October 12, 2022
by Sofia

Why does the data in Google Search Console differ from the number of indexable pages in crawl results?

Why can the number of indexed pages differ in Google’s SERP data and Google Search Console? Why is the number of indexable pages found by JetOctopus also different from these numbers? Let’s try to figure it out in this article.

The number of pages in SERP and Google Search Console

If you check the number of indexed pages of your website using the site:https://example.com operator in Google and using the Search Console, the data will probably differ.

Why does the data in Google Search Console differ from the number of indexable pages in crawl results? - JetOctopus crawler - 1

Using the site:https://example.com query, you will get the approximate number of pages indexed by Google. Moreover, you can expand the query to see the number of indexed pages in each site directory. For example, you can use site:https://example.com/en, site:https://example.com/en/category, site:https://example.com/fr and so on. 

And if you sum up all the data on the number of pages in Google using the “site:” query with different directories, then this number will be greater than the number of pages that Google showed when checking the home page in the same way..

Instead, the data in Google Search Console is more accurate: this tool is the most reliable source of information about the ranking and indexing of the website in Google. 

So, we recommend using Google Search Console as the main source of data. The query “site:” will only show an approximate number of indexed pages. However, the number of indexable pages found by JetOctopus and the data from GSC will still differ.

The number of indexable pages in crawl results

During crawling, JetOctopus collects all pages that have an index, follow in meta-data or X-Robots-Tag and are not blocked by the robots.txt file. 

You may be interested in: Why are URLs being displayed as non-indexable in crawl results?

In general, this is your search potential. If you fix all technical problems, get rid of duplicates, improve internal linking, all these pages can be indexed by Google. 

The ideal situation is when the number of indexable pages found by JetOctopus is approximately the same as the number of indexed pages shown in Google Search Console.

Unfortunately, in reality the situation is different. Some types of pages may be available for scanning, and others may rank in Google. Usually, the number of pages scanned (or found in a crawl) is much higher than the number of pages that are ranked in the SERP.

Why does the data in Google Search Console differ from the number of indexable pages in crawl results - JetOctopus crawler - 2

If the data in Google Search Console differs from the number of indexable pages in crawl results, try to find the reason. Maybe you need to work on blocking duplicate pages. Or you need to conduct a technical audit and fix technical issues.

After optimization, the number of pages in the SERP should increase, but this does not mean that Google will index all the pages of your website that have an index,follow.

About Sofia
Technical SEO specialist. Sofia has almost 10 years of experience, of which the last 5 years in JavaScript SEO. She is convinced that SEO is a very technical part of digital marketing. And without logs and in-depth data analysis, you can't do effective SEO.

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