Google Webmaster Tools has introduced a helpful new feature that lets us see how many pages it indexes from a site over time. Found under the Health section of GWT, the Index Status shows a default graph going back 12 months, revealing how many pages from the website that Google had in its index at different times.
The really useful feature, though, is the Advanced tab, which shows not only the indexed pages but also the number of pages from the site that Google has ignored. If, for example, your website has lots of duplicate content (including content where one page has multiple URLs), it may not bother to index some of those links. The Index Status report will also show you how many pages are blocked by robots.txt, as well as the cumulative total over time.
What you should be hoping to see is a steadily rising graph of indexed pages. If you see a rising line, then you can pat yourself on the back because it means Google is continuously finding new content to add to its index.
In its blog announcing the feature, Google offered one useful example of how the Index Status page could prove invaluable.
“if you change the URL structure of your site and don’t follow our recommendations for moving your site, you may see a jump in the count of ‘Not selected’. Fixing the redirects or rel=’canonical’ tags should help get better indexing coverage.”
A look at this report in GWT might be a useful thing to do before then looking at quick improvements you can make to your website. (See How to improve your website in one hour.)
This graph provides a visual representation of how important it is to keep growing the content on your website.