Unfortunately, it can take some time for your site to show up in search results – or at least, to show up as high as you want it to.
If you’ve tried searching your business’s name, or keywords related to your products and services, and didn’t see your website, you’re certainly not the first person to experience this issue. Still, it’s an issue you’ll want to address sooner rather than later.
But before you make any changes, you’ll need to determine why your site isn’t showing up in search results in the first place. WebFX can help! We've driven over $2.4 billion in sales and more than 6.3 million leads for our clients. We know what works and what doesn't to get your website optimized for Google! You can contact us online or call 888-601-5359 today to speak with one of our experts!
On this page, we’ll go over the three most common reasons that websites don’t appear in Google’s search results, as well as solutions for each of them.
1. Your site isn’t indexed
Google pulls its results from an index of all of the pages it’s crawled online. If your site isn’t in this index, Google doesn’t know you exist – and none of your content will show in their results.
If your site is relatively new, this is most likely the cause. Although Google is always crawling the web for new pages, it isn’t instantaneous. As a result, it can take a few days or weeks for brand new websites to show up in the results.
You can determine whether this is the issue by performing a site search using the “site:” operator. So, for example, if we wanted to make sure that webfx.com was indexed, we’d type “site:sue by performing a site search using the “site:” operator. So, for example, if we wanted to make sure that webfx.com was indexed, we’d type “site:webfx.com” into Google’s search box.
If nothing shows up in the results, your site is not yet in Google’s index.
Your first step to remedying this issue should be to submit your site through Google’s Search Console. This lets Google know that your site exists, and increases the chances that they’ll crawl it and include your pages in their results.
If your pages do show up, your site already indexed – and one of the next 2 reasons is preventing it from displaying in search results.
2. Your site has been penalized
If your site is indexed but not showing up in search results, it may be the result of a Google penalty.
Penalties can be either manual (actions taken specifically against your site for violating Google’s guidelines) or algorithmic (updates to Google’s algorithm that affect the rankings of thousands of sites at a time).
You can check to see if this is the case by searching your brand or domain name (not as a site search) and seeing if it ranks well. If not, a penalty may be to blame.
You can also check Google’s Search Console to see if any manual actions have been taken against your site.
If you’ve been dealt a manual penalty, Google will typically explain exactly what is wrong with your site. Although it may be work-intensive to fix, it’s easy to determine what’s causing your ranking issues. Then, once, you make those changes, you can resubmit your site so that they can reevaluate it.
It’s important to note that for most sites who’ve been given a manual penalty, the first round of edits isn’t enough to reinstate it. So if this is the case, be prepared to make some serious changes before you can get back into search results.
If there aren’t any actions listed in Search Console, however, the issue is likely algorithmic. You can usually determine the cause by logging into your Google Analytics account and looking for sudden drops in traffic.
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Determine the day or week your traffic took a hit, then reference a list of algorithmic updates to see which one took place near the drop. If your site suffered right around a Panda update, for example, then weak content is to blame – and you’ll need to improve your site’s content in order to regain your previous traffic levels.
3. Your site isn’t optimized
If your site is indexed, hasn’t been hit by a penalty, but still isn’t ranking well, then it’s time to focus on search engine optimization, or SEO.
SEO involves making your site easy for search engines like Google to understand by improving the overall site structure and including keywords and phrases that help it deliver your pages for relevant searches.
Here are a few basic steps you can take to start improving your site’s rankings in search engines:
1. Optimize your content for relevant keywords
Google’s goal is to provide their users with the most relevant results for their searches, and one of the best ways to show that a page is relevant to a search is by including the same keywords a searcher is using.
So, for example, if you’re a shoe store in Harrisburg, PA, the keyword “shoe store Harrisburg PA” is an extremely relevant keyword for your business – and you’ll want to include it on your site.
That being said, search engines algorithms are becoming increasingly advanced, and can tell if you’re stuffing your copy with irrelevant keywords, or using them in a way that doesn’t make sense to human readers. Instead, aim to use keywords naturally, and in ways that don’t interrupt users as they browse through your pages.
2. Add internal links
As Google crawls your site, they’ll go from page to page based on the links that connect your pages together.
This means that having a strong internal linking setup is important not only for helping users navigate your site, but also for getting it indexed in the first place.
Every time you add a new page to your site, make sure to add links to it either from your main navigation or from other relevant pages. Then, when Google next crawls your site, they’ll be able to find your pages quickly and easily.
3. Build links from other websites
In addition to the elements you can optimize on your site, you’ll also need to make off-page SEO part of your strategy.
Links from other websites serve as votes of your quality and authority in Google’s eyes, so you want to build as many of them from trustworthy sites as you can. This is typically much more challenging than on-page optimization, but can have a huge impact on your ability to rank well in search results.
Ready to increase your online visibility?
Many of today’s consumers rely on search engines like Google to find the products and services they want, so it’s more important than ever to have strong online visibility.
If your site isn’t showing up in Google search results (or simply not ranking as well as you’d like), WebFX can help. We have years of experience creating effective SEO strategies for clients in a variety of industries, and we’ll do the same for you.
Contact us today for more information and a free quote!