Why isn’t My Site Visible in Google?
You’ve spent thousands on a new and expensive website. The site launched today. You type the keywords and hit search, and panic! Your site is nowhere in the search results. There can be many reasons your web page is not appearing in search results. The good news is that these can be fixed, once you identify the causes.
Before we go further, there is one important distinction that you need to note. When you search with a keyword, the results display a webpage and not a site. So, when looking for factors affecting visibility and how to fix them, you are actually looking at page-level factors at a micro-level and website at a general level.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why your site isn’t visible in Google and how to fix them.
Your website is new
Google takes time to discover and index new sites and webpages, at times several weeks. The number and quality of inbound links are ranking factors, and it takes time to build domain authority.
Type site: yourwebsite.com in the search bar. If Google returns at least one search result, then it is aware of your site, else it doesn’t know about your site.
Type site:yourwebsite.com/page-name/ in the search bar, to see if Google knows about the page that you are trying to rank for. You should get one result.
If you don’t see results with either of the above searches, it means Google has not yet found your site and page. Check if you have submitted your sitemap to Google. You can do that in Google Search Console by doing the following action.
Search Console > Sitemaps > Enter sitemap URL > Submit
You will need some patience with new sites. But in the meantime, you can check and fix a few things.
Blocking search engines from crawling pages
You can block search engines from crawling a page via robots.txt file erroneously, which usually will cause them not to show up in search results.
If you are not sure about working with a robots.txt file, it is advisable to hire a professional.
Remove directions for blocking set up in error to allow a page to be crawled.
You have set Noindex tags
It is possible to allow search bots to crawl a page, but block them from indexing it. Again, this can happen by error. This can be another common reason why your site isn’t visible in Google. You can check whether a page is blocked for indexing by checking the source code of a page. If you see the below code somewhere in the head of the page, the page is blocked for indexing, and Google usually will agree.
Or you can also check in the Google Search Console under ‘Coverage’. Look for “Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’.
Remove any ‘noindex’ tags from pages that you want to rank.
Your site is not optimized
What can you do to improve site and page SEO?
- Begin with a comprehensive SEO audit of your site to find areas of improvement.
- Optimize content for keyword and search intent
- Create quality content
- Ensure fast loading times
- Ensure technical SEO meets requirements
- Ensure positive user experience for visitors to your site
- Hire an expert or go for custom SEO packages if you are not sure about SEO.
Your webpage lacks quality content
Google will always try to provide quality content to its users. So, if your site and page content does not match keywords and satisfy user intent, it will not rank.
- Ensure that your page content is engaging and provides solutions to user queries.
- Keep updating your content, as frequently updated content rank better.
- Use relevant keywords but avoid keyword stuffing.
- Optimize for search intent as well as keywords.
- Use engaging Calls to Action.
Quality content is more than these basic factors, so you may want to take the help of specialist content creators.
As with content, Google wants to provide its users with the best user experience. If your site is weak in this area, users will hit the back button. A high abandon rate and bounce rate will send a signal to Google that your site is not user friendly. This will negatively affect your page’s ranking in SERPs.
Here are some basics fixes to improve your web page’s UX.
- Speed up your page load times.
- Ensure the page is responsive on mobiles and across devices.
- Use engaging and prominent Calls to Action.
- Ensure the page is visually appealing.
- Ensure all page elements are easily navigable.
Website has a penalty
If your site doesn’t meet Google’s guidelines, it may penalize you by temporarily or permanently removing your site from search results.
Google penalties include manual and algorithmic penalties.
Algorithmic penalties happen when there is a change or update in Google’s algorithm. You will still show up in search results but much lower. You may need professional help on correcting this one and our web development team in Perth is happy to assist you.
Robots.txt file – a file that tells search engines which pages it can crawl and which are blocked.
Domain Authority – the relevance of a website in a specific industry or area of expertise.
Sitemap – a file that displays a list of all URLs available to users.