get a link with a short-form piece.

BuzzSumo’s analysis of 100 million articles points out that detailed articles get the most engagement on social media as well. For the 100 million articles that they’ve analyzed, 3,000-10,000 word blog posts had the most social media shares on average (8859).

average shares by content length graph from okdork

With long-form content, besides more backlinks, you’ll gain an increased time on page from readers, low bounce rate, and high article shareability. You’re improving your on-page SEO, but also, you’re offering more details and more value, which consequently help you get backlinks.

Wrapping Up

Quality backlink creation can be tough, but that’s precisely why link building and indexing are so beneficial. Turns out, indexing high-quality backlinks is not a walk in the park. If you want to properly index both your high-quality links, you need to follow the advice that we outlined above, as well as go through all the dos and don’ts of backlink indexation to get the maximum possible results.