The Definitive Guide To Getting Backlinks Indexed

The Definitive Guide To Getting Backlinks Indexed

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


New to business? Struggling to be found online? Looking to ramp up and take over the interwebs with your awesomeness? Perfect, you’re in the right place.

You see, whether you’re brick and mortar or driving the digital biz train, you’re nothing if people don’t know about you. Think about it. You could be the best sushi place in town, or have the best automatic backlink builder in the universe (hint, hint), but if nobody realizes you exist, you’re tanked!

What’s the solution?

Happy you asked. The key is ranking on Google. And not just any ranking, but ranking high, ranking often, and holding your rank.

It’s more about how you “say” what you say so that Google (and other unnamed search engines) finds relevant content on your amazing site and pulls it to the top of their results.

How exactly do you need to speak to Google?

It goes a little something like this. You work on featuring great content on your site. You focus on keywords specific to your industry or niche, and Google thinks that’s cool.

Your page or article will hit closer to the top of the search results if you do some things Google’s algorithm likes, including:

  • Having a decent density of the keyword on your page
  • Including the keyword in the URL for your page
  • Keeping the traffic that it just sent you on the page for as long as possible
  • Having backlinks to other sites (because hey, if other site are linking to your site’s info, it must be good and reputable)

Having those backlinks to other sites to prove your street cred isn’t enough though. It’s all about getting those backlinks indexed. Because, let’s be real. If Google doesn’t “index” them, you still don’t get seen.

Indexed backlinks are the holy grail to rank on Google. So, treat them like it!

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Don’t get me wrong on page, and proper on page optimization is important but after that if you’re still not ranking where you want (most likely your not – that’s why you are reading this) you need backlinks.

Over the last 2 years we have seen a significant decline in Google’s indexing of links.

Let’s be blunt: There is zero point in wasting time and money building backlinks if Google isn’t going to even see them to index them!

Some of our shocking stats:

8 Months After Building Citations – Only 14 of the 93 URLs were indexed

2+ Years After Building Citations – Only 6 of the 99 URLs were indexed

1 Month After We Released A Press Release –  Only 1 of the URLs were indexed

1 Month After Building 150 Social Profiles/Web 2.0 Links –  Only 11 of the 150 were indexed


For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Joe Troyer. How’s it going?

I’m what you might call a bit of an SEO and PPC nerd, ever since I took up the charge of learning this stuff for myself and my clients over a decade ago.

I run over $500,000 in PPC ad spend a month for my clients alone. Between their sites and mine, we see over 2 commas and 8 zeros worth of unique visitors each month (Yes, you read that right, in the tens of millions). And in case you’re wondering, YES, that translates into lots of commas in the bank for lots of happy site owners.

On top of that, I’ve taught over 40,000 students to do what I do for themselves or their own clients. Because, let’s face it…If you always want to be in demand, learn how to be a good marketer.

I fell into this business because I wanted to provide more value for people, both my agency clients and those out there wanting to learn how they can do what I do for themselves.

I know the more value I add, the more people I help.

The more I help others, the more they help me.

I’m a firm believer in what goes around comes around, and what you put out you attract.

If my credentials shake out for you, stick with me. We’ve got a little journey to take to get you to the top of the Google mountain.


  • Get more value from your backlinks
  • Actually get your backlinks indexed
  • Finally get the right eyes on your prize
  • Sell lots of stuff and dominate the planet (or whatever it is you want to do with the money you make…We won’t judge you)

But first, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page with backlinks. Sound good?


There are eight different types of backlinks you can score for your site. They are:

  • Citations
  • Directory links
  • Naturally earned contextual links
  • Manually earned contextual links
  • Blog comments
  • Profile links
  • Web 2.0/Social links
  • Press release links

I see way too many SEO’s trying to keyword optimize their anchor text (the colored words in a hyperlink that you click on to open to another URL) for link types that should only be using Naked/Branded links (the actual URL shows and is clickable).

Look-different link types SHOULD have different anchor text strategies.

For example, a citation, i.e. local business directory, listing typically contains your business name, address, phone number, etc.

Citations/Local Directory links should be non-promotional. Period!

A lot of people inexperienced with SEO will try optimizing the anchor text for their exact keywords. One example is “Louisville Appliance Repair“.

For every other listing on these directories, the anchor text is what we call non-promotional/branded.

Here’s what we’re talking about:

Name of Company

Citations are pillow links. Simply, they are links that are created to establish your business as a brand, using non-promotional anchor text.

Six of the eight total types of links are really pillow links:

  • Citation links
  • Directory links
  • Blog comments
  • Profile links
  • Web 2.0/Social links
  • Press Release links

They are the foundation of your link building. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what happens without a strong foundation, do I?

Pillow links are super important to your overall link strategy, so don’t just brush them off, okay? Instead, you need to make them c-o-u-n-t!


I can already hear someone in the comments that has a national business saying,

“Citations aren’t relevant to me. “I’m a national business, I don’t need or want to show up in maps.”

Let’s take a moment to break down all the “wrong” in that WAY too common assumption.

Rand Fishkin from Moz says: “At first glance, local links and local citations might seem unnecessary for non-local websites. On a closer look, however, there are strong underlying benefits to gaining those local votes of confidence that could prove invaluable for everyone.”Rand’s reasoning on why every website (not just local sites) should invest in local citations:

“Wait, Joe I thought this post was about backlink indexing not a rant on inexperienced SEO’s.”

It 100% is. I just needed to set the stage a bit.

Here’s the thing. Over the last two years, I’ve found that all of our pillow links are getting harder and harder to index.

And remember, there’s no point in building pillow links, or ANY other types of links if GOOGLE isn’t going to see them, index them and count them.

Google’s Indexing overall is getting worse and worse….

I get it, really I do. The web is HUGE.

In 2016 Barry Schwartz reported on Search Engine Land that Google knows about over 130 trillion pages across the web. Google at that time stated:

“Search starts with the web. It’s made up of over 130 trillion individual pages and it’s constantly growing.” 

But at the end of the day, we all need our pillow links to rank effectively on Google.

Call me crazy, but when I pay for 300 manual citations, I damn sure want Google to know that they’re all (or almost all) getting indexed. Otherwise, what’s the point? We’re all just wasting time and money.

When I do a press release, I want to get my money’s worth. Doing a press release for pillow links and only getting one indexed simply isn’t acceptable.

Our solution…Test to see what Google’s indexing.


Step 1: You paid for your links to get manually indexed. You’re feeling pretty good about your business visibility jumping to the top of Google’s “hit list.”

Step 2: You and some of your team do a quick search on Google and…Crickets. What the f@#$?

Step 3: Time to call in the big guns to see what’s happening with all those links you paid to index.

Here’s what’s in our tool box.


In the past our go-to for checking if our backlinks were indexed was Scrapebox.


  • Been around forever
  • It’s super versatile


  • Need lots of proxies – this isn’t so much of a problem just a complaint
  • Lots of false positives – Often with Scrapebox It will say a URL isn’t indexed, but when you check manually it is
  • Extra time to run the list of URLs reporting as not indexed to sort out any incorrect results
  • Need a dedicated PC/Mac to run it (It’s 2018 there’s gotta be a better way to do things than hogging up your entire computer’s resources!)

Google Indexation Tester By Greenlane

We started using Greenlane’s indexation tester that runs in Google Sheets, and absolutely fell in love with it.


  • FREE
  • Runs On Google Sheets – Don’t need to run on your computer locally
  • No need for proxies


  • Limits: If you are trying to run 100,000 links through the tool it’s going to timeout with Google Sheets

Plus, Greenlane has some other cool features inside. Check out these tabs:

After you check them, Greenlane automatically puts your URLs into either the “Indexed URLs” tab or the “Non-indexed URLs” tab of the Google sheet. (Pretty freakin’ sweet!)

The Sitemap Importer tab does exactly what you think it would do…

You put in a sitemap URL, and the Google sheet will pull back all the URLs in the sitemap. Then, you can copy and paste the list into the indexation tester tab. Obviously this post is focused on indexing backlinks, BUT ensuring your website pages are indexed is UBER important too.

SidebarWe’ve been able to literally get on the first page of Google for non-competitive keyword phrases just by getting a page indexed that formerly wasn’t.


These backlinks indexing were checked roughly one month after they were built. We gave Google two weeks to find them naturally.

Then we submitted the URLS to two indexing services-Linklicious and One-Hour Indexing.

We waited two more weeks and checked to see how many were indexed.

Citations Indexing Test Results

WL Marketing Citation order placed: 12/7/2015

Ran the Citation List through Greenlane Indexation Tester: 6 of 99 Indexed

Just to prove this wasn’t a fluke, here’s another example, ordered 4/27/2017

Ran the Citation List through Greenlane Indexation Tester: 14 of 93 Indexed

Social/Web2.0 Links Indexing Test Results

Ran the Social/Web2.0’s Links/Profiles List through Greenlane Indexation Tester: 0 of 150 Indexed

Press Release Indexing Test Results

Ran the Press Release Distribution URL List through Greenlane Indexation Tester: 0 of 311 Indexed


One of the most misleading parts of indexing is understanding if a URL can even be indexed. No need to waste any more time or money if they can’t be.

Be sure to check these two criteria to know.

1. Robots.txt – The URL you submitted isn’t blocked from being indexed inside the domains robots.txt file.

2. No Index – The URL page source code does not contain the “noindex” meta tag which would prevent the page from indexing.

An example of this would be:



I’m sure you can tell we were a little ticked about our pillow link indexing test results. If you’re experiencing the same issues, here’s what to do next.

Catching Up:

  • Put all of your backlinks for each site into its own Google Sheet
  • Run through Greenlane Indexation Tester
  • Verify that all the URLs that aren’t indexed are indexable (not blocked in robots.txt or source code via noindex
  • Separate non-indexable links into new tab called “non-indexable”

Ongoing Maintenance:

  • Every week index new backlinks
  • Once a month do an audit
  • Run all of your links through Greenlane Indexation Tester
  • Verify that all the URLs that aren’t indexed are indexable (not blocked in robots.txt or source code via noindex
  • Separate non-indexable links into new tab called “non-indexable”

Avoid these traps when trying to index your backlinks:

  • Pinging your links-Don’t bother, it just doesn’t work anymore
  • Buying mass amounts of links from Fiverr
  • Sit around and hoping or praying they get indexed
  • Build backlinks from no index platforms (Not gonna lie, it really does happen, even to the best of us!)

I’m sure you can tell we were a little ticked about our pillow link indexing test results. If you’re experiencing the same issues, here’s what to do next.


Obviously, as you saw we had literally next to no results letting Google try and index these backlinks naturally. We also struck out with Linklicious and One-Hour Indexing.

We DID, however, have AH-mazing results with Index AutoPilot. We got a BOATLOAD of backlinks indexed, which of course shot us straight upward in our Google ranks.

Based on our results, we decide to take a group of our readers through this process. Not surprisingly, they had similar experiences.

Social/Web2.0 Indexing Case Study

Step 1: I tried running the links through Instant Indexer and One-Hour Indexing. Two weeks later there were NONE indexed. (Check the before screenshot here)

Step 2: I submitted links to Index AutoPilot. In less than an hour I got 83 of the links indexed. BAM!

Social Takeaways:

  • Don’t build links that can’t be indexable (yes, lol this happens)
  • is a redirect link – these aren’t impossible to get indexed, but VERY hard. Frankly I don’t even try to get these – blocks URLS from being indexable in their robots.txt file
  • Instapaper – What?
  • – – is a short link example:  that redirects to a page like this:
  • Tumblr – Blocking indexing with noindex

31 Out Of 150 will never index

So really we got 83 out of 119 of the indexable backlinks indexed, or, 69%.

If you TRULY focus your efforts linking on platforms that will get indexed, you’re results can look MUCH MUCH better:

Huge Win! 362 out of 375 indexed.

Press Releases Indexing Case Study

Step 1: I tried running the links through Instant Indexer and One-Hour Indexing. Two weeks later there was only ONE URL indexed. (Here’s the before screenshot)

Step 2: I submitted links to Index AutoPilot. By the next morning’s check in time, 68 links  were indexed.

Press Release Takeaways:

  • You will find a lot of press releases have nearly identical URL structure
  • If you analyze the robots.txt files you’ll see most of your press releases aren’t indexable

Example URL:  (not my release or my client’s – just an example)

You will see a lot of press releases in the report you get back after doing a release that have that same structure, ie: “”

I found that in my distribution report for my press release a TON of the URLs contained “/news/read/” in the url.

“But Joe, why is that bad?” you ask.

I found a correlation between the URL structure and the press release sites blocking the URL from getting indexed via the robots.txt file.


After doing a deep dive looking at every URL in my distribution report, looking at their robots.txt file, and checking for “noindex,” 203 of the 312 urls weren’t indexable.

That leaves us with only 109 URLs that were even possible to index.

Believe me, I was glad to see I got 68 of 109 URLs indexed from the press releases!

And, if you’re on the fence about investing money, energy or time in press releases, check out this test run we tried out.

Citations Indexing Case Study

Step 1:  I tried running the links through Instant Indexer and One-Hour Indexing. Two weeks later there were 14 of 93 indexed. (Before screenshot here)

Step 2: I submitted to Index AutoPilot and checked the next day –  I got 49 more of the links indexed.

(Not sure why we only ran this on 92 instead of 93)

Citations Takeaways:

  • Whenever you build citations manually or use aggregators, you have to wait for your listings to go live
  • When we outsourced the 300 manually built submissions we may have gotten back 90-100 URLs in the report
  • Looking at the URLs quite a few contain “preview” or similar words in the URL
  • This isn’t the final URL of your citation, so don’t try and index it
    • For example in The Report You Could See A URL that looks like this:
    • But Your Actual Citation Would Look Like This:
  • We recommend waiting two weeks after your citations are built and take the submission report you got back from your citation builder and look up your listing on each of the sites they submitted to.
    • Do a search in the city, and category where you submitted your citation
    • Click on the listing
    • Copy and paste that URL back into your Backlink Tracking Google Sheet.
  • Check to see if the URLs are indexable
  • Citations are mostly indexable in our experience


You betcha! You actually see rank improvements. No surprise here.

We’ve seen a TON of our customers get great results with Index AutoPilot. Here’s just a few examples:

“I have a lot more confidence now to do more link building. You guys have helped me crush it and I really appreciate it!”  – Brian Blanc

“I am getting incredible results with it. I’ve already shared one with you…Taking a $69 legal keyword and getting it to move from #23 to #5 within 5 days…Worked like magic. ”  – Steve Adam

“My Amazon affiliate site has now found its way to page one after 8 months of constant work to it. Looking forward to some commission now.”  – George Negron

“My rankings are going nuts, from spot number 30 to 6 for example, and 112 to 67 in 4 days!  It’s just amazing!” – Theresa Capalbo


  • Know your backlinks-Pay close attention to those pillow links because they are your strong foundation
  • Get your hands on Greenlane’s FREE Google Indexation Tester
  • Index (or pay someone to do it for you) your links
  • Give Google a couple of weeks to do it’s thing with its algorithm to find you
  • Check your rank on Google to see if you’re where you want to be (most peeps aren’t)
  • Don’t like your ranking? Test your links inside Greenlane and record your results
  • Verify the unindexed links from your Greenlane results are indexable
  • Use Index AutoPilot to get the indexable links indexed
  • Check the next day to see if you have more links indexed with Greenlane
  • See how your rank moves up over the next few days on Google
  • Keep up with weekly indexing of new links and monthly Greenlane index reports

Now that you know what to do get discovered on Google, make more sales, and dominate the planet, what’s next on your getting backlinks indexed agenda?

If you answered, “I’m gonna snatch up Index AutoPilot,” I’ve got some FANTASTIC news for you.

You see, I’ve got the exclusive right (Don’t bother looking anywhere else, unless of course you don’t trust me, in which case, why are you still reading this?) to give you a massive discount!


Limited time offer with this throwback pricing.

Enter the coupon code CHARTER and save $200 instantly for a one year subscription to Index AutoPilot.



Joe Troyer

Joe Troyer is the Founder of Digital Triggers. He is leading expert in all things Internet Marketing: Pay Per Click Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Google Business, Reputation Management, Landing Page Conversion, and Call Tracking.

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