Wondering why your website still doesn’t show up on Google despite all your best efforts?
While the exact reason can vary, there is no need to panic since most of them are an easy fix.
Below, you will learn more about the importance of Google search ranking, the seven most common mistakes that can lead to your website not ranking, as well as some handy solutions you can implement for each problem.
The Importance Of Search Ranking
Most people rarely move beyond the first page of results while searching a specific query. According to a recent study, the best-ranking page in an organic search result on Google manages to obtain 33% of the total traffic. The page ranked second gets only an 18% cut of the action, and the remaining traffic drops significantly from there.
The trick here is that, when testing whether your website will show on Google SERPs, you want to avoid searching for your homepage directly and search instead for a page on your website.
Unfortunately, Google is not so simple to navigate. If the search engine isn’t aware you have a page worth ranking, it won’t show up among the results that drive traffic to your business.
To have your website appear in the search results, you need to make sure that:
I: Google is aware your website is live and ready for indexing.
II: You have an actual page with content relevant to the keyword you are aiming to rank for.
III: You have shown Google that your page is worthy of ranking higher than your competitors regarding a target query.
Still not sure why your page isn’t showing up in the search? Check our list of common mistakes below and follow the suggestions to troubleshoot your website’s search ranking.
Top Seven Reasons Your Site Isn’t Appearing In Google Search:
1: Your website hasn’t been indexed by Google yet.
There are instances when it takes Google more than a week to update search results. The most common reason behind this is that you have a brand new website with little to no inbound links.
Luckily, there are many user-friendly tools to help you speed up the indexation process.
To start, create an account on Google Search Central that you can use to monitor index errors, crawling, and security issues.
Once you have logged into Google Search Console, select ‘Add property’ from the menu to the left, type in your URL, and follow the instructions. This is how you request Google to (re)crawl your website.
Note that, with so many requests being generated every day, Google can’t vouch for a precise time point when your submitted URLs will appear in its index.
2: Your website is hot off the press.
Has your website been newly built and recently launched? Usually, it takes four weeks or more for any site to start showing up among the search engine results— if you have any content relevant to the query, that is.
Although we are accustomed to getting immediate results and instant gratification, website indexing can be a rather time-consuming process. Remember that patience is a virtue and do some research on search-engine algorithms in the meantime.
3: A ‘no index’ meta tag is blocking search engines.
As implied by the name, the “noindex” tag is a piece of code that blocks indexing and prevents your web pages from appearing in search results.
It usually looks something like this: <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”/>
Now, you are probably wondering why anyone would place a “noindex” tag on their webpage. Believe it or not, it’s a common practice among web developers who put the tag to prevent Google from indexing a page that’s still being built and developed. It sometimes happens that they forget to remove the code, which then keeps blocking search engines until it’s removed.
You can also accidentally add the “noindex” tag if you check the wrong box while setting up a WordPress website.
In cases where you have already submitted a sitemap and Google has crawled the pages, you will receive a notification in Google Search Console as part of the “Coverage” report if the crawlers have run into a “noindex” piece of code.
4: Your page is blocking search engine crawlers.
Search engines usually send a spider, or web crawler, to your website to crawl through the content soon after submitting your sitemap.
These spiders do not simply skim through a webpage the way a visitor does. Rather, they scan the site for metadata, relevant content, keyword saturation, and several other crucial factors.
The most important role in this process falls on the “robots.txt” file. This is a text file that webmasters create to instruct search engine crawlers which website pages they should or shouldn’t crawl.
You can check whether a specific page on your website is blocking Google crawlers in Google Search Console as part of the “Coverage” report. It will show a “Submitted URL blocked by robots.txt” error.
Bottom line: make sure nothing is blocking Google crawlers if you want your URLs in its Index.
5: You’re not using effective keywords, or only focused on highly-competitive ones.
Countless users worldwide resort to search engines to find the exact piece of information they need in the sea of data. If your goal is to win the ranking fight, you will need to start learning about keywords.
Posting high-quality content combined with a good keyword strategy is how you get your business to show up on Google.
Hence, it is important to target keywords and key phrases that will drive traffic and potential customers to your website.
It’s easy to climb the SERPs ladder when going for irrelevant keywords. However, profitable and traffic-driving keywords are hard to rank for.
At the same time, you can’t draw more visitors to your website if you don’t know what people are actually searching for.
6. Your websites and webpages score low for ‘authority.’
In layman’s terms, Page Rank is the algorithm Google uses to measure the importance and quality of website pages.
Even though public Page Rank scores were discontinued by Google several years ago and you can no longer check your website’s PR against other websites in your niche, Google says that this algorithm is still a valuable part of how they rate a page’s quality and determine its search ranking.
With that said, Page Rank is not a hard and fast rule, as many other factors still influence how high on Google SERPs your webpages will appear. For instance, you can actually beat your competitors with higher PRs simply by implementing SEO techniques like link-building.
Check your page rank to see where you stand, and consider ways that you can improve the quality of your page content to raise this score.
Just one small but important detail to that end:
Don’t be confused if relevant SEO Tools like Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs have different names for this particular metric. While they are not entirely the same, you will still get similar results when you run your URL in their page rank checkers.
7. Your website earned a penalty from Google.
Although Google penalties are extremely rare, they do happen and could be the reason for your website going dark on the world’s most popular search engine.
Google holds the right to temporarily or permanently remove a website from its index or search results. Some of the reasons behind such a severe restriction can be illegal practices through the website or an inability to follow Google quality guidelines.
There are two ways Google restrictions are implemented:
- Manually: This happens when a Google employee personally searches a website and reviews its contents to figure out how it doesn’t comply with Google guidelines.
- Algorithmically: This is when Google’s algorithms start squeezing out your website or web pages from the search results due to low quality. It’s not so much a penalty as it is a restrictive computer filter.
Types of restrictions Google may carry out:
- Deindexed – aka Banned— this happens when Google completely removes your website from its index.
- Paralyzed – your website is still live, and the URL exists, but it’s tough to find, even with a very narrow and specific search
- Sandboxed – your page is still indexed, but the traffic drop is immediate and significant.
Google will usually notify you when a restriction occurs due to quality guidelines violations through Search Console, so you can take all the necessary measures to fix your website.
How To Get Your Business To Show Up on Google
Every site owner wants their site to rank on the firstst page of a search engine that typically lists about ten websites per page. To achieve this, you must employ appropriate SEO strategies, aka search engine optimization, based on your business model to improve your search ranking.
The following six steps will help you get your website to show up in Google search and improve your business’s overall visibility.
1: Detailed SEO Audit
Conduct an in-depth SEO audit to learn about your website’s strengths and weaknesses. This will provide you a better picture of:
a: Technical optimization: makes sure your website is running smoothly without technical errors
b: ‘On site’ optimization: how the visible parts of the page (content and images) are performing
c: ‘Off site’ optimization: how link building and other off-site activities can be improved
d: Keyword selection: possible keyword gaps
2: Better Keyword Strategy
A good keyword strategy is an essential component to your marketing activities and not all keywords are created equal.
There are many keyword research tools on the market, and most of them have difficulty score metrics. It is usually a numerical representation (marked 0 to 100) of how hard it will be for a particular keyboard to rank highly on the Google SERPs for a search query.
However, even if you go for a low-difficulty keyword, you still might not rank highly enough to drive traffic to your website if you don’t have content to match the search intent. In other words: you have to post content people are actually searching for.
As we already mentioned, Google Keyword Planner is one such tool that proves helpful for identifying popular search terms and their competition level.
Meta-tags are secret codes that remain hidden from the visitors, but search engine ‘bots’ have no problem recognizing them while scanning a website.
These tags are snippets of text that describe the content of a page — you could say they are data on data. They basically tell search engines like Google what a particular page is about.
Meta tags are not hard to implement; you can do it yourself with a little HTML knowledge.
Backlinks are the link to your web pages that appear on another website. When someone links to your website, they have created a backlink.
Multiple websites that link back to your website have the power to improve your search ranking, discoverability, referral traffic, and overall website authority.
Search engines greatly favor relevant organic backlinks from strong web pages that have higher ‘authority.’ If your website isn’t backlinked, consider where you could share, collaborate, or cross-post with another popular website which is relevant to your audience.
5: Site Listing On ‘Google My Business’
The answer to the question of how to get your business to show up on Google is listing your website on Google My Business. This creates your official Business Profile that appears on Google Maps and thus in Google Search, offering advanced information about your business.
Google My Business is a vital local SEO tool, especially for ‘brick-and-mortar’ businesses. You can use this tool to boost your Business Profile by interacting with your customers through responding to reviews, answering questions, direct messaging, and more.
6: Relevant Content
Crisp and relevant content ensures better organic traffic. Google’s algorithm favors original content over repetitive and loosely-related content.
That being said, scour your website for content that offers repetitive information and merge the two or more posts into one high-quality piece of content where your visitors and customers can find everything in one place.