A quick recap on my niche website project. At the start of November, I purchased a new domain name, and started building a niche website, using both manual writing and programmatic SEO.

You can read the month one report here.

Now that it’s early January, it’s time to report on the results of the second month, December.

Website tasks and progress

In each of these monthly reports, I will be documenting the work I have done, as a way for you to see what I am working on, and what works and what hasn’t.

I spent December writing more content, tweaking variables for my programmatic content, and building a few strategic inbound links.

Content goals

During December, I published 218 posts, totalling 286,007 Words. That works out to an average of 1,312 words per post.

Out of those 218 posts, there were 16 hand written posts by me, and the other 202 were programmatic SEO posts.

There are now 373 posts published on the website, which is a huge achievement. I have scheduled posts every day between now and early April as well, so this figure will at least double in that time.

Month 2 results

As you can see in the screenshot of Ahrefs.com below, I did a small amount of backlink building, and ended the month with 22 referring websites providing a total of 284 backlinks. The domain rating moved from 8 up to 12 during the month.

The most exciting component of this screenshot though, is the 117 keywords that this website is now ranking for.

Niche website month 2 Ahrefs

Niche website project month 2 Ahrefs[/caption]

Next up is the latest screenshot from Google Analytics. Last month, the site attracted 104 unique users, and my hope was I could beat that in month two.
During December, the website got 143 unique visitors who stayed for an average of just over two minutes, which shows that they were engaged enough to stick around for a bit. Fantastic!

Niche website month 2 traffic

Niche website month 2 traffic

Now all of this so far is looking pretty positive. I mean the site isn’t on some crazy hockey stick curve towards success, however it is doing pretty well given it is only two months old.

This is where I need to talk about a negative issue though.

Crawled – currently not indexed

Taking a look at Google Search Console, we can see that page indexing could be an issue. The overall indexing graph illustrates that Google has successfully indexed 269 of the website pages, however it has chosen to not index a further 775 pages.

Niche website month 2, Google Search Console

Niche website month 2, Google Search Console

There’s six reasons listed below that graph that this has occurred. Some are settings that I have set, yet others are because Google has chosen not to include them.

What I am most concerned about is the one I have highlighted; crawled – currently yet indexed. On Google’s support page for these reasons, they state that this specific reason means “The page was crawled by Google but not indexed. It may or may not be indexed in the future; no need to resubmit this URL for crawling.”

GSC: Pages not indexed

GSC: Pages not indexed

This status message may seem pretty vague, however what we can extrapolate from that is that Google has chosen not to index these pages. And not necessarily because they have been blocked, or 404 or these URL’S have been given a noindex tag or any of the other reasons.

Looking further into these, I find that only some of the URL’s are actually a concern.

Indexing status, month 2

Indexing status, month 2

This spreadsheet shows the indexed (c) versus not indexed (b) since I started this niche website project. The two columns, F and G is what matters here. The most recent index figures show that 452 of the 775 not indexed pages are URL’s that have been crawled but not indexed.

Further to this, columns H (total articles) and I (percent of total pages) show that there are pages that I actually care about, that are not being indexed.

Even though that may equate to only 7.1% of pages that haven’t been indexed, it is still 74 pages that I really want indexed.

So now it’s a case of reviewing these URL’s manually, and trying to determine why Google has opted to not index them. There’s a number of reasons this could happen, including just not having the crawl budget to get to them all.

I have found that there are both manually written articles as well as programmatic SEO articles in that list. Overwhelmingly, it is the latter, however Google also indexed hundreds of other programmatic pages which have similar content length, etc so I’m a little puzzled.

I am trying a few small tweaks out, and will let you know in a future report what effect (if any) that they have had to this.

Further reading

If you have a similar issue, here are some external articles for further reading on the subject;

Crawled — Currently Not Indexed: A Coverage Status Guide (moz.com)

How to Fix “Discovered – currently not indexed” (ahrefs.com)

How to Fix “Crawled – Currently Not Indexed” Error in Google Search Console (rankmath.com)

How an SEO Fixed a Weird Crawled Currently Not Indexed Issue (searchenginejournal.com)

In Conclusion

We’ve now got through the first two months of this niche website project and the various actions and thought processes so far in this experiment.

Stay tuned for the next article at the start of February, where I’ll talk more about how I have been addressing this indexing issue and more.

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