Indexability Audit

An indexability audit refers to the process of analyzing a website to ensure that search engines can effectively crawl and index its pages. This audit is pivotal in identifying potential barriers to a search engine’s ability to include pages in their index, which directly impacts a website’s visibility and organic search rankings.


From robots.txt management to ensuring mobile accessibility, these elements play a crucial role in how effectively search engine crawlers navigate and index your site. The following list outlines the key areas to focus on during an SEO technical audit to ensure optimal performance in search engine results pages (SERPs).

  1. Robots.txt: Review and assess the robots.txt file to ensure it is correctly restricting or enabling access to search engine crawlers as intended.
  2. Meta Robots Tags: Check the use of meta robots tags on web pages to confirm they are appropriately directing search engine crawlers on whether to index or follow links on the page.
  3. HTTP Status Codes: Ensure that web pages return correct HTTP status codes; pages intended for indexing should return a 200 OK status.
  4. Redirects: Verify that all redirects are properly set up, with permanent redirects (301) used for permanent page moves, and temporary redirects (302) used correctly where appropriate.
  5. Canonical Tags: Confirm that canonical tags are correctly implemented to prevent issues with duplicate content and to point search engines to the preferred version of a page.
  6. XML Sitemaps: Evaluate XML sitemaps to ensure they are up-to-date, correctly formatted, and submitted to search engines via their respective Webmaster Tools.
  7. Pagination and Multilingual Pages: For websites that use pagination or have multilingual content, the audit should check for proper implementation of rel=”next”/rel=”prev” and hreflang annotations, respectively.
  8. JavaScript and CSS: Analyze the accessibility of JavaScript and CSS files to search engines, ensuring that they do not obstruct page rendering and content indexing.
  9. Site architecture: Assess the site’s architecture for a logical hierarchy that promotes efficient crawling and indexing by search engines.
  10. Content quality: Evaluate the quality of the content to determine if it is substantive and unique enough for search engines to deem it index-worthy.
  11. Mobile accessibility: With the mobile-first indexing approach of search engines, the audit should include checks for mobile accessibility and performance.

Best practices:

To ensure your website remains visible and fully accessible to search engines, adherence to certain best practices is essential. Here’s a concise guide to conducting thorough SEO audits and optimizing your site’s indexability and crawlability for enhanced search performance.

  • Conduct an Indexability Audit on a regular basis, especially after website redesigns, migrations, or major content updates.
  • Combine the indexability findings with a crawlability audit to gain a comprehensive overview of technical SEO issues.
  • Utilize reliable tools and software, such as Google Search Console, Screaming Frog SEO Spider, or SEMrush, for an effective and thorough audit.
  • Document all findings and prioritize them based on their potential impact on SEO performance for efficient resolution.
  • Follow up with corrective actions promptly to ensure that all discovered issues are resolved, allowing for optimal indexing and improved search visibility.

An Indexability Audit is a cornerstone of technical SEO, serving to diagnose and rectify issues that could hinder a website’s ability to rank well in search results. By undertaking such audits, websites can maintain strong visibility and reach their full organic search potential.


How often should an Indexability Audit be conducted?

It is recommended to conduct an Indexability Audit on a regular basis, especially after website redesigns, migrations, or major content updates, to ensure optimal indexing and improved search visibility.

What are some key components to consider in an Indexability Audit?

Components of an Indexability Audit include reviewing the robots.txt file, assessing meta robots tags, checking HTTP status codes, verifying redirects, confirming canonical tags, evaluating XML sitemaps, and more.

Why is an Indexability Audit important for a website?

An Indexability Audit is crucial for a website as it ensures that search engines can effectively crawl and index its pages, directly impacting the websites visibility and organic search rankings.

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