URL only listing in Google search results

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Written by Chris Hirst. Posted in Quick Tips on 19 May 2012.
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Occasionally, when running a site: search on Google's index to see what URLs on your website have been indexed you may come across a listing that looks like this:


Where the URL is used as a linked title and there is no description snippet. These are known as PiPs which is an acronym for "Partially indexed Pages". All this means is that the URL has been discovered by Google's system but it has not been crawled and/or the document located there has not been indexed. There are a few reasons why this happens;
The URL may be blocked by robots.txt  and Google has 'found' a link pointing to the URL. As Google's crawler is prohibited from actually reading the document contents, no information can be retrieved from, or for that particular URL.
It also may be that the URL has been only recently added to the index and has not as yet been included in a crawl to read the document contents.

Such result are unlikely to be shown to searcher UNLESS the search was for the website root URL or one of the "special" search commands was used to return results only from the one website. It is a fairly common occurrence particularly with very new sites or recently added documents, it is not detrimental to the website. However if you are seeing a lot of PiPs  on your site, and you are not blocking search engine crawlers in any way you should investigate if there are any other reasons for the URLs not being indexed.

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Author: Chris Hirst

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