Website not showing up in google search: Indexing And Ranking On Google
• Why Is My Website Not Showing Up On Google Search? Solutions to help you get indexed and rank higher on google today.
A website not showing up in Google search results can be a MAJOR problem for your business because let’s face it if you can’t easily find your website in Google then neither can your customers. And, if you are faced with this problem the most important thing is to work out ‘why’ and ‘how’ to fix it!
So, there are two main reasons why you might not find your website in the google search results and these are:
- Google has not yet indexed your website.
- Your website is not properly optimized for the Google search engine.
Under these two main reasons there are a couple of ‘explanations’ if I may call them as to why you might not see your result on google, and that’s what we are going to dive into. Let’s start!
How to know why you can’t see your website on google.
The first and easiest step to know why your website does not appear in the google results is to check if your website has been indexed by google or not. In simpler terms you will have to check if your website is on google but it’s hard to find or it’s just not there at all.
For the purposes of this article, imagine that the domain name of your website is ellywambwa.co.ke. To be definitively be sure of the results you get, follow these two simple steps:
- Turn off safe search, which might be filtering your results: On your computer, go to Safe Search settings. Turn Explicit results filter on or off. To turn off Safe Search, turn off Explicit results filter.
- Search Google for your site or page: Do a site search with the syntax site: yourwebsite.com
Examples: site: ellywambwa.co.ke or site: ellywambwa.co.ke/param
In the results, you will see all the pages from your website that are in Google’s index. If no results appear, then none of your pages are currently ‘on Google’ or in other terms, your web pages have not been indexed. For my case I get the following result:
If the pages from your site appear, like mine do, then your website is ‘on Google’ or in other terms, your web pages have been indexed. Your problem in this case is that your site is ‘hard to find’ – which is caused by your website not being properly optimized for the Google search engine.
How to fix: Google has not indexed your website
There are a couple of reasons why your website might not be indexed by google. Here are the most common reasons a website is not indexed on Google and possible solutions:
- Website is Brand New:
When you first publish a website on the internet, Google has no way of knowing it exists. It takes time (approximately 3-days to 4-weeks) for the search engine to find the sites that it adds to its index.
- The first option, not the best though, is to wait for the search engine to find your website. This could take some time especially if you do not have any other websites linking back to your website(backlinks).
- The other option is to create a sitemap and submit it through the Google Search Console. This is basically ‘telling’ Google that your website exists and that you want it included in the index i.e., Google’s search results.
- Google Crawler is Blocked:
Google finds websites through a process called crawling. Which is the process of finding new or updated pages to add to the Google index. When you blocking Google from crawling your website, the crawler will skip your webpages and consequently they will not be available to appear on Google.
- Here the solution is to go into the file directory of your hosting platform. Find the robots.txt file located in the root folder (mostly public_html folder if your website is the primary domain). Open the file and look for the following user agents: User-agent: * and User-agent: Googlebot
- If there is a line of code with “Disallow: /” beneath either of these then probably that is the cause of your problem and to permit Google to crawl your site, simply delete the “Disallow: /” code snippet and save the edited robots.txt file.
- You have the NOINDEX Tag on Your Pages:
There is a way to instruct the Google crawler not to index certain pages on your website. This can be done using the “noindex” meta tags. It is however important to note that, these tags won’t be added to your site unless you do so yourself or your developer did so him/herself.
- To fix this you can either, find the tag on your pages manually by diving into the HTML code for the particular pages and removing the tags.
- Or, if your website is built using a CMS you can use software like the Yoast SEO plugin which allows you to specify on which pages of your website you want to include the tag and which ones you wish to remove from.
- Website is Penalized and Taken Out of the Google Index:
All businesses have a set of guidelines that must be followed for efficient service delivery and Google is no different. Google has a set of guidelines that must be adhered to by publishers for their website to be eligible to rank in search results. Violating these guidelines or in some cases the suspicion that you are trying to, will result to a penalty. If penalized either your pages will be ranked lower or your pages will be excluded from the index entirely.
- To check if your website is penalized by Google, visit the Google Search Console. Go to the “Security & Manual Actions” section and click on “Manual Actions”. Google will give you the opportunity to fix the issues and submit a request to have the penalty removed. Once you have addressed the issues select “Request Review” from the manual actions page.
How to fix: My Site Is on Google but is Hard to Find
Well, at this point you can see your indexed pages with the site search. The problem is, finding your website when searching something related to your website such as a keyword or a certain title is hard. Here are a couple of reasons and solutions to help your website rank higher on Google:
- Lack of Original Content:
The goal of the Google’s Search Engine is to provide users the most relevant results to their search queries. Original content is vital because Google no longer recognizes duplicated content as quality content. In the past, users would duplicate content already written in a method called spun content and this used to work. However, as from 2011 Google shifted its algorithm to use the Panda and Penguin algorithms which eliminate low-quality and duplicate content from search results. In fact, Google now punishes websites for duplicate content by ranking them very low on the search results pages.
- The best solution is to focus on writing fresh, original, high-quality content around your target keywords and phrases keeping in mind in today’s world, Content is King!
- Not Enough Backlinks:
Backlinks are very important for SEO performance basically because they are a signal of quality and they carry a significant weight in Google's PageRank Algorithm. To google high quality backlinks indicate authority in a particular field or on a particular subject.
- Getting high-quality backlinks can take time, especially for a new website. The first step you should take in earning links is to create high-quality content that is worth making reference to. After creating several high-value pages, reach out to authoritative sites in the related industry and ask them if they might be interested to link back to your site.
- You are Targeting Highly Competitive Keywords:
Google uses several elements in various ways to index your content and decide whether it is relevant to searches for your preferred keywords.
- To rank higher on google, first identify the most appropriate keywords for your content. Make sure that you add them in the right places in your website. For more information on keywords and SEO check out this article.
- Your Website Is Too Slow:
Google’s makes great effort to provide its users with the best possible experience. In its efforts it takes many different technical factors into consideration when indexing and ranking websites. Amongst the most important technical factors they evaluate is a website’s loading speed. Google has been using site speed as a ranking signal since 2010. To avoid low rankings on google due to slow page speed focus on:
- minimizing the number of ‘HTTPS requests’ on your website. To put it simply, minimize or avoid using external scripts and images on your website.
- ensuring your images, videos, audio and scripts are compressed and are served with fast-loading formats.
- using fast web hosting services.
- Your Website Has Technical Issues:
Finally, websites experiencing frequent technical issues are greatly disadvantaged in terms of google ranking. Problems like server crashes, DNS problems, and HTTP errors not only affect the user experience but also inhibit Google’s ability to crawl and index your site.
- If your website has a lot of downtime and other issues find alternative solutions that will ensure 100% or at least 99% availability. Find more reliable hosting for your website and enjoy the fruits of your hard labour.
I hope the above tips and solutions are helpful in answering any questions you might have on having your website indexed on google and you understand how to make your site more visible in Google search results. If you need more help on issues related to your websites indexing or ranking on google, feel free to get in touch and I’d be happy to help.