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 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 count for you.

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!)