Google opens Index Status statistics to webmasters

Google has released a tool to help webmasters and businesses fine tune how the search engine indexes their pages, as well as address security or misconfiguration issues.

Google has launched a tool to help businesses and webmasters determine what pages within an organisation have been indexed.

Previously, webmasters were only able to determine which pages had been indexed by Google's search engine by searching for each individual page manually — a tedious task, especially for organisations that have hundreds, if not thousands, of pages. Google's Index Status now graphs the total number of pages it has indexed over time, allowing businesses to confirm that new pages are being indexed, as well as gather a rudimentary view of how much their site has grown over time.

Index Status graph from Google
(Screenshot by Michael Lee/ZDNet)

The tool also allows webmasters to gain an understanding of what pages are not being indexed, as well as help to identify when changes may have impacted its search engine listing, by observing changes in the data.

Google suggests that any sudden spikes or dips in the number of indexed pages could indicate problems with a site's configuration or security, giving webmasters an indicator that they need to take some form of action. Google typically doesn't index URLs that have been identified as duplicates, and by using the new data, webmasters can determine if certain pages are being miscategorised.

Additionally, hackers sometimes upload the same page to multiple areas on a compromised host so as to maintain access, but these would also be picked up as duplicates, giving a keen-eyed webmaster a warning that something is wrong.

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