Is Indexing Required to Rank in Google?

In the search engine optimization world, the latest fad is getting in the Google index. Right now most SEOs think a link doesn't count unless it's in the index, right? Wrong!

Generally SEOs read something that sounds good and they immediately hop on the bandwagon. A couple of years ago you wanted to be in the Google cache for your link to count but most recently it changed to being "indexed". But like we found when making Linklicious and RSS feeds, don't believe the hype.

To give an example of ranking with zero indexed links, let me share with you one of our throwaway made-for-adsense (MFA) sites. We threw this site up six months or so ago to test out some ranking theories and promptly forgot about it. After getting so many questions about indexing and replying so many times, I decided to drag it up as an example I don't mind sharing.

Indexed links: Zero
Ranking terms:
air course #1
course air #1
flight course #1
articles on flight school #5
articles on flight training #7
best flight course #7
accelerated flight course #9
accelerated pilot license #9
best flight training #10
the best way to learn to fly #11
accelerated flight courses #12
accelerated flying course #12
accelerated pilot license #14
accelerated pilots license training #15
accelerated flying courses #16

Indexed backlinks

So what's the takeaway? You can rank easily with a large volume of weak links, just like a dripping faucet can fill a bathtub. That's what makes so powerful - it takes that flood of low quality links and makes sure they are found and counted.

This begs the question though. Would I rather have an indexed link or an unindexed link. The answer is indexed of course, simply because Google considers it more valuable. But I think so little of indexing that I never even check to see my indexing stats. Instead of building 10 or 50 links to get a page indexed, just throw those links at your money site where they can make a direct and obvious benefit without link juice dilution.

So head out there and start testing these "facts" you hear about. Don't take what I or anyone else spouts as the truth. (And of course share some secrets with us when you find them!)

Linklicious Updates
  • Major overhaul to the database schema and indexing approach to speed up overall system.
  • It is widely known that Google crawl depth is partly determined by page load speed. We improved our render time from ~400ms to ~150ms for your links.
  • A handful of cosmetic changes and fixes.
  • We have a new/rare database deadlock issue that pops up once or twice a day that we should get under control today or tomorrow.
  • Due to our growing pains, we want to do the right thing by you guys. We are going to add an additional week of free service for every subscriber. Those of you who already got one week, you'll get another. If you are a free user, you have around 24 hours to sign up to get the free week. We're SEOs like you and just want to give you great tools for your job.
We have a ginormous list of improvements on our product roadmap, but are really focused on getting this core faster and bug free for the site's primary purpose - getting your links crawled. As soon as we feel the site is where it needs to be we'll move to those enhancements.

About Linklicious
    Linklicious was built by and is designed and constructed by professional IN HOUSE developers. Our projects have ranged from transactional systems handling millions of dollars a month to fault tolerant server farms with a dozen or more boxes. I want this service to be amazing and useful, to continue to focus on automating the tedius parts of our job, and keep our community strong.

    If you are confused about the service or wonder how all of this works, take a look at the infographic. And if you haven't upgraded, check out on what you are missing out on!


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