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5+ Reasons Your Site Isn’t Showing Up on Google (and How to Fix It)

Why isn’t my website showing up on Google? It’s a common question many of us ask ourselves when we search for our keywords, and our website is nowhere to be seen in the search results.

There could be a variety of problems that causes your website to now show up on Google. But the good news is that are plenty of fixes that can get your website up to the top of the search results.

On this page, we’re exploring the top issues preventing your website from showing up on Google and how to fix them! So keep reading!

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A quick note before we dive in

If you recently created the page or requested it to be indexed, it can take Google some time to index your page. Allow at least a week after submitting a request to Google to index your page or submitting your sitemap before assuming there is an issue with your site ranking on Google.

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7 reasons why your site isn’t showing up on Google (+How to fix poor rankings)

There are a number of factors that can influence why you’re asking yourself the question, “why can’t I find my website on Google?”

Here are 10 reasons why your website is not showing up on Google or why it’s ranking so low that it’s not visible in the search results and how you can fix it.

  1. Your website is too new
  2. Your website contains “no index” tags
  3. Google isn’t crawling your website
  4. Your website has a penalty
  5. You’re lacking high-quality backlinks
  6. Your keywords are too competitive
  7. Your website doesn’t provide a good user experience (UX)

1. Your website is too new

It can take some time for Google to discover brand-new websites and pages. So, if you only just launched your website or page, the simplest reason your website is missing from the search results is that Google hasn’t discovered your site or page yet.

To check whether Google has discovered your website or page, you can run the following search on Google: site:yourwebsite.com.

Google site search

If you’re looking to see if Google knows about a specific page, you can type in the full URL of the page: site:yourwebsite.com/blog/the-page-im-looking-for/

Google search result page search

If you see at least one result, that means Google knows about your page! If you don’t see any results, this means Google hasn’t found your webpage or site yet.

How to fix it

If you see no results when you search for your site on Google, you can create and submit a sitemap on Google Search Console. Creating a sitemap lets Google know which pages on your site are important and where they are located.

To create and submit a sitemap to Google, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to Google Search Console
  2. Navigate to Sitemaps
  3. Enter sitemap URL
  4. Click Submit

Google search console submit a sitemap

2. Your website contains “no index” tags

A “no index” meta tag is a piece of HTML code that tells Google not to show certain pages in the search results. As a result, Google won’t index any pages with this code.

It’s usually a good idea to check that your page doesn’t have the “no index” meta tag, even if you don’t remember including it.

Sometimes WordPress or other content management systems (CMS) will add it to every page if you check the wrong settings when creating your website.

Additionally, your developer may use a “no index” code to prevent Google from ranking pages that are still in the development process and may forget to remove the tag once the page is complete.

How to fix it

Use Google Search Console to easily identify any “no index” tagged pages. Navigate to your Coverage report and look for this error: “submitted URL marked ‘noindex’.”

If Google hasn’t crawled the pages in your sitemap yet, (remember this can take time), you can use Ahrefs Site Audit tool to check your site for any “no index” meta tags.

Once you’ve located all the pages with this tag, you can simply remove it from any pages that shouldn’t have it.

3. Google isn’t crawling your website

Another reason your site is not showing up on Google could be that something is blocking the search engine from crawling your site.

The majority of websites have a “robots.txt” file. It tells search engines where they can’t go on your site. That means Google won’t be able to crawl any URLs that are blocked in your “robots.txt” file.

How to fix it

Google Search Console can alert you about issues related to a “robots.txt” file. Navigate to your Coverage report and look for an error called “submitted URL blocks by robots.txt.”

Now, all you need to do is remove any directives that are blocking the URLs you want to show up on Google. It’s important to note, however, that “robots.txt” files can get tricky, so if you’re in doubt about how best to navigate them, it’s a good idea to hire an expert, like WebFX, to fix it.

4. Your website has a penalty

Penalties can also prevent your site from ranking in Google search results. This can resolve your burning question, “why doesn’t my website show up on Google” if your site isn’t new and has a proper robots.txt file.

If your site doesn’t meet Google’s quality guidelines, it may temporarily or permanently remove your site from search results.

Google penalties include:

  • Deindexed:Google completely removes your domain from search results.
  • Penalized:Your domain still exists, but you can’t find your pages via a direct search. This penalty may result from a Google algorithm update, or Google can manually apply it.
  • Sandboxed:Your Google traffic drops suddenly, but your domain wasn’t Deindexed or Penalized.

How to fix it

Check Google Search Console for penalty alerts. If your site gets penalized, you’ll need to take steps to modify your website to meet Google’s guidelines. Then, you can submit your site for reconsideration to get back on Google.

5. You’re lacking high-quality backlinks

If you’re searching “my website doesn’t show up on Google,” you might need to gain more high-quality backlinks.

Google considers hundreds of ranking factors when determining which websites should show up in the search results, one of which is backlinks and authority.

Backlinks from other websites to your website show Google that your page is trustworthy and provides value. If your site’s not showing up on Google, it could be because the websites ranking above you have more backlinks.

How to fix it

Use a tool like Ahrefs to view your page’s backlinks and compare it to other websites in the search results. If your website is falling short, consider building more backlinks.

Here are a few tips to earn more backlinks:

  • Ask existing partners for backlinks
  • Ask people that mention your brand on social media to link to your website
  • Create helpful, valuable content that people want to link to
  • Participate in forums, interviews, and blogs and provide a link to your website where relevant

6. Your keywords are too competitive

If you’re reading this post and thinking, “My content’s great, and my website still isn’t showing up on Google,” then it’s time to revisit your keyword targeting.

Trying to rank for highly-competitive results, especially when competing with bigger brands, can sometimes leave your business in the dust. Instead, consider targeting long-tail, more specific phrases that contain three or more keywords.

While long-tail keywords have lower monthly search volumes, they are also less competitive, giving you a better chance of ranking at the top of search results. In addition, long-tail keywords typically have a more specific search intent.

For example, if someone searches a generic keyword like “tent,” it’s hard to determine exactly what they want to find.

Do they want to know how to set up a tent? Are they researching the best tent for their next camping trip? Do they want to buy a specific type of tent?

On the other hand, if someone searches the long-tail phrase, “buy two-person backpacking tent,” you know that they’re ready to purchase.

Companies that sell outdoor gear will have an easier time ranking for the long-tail phrase “buy two-person backpacking tent,” and they can create content that matches that specific intent.

How to fix it

Successful SEO campaigns always start with keyword research. Using tools like Keyword ToolKeywordsFX, and Google’s Keyword Planner, try to identify long-tail keywords with less competition that offer the most value to your business.

Targeting less competitive phrases will allow you to show up in Google results and reach more customers online.

7. Your website doesn’t provide a good user experience (UX)

Finally, if your website delivers a poor user experience (UX), you can kiss top rankings goodbye. Search engines want to rank valuable content and websites that provide visitors with a great page experience.

If users don’t have a positive experience on your website, they’ll waste no time hitting the back button — a signal to Google that your site shouldn’t rank.

Improving UX on your site can reduce bounce rates, engage visitors, and help them learn more about your business, all while helping you rank higher in search results.

How to fix it

A few quick fixes can take your UX and site rankings to new heights. To improve your site’s UX, you can:

For more info on improving your site’s UX, check out our user experience analysis services.

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Clutch has personally interviewed more than 250 WebFX clients to discuss their experience partnering with us.

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