If you already spend so much time and investment to build a great website but the traffic is so small or almost zero. You might need to get better at SEO. However, it’s not always the case. One of my previous clients has great e-commerce that is mobile-friendly and responsive. In addition to all that, they previously hired SEO experts to create content and implement good content strategies to target their audience.
After quite some time, the traffic didn’t increase at all, so they decided to contact me and asked if there’s anything wrong with their strategy and what is the issue and why things didn’t work for them. I spent some time checking and found out that they have great content for SEO strategy, state of art website design, and everything was almost perfect, except for one simple issue. The issue was that this website is not indexed by Google.
Long story short, I fixed the issue and I have one more happy client. It was a really quick fix!
So, for today’s special, I am going to cover some of the reasons that your website might not appear on search results on Google or any other search engine.
How to check and verify if your website is indexed on Google?
But, how do you actually confirm if your website is not indexed by Google?
Well, to actually confirm and verify if you have this issue, you should open your browser and search for your domain first with these simple steps;
- Go to Google
- On the search bar, type > site:www.YourWebsiteName.com
- The search result will show all the pages that Google already indexed from your website.
If you have more than 50 pages but Google the search result only shows 20 pages, it means that there are at least 30 pages missing that haven’t been indexed by Google yet.
The reasons why your website does not appear or indexed on Google
Now, we are going to talk about the root problems on why Google does not index your website (yet). Here are the most common issues:
1. It’s a new website
Your website has not yet been indexed by Google because it’s a new website. This is most common with newly launched websites. So, please do not worry too much because in reality it takes time and is perfectly normal.
A search engine’s search results can take a week or more to update. This is due to the fact that your website is new and (usually) has no inbound links.
What to do:
If your site is new and this problem sounds like your current issue right now, you should sign up for a Google Search Central and create an account there.
You can request that Google re-crawl your URLs when you register and point them to your sitemap.xml URL. However, because there are so many requests, the feature does not always work right away (especially if you have a new or large site).
If you do not want to create a Google Search Central, and you already have Google Search Console, you can set up your sitemap there and add your URL to Google.
What you should know is that Google does not index all submitted URLs, and they cannot predict or guarantee when or if submitted URLs will appear in their index. However, if your new website is crawled, it usually takes another week or two for it to be indexed.
2. Google does not consider your site to be “trustworthy” or “relevant” for the keyword.
Earning Trust is the key to gaining Search Share. It is safe to say that the entire search engine optimization (SEO) industry exists for this purpose. It is extremely common for someone to create a website for a business, only to have Google bury it on page 9 of search results or more, or even not show it at all.
But consider it from Google’s point of view and ask these questions;
- Why should Google show your site to the user?
- Is there anything truly unique about your company or website?
- Is there a reason Google should trust you so much right away that your site should outrank sites that have been up for months or years?
What to do:
How to build trust and be relevant? This is one of the most contentious topics in SEO, with two opposing camps arguing vehemently for their point of view.
White Hat SEO
White hat SEOs approach building trust by providing value to internet users. This is how Google wants us to manage our websites: conduct research to identify topics that are relevant to our businesses and useful to internet users, and then create unique, valuable content around those topics.
Google notices when people appear to find what they are looking for on your website, or when they have to visit other websites to find what they are looking for. Furthermore, if you create unique assets that add value to people’s lives, other websites will undoubtedly link to them. This is known as “link building” or “earning links.”
Fulfilling search intent and gaining links from other websites demonstrate to the search engine that you should be trusted and that it should return your website as a result when people search for topics related to your web pages.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEOs manipulate trust by obtaining links to their websites through a variety of methods. These techniques have the advantage of requiring less effort and working faster than white hat SEO methods. The disadvantage is that Google engineers are usually pretty quick to pick up on the methods they use, making them less than ideal long-term business tactics.
3. In your robots.txt file, you have blocked the Googlebot crawler.
Your robots.txt file tells crawlers which pages on your site they can and cannot crawl. If you unintentionally block a page or a folder containing an important asset, Google is unlikely to index your site.
What to do:
All pages on this list will not be indexed. Examine your robots.txt file to see if you accidentally blocked a page that you want to appear on Google. This post will not go into detail about robots.txt, but if you have any questions, please contact us. If you want to do it yourself, read this article on the subject by Cognitive SEO.
4. You’ve set a page or the entire site to “noindex,” checked the “prevent search engines from indexing this site” box in WordPress, or made another page the canonical version.
A “noindex” directive instructs search engines not to include a page in their index. If you do this, it stands to reason that your page will not appear on Google.
Going to the page and viewing the source code. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a developer to do this. This is the most effective way to determine if your page is noindexed. Once you’re on the code page, use CTRL+F or CMD+F to search for the word “noindex.” If nothing appears, your page has not been noindexed.
If you use the popular Yoast SEO plugin in a WordPress site, you should check to see if the page has been deindexed there. Go to the Yoast plugin and select the gear icon on the left.
What to do:
Check that the “allow search engines to show the page in search results” option is set to “yes.” Also, make certain that the “canonical URL ” is not set to another page. A “rel=canonical” tells the search engine that this is not the original content and that it should not be indexed, instead of indexing the “canonical” url.
5. You’ve been penalized, and Google has deindexed your website.
If your website used to be in the search results but is no longer, confirm it by searching for site:yourdomain.com. If nothing appears, you may have a problem.
If you haven’t already, verify your domain in Google Search Console and see if you receive a notification about a manual penalty. Google will usually notify you if your website has been penalized, as well as the reason for the penalty. It also allows you to request that the site be reconsidered after you’ve addressed the offending issues.
What to do:
Penalties are usually imposed when a website does something wrong, such as spam links, scrape content, or become hacked. Google usually lifts the penalty once you’ve resolved the issue, but if it’s something major, like link spam, you may have a lot of work ahead of you.
So, do your best to resolve it and let Google do the rest!
6. There is a technical problem with your website that prevents Google from crawling and indexing it.
You won’t be able to do this yourself unless you have prior experience with technical SEO. It is all too easy, especially when dealing with e-commerce SEO, to create a site that works for users but is inaccessible to search engine crawlers. If Googlebot cannot understand your content, it will not be able to deliver it.
What to do:
If you suspect this is a problem with your site, get in touch with a technical SEO of web developer to check them for you.
So, these 6 issues are the general issue that usually happens all the time. If your website does not appear in Google. My suggestion is to eliminate all these diagnoses first and see if you can finally resolve them. However, if you are not too technical, you can ask a professional to do it for you. Hope these tips help!