You’ve just published your brand-spanking-new website and are eagerly awaiting all those search engine referrals for your business. But when you type in the domain name in Google to make sure it’s the top spot, you don’t even see it. Anywhere. How is it that your website, which is live and kicking on your server, is not even on the Google search engine when you type the URL exactly?
Well, there could be many reasons why. It’s not as uncommon as you think. Of course, working with a search engine optimization (SEO) expert first can ensure it gets on Google more quickly, but if you’ve done DIY website design and still aren’t seeing results, even one result, then read on for what may be the problem.
1. It’s Too Soon – You Haven’t Been Google Indexed Yet
The Google Bot can only crawl so many sites a day. Your site may simply be too new to have been crawled yet. If your site still isn’t showing up in the search engine after about a month, take these steps to get noticed.
- Add your website to the Google Search Console. Google makes no guarantees about when submitted URLs will be added to its index, but it’s a great first step to try.
- Add your site with a Google Webmaster Tools account. It’s free to sign up, get all the Google Search Console features, and make sure your website is Google-friendly. You’ll get email alerts whenever there are issues with your website that aren’t playing nice with Google.
- Request a recrawl. If you’ve added a new page to a website or changed an existing site, ask Google to recrawl your URLs.
Just know when you’re contacting Google, there is no guaranteed time frame of when action will be taken, if at all. Optimizing your site in other ways can help speed up the process.
2. Your Website Says “Noindex”
Some web developers will use “noindex” meta tags in web page HTML code or return a “noindex” header in the HTTP request so that the website doesn’t show up in Google Search. Reasons why someone might use “noindex” include:
- The website is being worked on and isn’t ready to go live yet
- The page is for only a specific audience, such as an email list, and the developer wants to keep it private otherwise
- The page may be an internal resource, such as for the web developers or for a group of employees
- The page is displayed when a goal is completed, such as a thank you page, and doesn’t need to be indexed on Google
- The page is a duplicate page or page that’s very similar to a page that is indexed, and the developer doesn’t want to take away competition, but still wants the page live for a specific audience
If your developer used this tag for your site, that’s what could be holding it back. Check to make sure “noindex” is eliminated if you want your site on Google.
3. Google Has Blocked or Banned Your Site
Google has a list of quality guidelines that mandate what makes a website feature-worthy in the search engine. Other people can report sites that they think are violating the quality guidelines, which include:
- Make a website for users, not search engines
- Don’t deceive web visitors
- Avoid techniques that are intended to game a search engine
- Don’t create a website that harms other users
- Don’t display illegal activity on a website
If your website has been flagged as webspam or violates Google’s quality guidelines, you may be temporarily blocked or banned altogether. To be reconsidered for the Google search engine if you’ve been banned or blocked, you must submit a reconsideration request.
4. Your Site Has Low-Quality Content
Several other factors may be preventing your website from showing up on the first page of results, or at all. These include:
- Your site is thin on content
- Your URL and primary keywords are too similar to many others’ who have already established authority
- Your website is lacking metadata, relevant keywords and SEO optimization in your publishing platform
Landing in the top 10 results for certain terms, let alone the top result, takes a holistic approach that includes website design optimization, content creation, link-building and keyword optimization. Mobile optimization, which is vital considering more people spend more time on mobile than desktop devices today, has a slew of additional essential considerations in order to appear on mobile search engines, including security.
Google penalizes sites for a wide variety of reasons. For a free SEO audit and consultation on what factors could be holding you back from appearing on Google, contact AlphaMind Studios online or at (303) 832-8193.