If you’re asking yourself, “Why is my website not showing up on Google?” you’re not alone. You may understand the importance of appearing on page one of the search engine results page (SERP), but how do you get there? Here’s why your website might not be ranking on Google and how you can fix it.
Your Website Could Be Too New to be Indexed by Google
If you’ve just launched your website, you won’t show up in the Google search results until your website has had a chance to be indexed, which could take as few as four days, or up to four weeks.
Indexing means Google recognizes that your website exists. However, recognizing your website doesn’t mean Google will put it on page one.
You’ll have to build a bit of website authority first, which comes in the form of Content, internal links and backlinks, user experience, and code.
Your Content May Not Be Valuable to Readers
Google measures how your visitors engage with your website, which is how your site can gain or lose authority.
When a user visits your site and immediately leaves, that’s called a bounce. A high bounce rate tells Google that the users aren’t interested in your Content.
Your article or blog post didn’t answer their question or provide the right information, so they left quickly.
If people aren’t interested in your website, Google won’t continue to show it on its search engine results page.
Your Content Isn’t Optimized for Search.
Google is powered by keywords, keyword phrases, and longtail keyword strategies. If you don’t have the right in-depth Content for your topic, even if you’ve got super useful information to provide, your page won’t show up on the search engine results page (SERP).
It may also be that your keywords are too competitive, over-stuffed, or not specific enough to your Content.
Research keyword strategies to make sure you’re using the right keywords, words that people are actually searching for, to appear on Google’s SERP.
The User Experience is Poor
Besides needing high-quality, problem-solving Content, your website viewers need to have a seamless and satisfying user experience (UX).
Your website might not load quickly enough, may not be mobile-friendly, could appear unprofessional due to grammatical errors, have broken links, or other issues that would cause a user to bounce due to a bad user experience.
You’re Lacking Google Authority
Besides your Content and keywords, one of the things that give a website authority is backlinks and internal links.
Internal links are what you create when you link one page on your website to another page on your website to encourage the user to stay longer and engage more.
The more related internal links you have on your website or blog, the more credit Google gives to your site. It recognizes that the Content consistently connects on relative topics.
On the contrary, not enough internal links or wrongly used links could damage your website authority.
Backlinks are when another website of similar Content that already has authority links from their website back to yours. The more websites that have authority and link back to yours, the more Google juice your website gets.
You May Be Blocking Google from Crawling Your Website
There’s a piece of website code that will directly tell Google not to index your website, and you may not even know it’s there.
If you use WordPress and click the wrong box when setting up your website, it may automatically block every page you create from being indexed.
Another bit of code called a robots.txt file, or robots exclusion protocol tells web robots which pages on your website should or shouldn’t be crawled.
Those pages with that code will not be crawled or indexed if that text is in your website pages’ backend.
You Have a Google Penalty
Google is pretty particular about its rules and regulations, and if your website doesn’t abide by the terms of service, it gets removed from Google’s index. You won’t appear on search results no matter what.
There are several reasons your website might get booted from the world’s largest search engine, including spam, keyword stuffing, unnatural internal links or backlinks, hidden text, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
To determine whether or not your website is indexed with Google, enter your website’s URL into Google Search Console, a free service that Google provides that allows you to see each page’s indexing status in your website, including which have been crawled and which were ignored.
Your Content is what draws visitors to your website; it’s also what keeps them there. On the other hand, it could be what chases them away. But you don’t have to be a top-notch writer to create content that your viewers can use.
Several resources can show you how to create effective blog content or hire writers to do the job for you. The trick is to use a keyword strategy, publish trustworthy Content, and publish consistently to alert Google that your website is fresh and active.
Make sure your website is up-to-speed, mobile-friendly, and offers quality material. User experience dictates your success online. If your viewers aren’t happy, Google knows it and penalizes you.
User experience is about how quickly your website loads if it appears properly on mobile devices, and how much engagement there is between the user and your Content.
To establish more Google authority, work on building backlinks from reputable websites that are similar to yours in subject matter but choose wisely. Only solicit backlinks from authoritative websites as linking to poorly ranked websites can hurt your position.
Also, think about the structure of your Content in terms of internal linking. What else can you offer a viewer that will make them want to click even deeper into your web offerings?
Building authority also takes time. The longer your website is available, the more Content you publish, and the more visitors you attract, the more authority you’ll achieve.
There are two little tidbits of code that could completely block Google from crawling or indexing your website. One code is called a “no-index” code, which literally tells Google not to index your page. Robot blockers do the same. Make sure your website’s coding is set up to allow Google to crawl and index.
Google doesn’t make it a mystery if you have a penalty. By visiting Google Console, you’ll be notified if you have a manual or automated penalty and what you did to earn it.
The Bottom Line
If your website is new, give it time to grow organically. If it’s had time to mature and you’re still wondering why your website isn’t appearing on Google’s search results, explore your Content to make sure it’s something people need.
Use a keyword strategy to identify the best content for search, and make sure you’re providing the best user experience possible. If you know you’re providing stellar Content and that the user experience is on point, you may have a technical problem with your website’s code. Make sure you’re set up to permit Google and other search engines to crawl and index your website.