After all the hours of designing, writing, coding, you’re finally ready to showcase your website to the world, but guess what? It’s nowhere to be found on Google’s search pages. Why? What went wrong? Don’t worry that happens to a lot of pages. Especially for new websites, it can sometimes be hard to get indexed by Google, which means your site will not appear. In this post, we talk about the reasons why Google isn’t indexing your site.
Your site is relatively new
If you’ve just made your website and it went live, say a day ago, then Google probably hasn’t even found your site yet. It can take some time to index it. That could even mean a couple of weeks.
After waiting for a couple of weeks, you can check if your site is indexed or not by searching:
If you’re looking for a particular page, you could search
A single result should pop up, which means that Google recognizes your site. If there isn’t any, you would have to create a sitemap and submit it to the Google Search Console. If there are any errors, they will be listed in the Google Search Console. Alternatively, you can use the Bing Search console to fix this issue.
The sitemap tells Google which pages are most important, and it helps speed up the discovery process.
Your privacy settings are on
Ever heard of the expression: ‘simplest answer is usually the right one?’ That could be true here too. If WordPress powers your website, you may not have realized that the privacy settings are on. You can turn them off by going into Settings > Readings, changing the site visibility settings to “Allow Search engines”, and clicking on the Save button.
There are some crawl errors
Crawling is basically when search engine bots are sent to collect data about the page. This data is then used to see how accessible your page is for the search engine. There are cases when Google doesn’t index certain pages on your site because it cannot crawl them. The pages are still visible to Google even if it can’t crawl them. But they won’t be there in the search results.
Thankfully, you will get to know if it’s a crawl error through the Error report. To access it, go to the Google Search Console and check the crawl errors after selecting your site. Your unindexed pages will appear in the “Top 1,000 pages with errors” list if you have any crawl errors. If they’re not there, then it’s probably some other issue from this list.
You could be unknowingly blocking Google from crawling your site through the robots.txt file. Google checks this first before it indexes your file. The file could have a no follow or no-index tag, which is there for pages that are under construction. The tag will have to be removed for your website to be indexed.
Or, another reason could be that your page’s URL is blocked on the file, so it is not showing up in the search results. Google Search Console should notify you about any issues relating to your sitemap if you’ve submitted it. See any errors related to “Submitted URL blocked by robots.txt” in the “Coverage” report. That only works if Google has already crawled your sitemap. If you submitted this just recently, then that may not yet be the case. You can also check manually if you wish.
Go to yourdomain.com/robots.txt. There you’ll have to remove the Disallow: / directive under User-agent: * and User-agent: Googlebot from the file that pops up. If there is no file, then you’ll have to create a robots.txt file.
Your page could be devoid of any problems, but you would still need to prove to Google that it should be ranked. Several factors can affect how good your page ranks, and the number of backlinks is one of them. Pages that do not have even a single internal link are called Orphan pages.
Make sure yours isn’t one. Double-check to make sure the link isn’t faulty or unreachable. Your backlinks also need not be too many in number. Make sure they’re all high-quality links functioning well and aren’t being duplicated.
Duplicate content occurs when the same or similar web page appears at different URLs. Google will not index such pages as it takes up unnecessary space. So, the page that has been set as canonical will be the one indexed. A canonical tag prevents search engines from finding duplicate content on certain web pages. You should avoid duplicate content, which can harm your website on numerous levels. Search engines know which version of a URL to display when the canonical tag is set during a search.
Your competitors could also use your content. Sometimes a lot of websites use the same manufacturer’s descriptions when listing the product.
At the same time, your content also needs to be of good quality. Otherwise, it won’t rank that high up in search results. For example, HubSpot statistics inform that 75% of users in Australia never scroll past the first page of search results. Specialists that have experience doing Digital Marketing in Australia can help these websites retain more visitors. So, the first page of your website needs to have the answers the visitor came for. Google is always looking for comprehensive and fresh content, and they will automatically rank something that’s good.
Your page has a penalty
This is very unlikely to happen, but it is still possible. Your page could have gotten a penalty, and that would have led it to be de-indexed. If your site doesn’t meet Google’s quality guidelines, it may be removed from search results temporarily or permanently. Google Search Console will alert you if your site has been penalized. You will need to change your website to meet Google’s guidelines. You can then submit your site for reconsideration to get it back on Google.
Getting Google to index your pages
Make sure your page has a good number of high-quality internal links. This creates a connection with other high-ranking websites and lets Google know that your content is worthy of being noticed. No orphan pages and no duplicated links. Also, don’t forget to include these links in your sitemap!
A site that loads quickly
If your website loads fast, then Googlebot can crawl it faster too. Where your website’s load speed isn’t satisfactory and frequently requests time out, you are simply wasting crawl budget. Changing your hosting service is probably a good solution. You might need to clean up some codes if the problem results from your website structure itself. Even better, try optimizing your site.
Beef up your SEO
Make use of some local SEO services and begin by conducting a full SEO audit. Make sure you’re sending consistent SEO signals and optimizing your site for search by streamlining web design and UI for a better user interface on mobiles, including target keywords in the titles, meta descriptions, and creating high-quality and comprehensive content.
The Web’s getting bigger. While tech is also evolving fast, it can be a little hard to keep up with the vast amount of content uploaded daily. Google itself says that it has a finite number of resources, and the online content seems to be nearly infinite. They can only find and crawl a percentage of that content. Further, they can only index a certain portion. Likely, Google will not visit every page of your website, even if it is relatively small. To succeed in your business, you must ensure that Google can discover and index the pages that matter most. This can be done by:
- Having good internal links
- Ensuring your site loads quickly
- Optimizing your site with SEO
- Checking for crawl errors and ensuring your sitemap is updated
If your pages get indexed by Google, people will only find your site on the internet. Otherwise, it’s as good as not having a website. You should find a timely solution and follow the tips mentioned above if your website or some pages are not indexed to further boost your business.