Does your website show up in Google’s search engine result page when you check it?
Maybe Google hasn’t indexed it. You can check to see if your website has been indexed by typing in your specific URL or domain without other words into the search box and see if Google comes back with a list of pages that are currently on your website. If it doesn’t, then it means that Google has decided not to show any of your pages in the search results, which could be detrimental to your business.
If Google does come back with a list of pages, but you’re not seeing any of those pages show up when you search for keywords, as opposed to your business URL, then it simply means that none of the pages are optimized well enough to rank highly for those target keywords.
Why Search Engine Position Matters
Most individuals who are searching on Google don’t click past the first page of search engine result to find what they’re looking for. According to recent studies, the highest ranking site in Google’s organic search results page gets 33% of the web traffic, compared to 18% for the second placement, and then the numbers just get smaller as you move down the page.
So it’s really not going to help you too much if your website has only been indexed by Google, Bing, and Yahoo, without the various pages being ranked on the first page of the search engine results for the highly focused keywords that you need to be targeting. Indexing is just a start, your site needs to be ranking highly for those keywords that potential customers will use to search when looking for businesses like yours.
Why Websites Don’t Rank in Search Results Page
Ranking your website in Google isn’t as easy as you might think. There are many things that affect search engine ranking and below are just a few…
- Google has not indexed your site yet (because it’s new)
- The search engines have been asked to ignore your site (NoIndex tags)
- Your website hasn’t been optimized for online search engine crawling
- Your target keywords are very competitive
- Your site has actually been penalized by Google or de-indexed by the search engine
Let’s discuss these in more detail…
1. Google has actually not indexed your web site yet.
In some cases it can take a couple of weeks for a search engine to update its search results page. This is due to the fact that your web site is new and does not have any type of incoming links. The reason why incoming links are important to begin with is because this is how search engines tend to discover new websites. When they send their crawl bots to websites that they know of, the bots find backlinks on those pages and then follow them to crawl those pages. If your new site is linking from an existing site that has already been indexed by the search engine, then when the crawl bot finds that link, it will go over to your website and crawl those pages and index them.
Obviously it’s not that easy to get other sites to link to your new website immediately, so there is another option. Go over to Google Search Console and create an account. You then need to go and add your website’s XML sitemap to the console to let Google know that your site exists and what pages are on the site. This still may take some time to get your site crawled, but it’s better than just creating your site and doing nothing, just hoping that it will get indexed.
Google does not add all submitted URLs to their index, and also they can’t make predictions or guarantees as to when or if submitted URLs will show up in their index. However once your brand-new site has been crawled, it generally takes an additional week or two for the pages to be indexed and showing up somewhere on Google.
2. The search engines have been asked to ignore your site (NoIndex tags)
For one reason or another, some people don’t want their websites to show up in the search engines. Perhaps they want the website to be 100% complete before it gets indexed. To stop this from happening, they add certain code (meta tags) into the site, asking the search engines to ignore the site and not to index it. The problem arises when these tags are not removed once the site is complete and the search engines continue to ignore the website. If your site isn’t showing up at all in the search engines, you may want to ask your webmaster to check and make sure those meta tags have not been left in place, and if they have, get them removed immediately and then submit your site to Google via it’s Search Console.
3. Your website hasn’t been optimized for online search engine crawling
Once Google knows about your website (and provided you haven’t instructed it to ignore your site) , it will send a spider bot to your website to crawl it for web content. Not only does the bot gather a list of all the pages, but it also collects data on all of the information that is found on the pages and indexes that too. Information it is looking for will include your pages meta content, keyword saturation throughout the page, (keyword) relevant content, and many other factors. Your website ranking will partially be determined by what the spider bots find on your website.
As a result, you require to consider what material search engines actually see on your Website.
4. Your target keywords are very competitive
Remember that you may not be the only person targeting the keywords that you want to rank for. If your site is targeting customers globally or nationally, then it’s highly likely you will have a lot of competitors competing with you for ranking. Also keep in mind that a lot of them may have hired professional search engine optimization experts to do the heavy lifting for them. So, you as a complete novice may have been left behind and may not be able to catch up to these competitors.
If you are only targeting local customers, and are not focused on large cities like New York or Los Angeles, you may be in luck, and if you include the town or city name in the keyword phrases, then you may not face too much competition. Having said that, keywords such as ‘(city) attorney’ or ‘(city) homes for sale’ are notoriously tough to rank for, regardless of the size of the city that are targeting, and that is because these types of businesses have the budget to either have their own in-house SEO experts or are paying outsourced experts to do the work for them.
So it’s important to select the correct keyword to optimize your site for, and to initially target the less competitive keywords that can bring targeted traffic back to your website.
5. Your site has actually been penalized by Google or de-indexed by the search engine
Google might temporarily or permanently remove sites from its index and also search results page if it believes the site owners have gone against the search engine’s terms, if the sites do not satisfy Google’s quality standards, or for various other reasons, such as if the website’s the content has been copied from elsewhere, or simply has been written in such a fashion that it makes no sense to the reader.
Below are a number of terms that you might come across that have implications to your website rankings…
- De-Indexed – When your domain name has been banned by Google and all of the pages completely removed from their index. This is the worst position that you can be in, and you either have to work hard to get them to reverse their decision, or start over with a brand new domain.
- Penalized – When your domain name or web page still exist in the index, but loses some or all of its ranking position because Google deems you have gone against their terms. The problem could have been found by automated means, or by a visual check by one of Google quality inspectors. Penalties may be temporary or permanent, but you need to address them once you find out they’ve been applied (Google will usually let you know via it’s Search Console if you have an account and have registered the site in there).
- Sandboxed – Your domain name or page wasn’t de-indexed or penalized, yet the web traffic you were receiving from Google unexpectedly goes down substantially. This is not unusual, especially for new websites, and you just have to give it some time for Google to remove it from the Sandbox.
So exactly how do you make your website rank highly in the search engines?
So if you have a business website, then obviously you want (need) to rank on the first page of Google if you want to attract new customers via the search engines. Below are some of the steps that you might want to consider to try and get your website ranked.
1. Carry Out Your Keyword Research
Targeting the right keywords for your website to rank for is crucial. Don’t just think about what type of keywords you would use to search for businesses like yours. Just because you would use those keywords doesn’t automatically mean the majority of people will do the same. And even if you are correct, and the initial keywords that you thought of do yield the most searches on Google, doesn’t mean that you can easily rank for them. You need to choose keywords that will not only bring you traffic, but that you will also be able to rank for them in a fairly short period of time so your site is getting eyes on it.
SEO experts tend to use specialist software to carry out this research. It’s imperative to identify the keywords that you are going to target, because it will be impossible to effectively optimize your website without know what keywords you want each page to rank for. If your website isn’t already ranking for keywords that you want it to, then it means your pages haven’t been better optimized than those pages that you currently see ranking for them.
2. Optimize Your Web Pages
To improve your chances of success, you need to optimize different pages on your website for different keywords. To be honest, if you’re not sure what you are doing, and/or you’re not prepared to do the research online so you can learn how to do this properly, then you might be better off leaving this to the experts. The reason I say this is if you ‘over-optimize’ your web pages then your rankings could suffer and you’ll see a drop in them on the search engine results pages.
There are two parts to optimizing your website…
- On-site optimization – this portion contains many parts to this and it is the most important part of optimizing your site. Too many businesses go straight to off-page optimization without working directly on their own website pages first. The problem with this, is that you are going to have to work much harder on the off-site optimization (which is the much more difficult part of optimization) to achieve the same rankings. On-site optimization includes things like writing your meta-title and meta-description so that they take into consideration the keywords the page is trying to rank for. It also includes things such as correctly formatting your heading-tags and alt-tags, correctly setting up your schema for the components that you have added to each web page, and optimally adding the target keywords and related phrases and synonyms inside the content area of the pages. Don’t forget to create an XML sitemap for your site and add this to Google Search Console so that Google’s bots will crawl the pages after you’ve optimized them, and hopefully move your rankings in the desired upward direction.
- Off-site optimization – as mentioned before, this is the harder part of optimizing your website because it is more time-consuming and you are relying on the goodwill of other website owners. When people talk about off-page optimization they are usually referring to getting backlinks to your site. The easiest way to get backlinks is to register your website to relevant directories that you can find online. Relevancy can be measured by topic or geographically. Although registering your site to directories in order to get backlinks will help, the truth is that these kind of links aren’t the most valuable and effective links that will move you up the rankings quickly. The best links you can get will be from other geo or topically relevant websites that are already ranking for the keywords that you’re targeting and are seen by the search engines as being authoritative. However, these are not the easiest sites to get your sites linked from because there is usually no benefit to those site owners to link back to a new website. And in fact, if they link back to too many of these types of sites then this could be disadvantageous to them. So if you do contact a number of site owners to ask them for a backlink, expect a low success rate. One tactic that SEO companies use to try and get these types of backlinks is to offer to write guest blog posts for them (and will then put back links to their customers’ websites within the articles). But really, do you want to spend your time writing blog posts for other companies?
It’s important to remember that search engine optimization is an on-going process, and just because you rank today, doesn’t mean you will rank tomorrow. Your competition isn’t standing still and doing nothing. They want to rank at the top just as much as you do, so they or their SEO team are doing something on an on-going basis to either move their rankings higher or to consolidate those rankings that they are currently ranking for. In addition, Google and the other search engines are always changing their algorithms, which means your SEO tactics need to change to make sure you not only keep your rankings, but that you stay within Google’s terms so your site doesn’t get penalized.
3. Google My Business
Something you (or your SEO company) can do to get your website listed on page 1 of Google, while you’re trying to organically rank your website, is to get your business listing ranking highly in Google’s map search (Google My Business aka GMB). If you can get it to rank in the top 3 of the map search for various keywords, then the listing will show up on page 1 of the search results pages, as you see here. Although having a highly ranked organically website will help you with ranking highly inside the map search, it isn’t always necessary and it depends on what the competition has been/is doing to get their listing showing up there.
In reality, you want your website to show up on Page 1 of Google in both the organic and map search to have the most effect. Because the map search shows so much information at a glance (i.e. business name, address, phone number, website address and reviews), a lot of customers will simply call the number they see in the GMB listing (especially when they see that business has a high number of positive 5 star reviews).
To get ranked highly inside the map search there are a number of things that you need to do, such as
- completely filling out your GMB business profile and adding it to the correct category. Make sure to add in photographs and videos, and write posts to inform to keep your prospective customers informed.
- getting your company’s business name, address and phone number listed in multiple geo and business-type relevant directories
- get lots of positive reviews from your happy customers
- link your website to the GMB listing and make sure your website has been optimized for your target keywords that you wish to rank for.
Regardless of whether your website has been built with static HTML, or with site builders such as WordPress, Weebly or Wix, if you want to attract new customers via the search engines then you need to make sure your website has been optimized and is ranking on the first page of the major search engines. If you choose not to do this (which I am not sure why any business would spend a lot of time and money building a professional website and then keep it hidden from those prospective customers who haven’t heard of them yet), then all you are doing is clearing the path for your competitors and giving them a free run on all of the prospective customers who are using Google to find businesses like yours.
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Some Frequently Asked Questions
To find out if it is, type site:yourdomain.com into the Google search box, replacing yourdomain.com with your actual domain name. If you see a listing of your website’s pages, then Google has already indexed your site and will continue to visit it occasionally to check for updates.
Search engines have not yet indexed your website
Test to see if your website has been indexed by searching for its exact URL or domain name with no other words. … This is because your website is new and doesn’t have any inbound links. If your website has inbound links, then Google is likely to find it sooner.
Depending on how well you follow the aforementioned pointers, Google can discover your website within the first four weeks of launch. Do a bang-up job, however, and your website can show up on Google in as little as four days. Having trouble getting your site to rank well? Check Google’s Webmaster tools first.
Checking If Your Site is Indexed by Search Engines
- To see if your site has been indexed by search engines (Bing, Google, Yahoo etc), enter the URL of your domain with “site:” before it, i.e. “site:mystunningwebsite.com”.
- The results show all of your site’s pages that have been indexed, and the current Meta Tags saved in the search engine’s index. If none of your pages appear, it means that your site has not yet been indexed.
Part 1 Practicing Search Engine Optimization
- Make sure that your site is published. …
- Change your home page’s content regularly. …
- Add images to your website’s pages. …
- Ensure that each page on your website has a description. …
- Add internal links to your content. …
- Check your site’s mobile version. …
- Maintain a weekly blog.
- Submit Your Website URL to Google. You’ve designed and optimized your site to perfection. …
- Select the Right Keywords. …
- Optimize for RankBrain. …
- Don’t Forget to Include Meta Tags. …
- Add Your Website to Local Directories. …
- Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly.
Here are the 10 SEO tips that should help you to improve your website visibility in search engine page rankings.
- Create an SEO audit. …
- Create a sitemap and submit your site to search engines. …
- Make your website mobile friendly. …
- Use long- tail keyword. …
- Use more relevant and engaging content. …
- Use engaging and relevant images.
From where does Google get the information about new websites? … This is done using Googlebot is Google’s web crawling bot (sometimes also called a “spider”). Crawling is the process by which Googlebot discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index.
- If you haven’t already, add and verify the site with the “Add a Site” button.
- Click on the site name for the one you want to manage.
- Click Crawl -> Fetch as Google.
- Optional: if you want to do a specific page only, type in the URL.
- Click Fetch.
- Click Submit to Index.
- Select either “URL” or “URL and its direct links”
How to Speed up Search Engine Indexing
- Add links on high traffic websites. The best thing you can do in such situations is to increase the number of links that point to your homepage or to the page that you want to index. …
- Use XML and HTML sitemaps. …
- Work on your Link Structure. …
- Change the crawl rate. …
- Use the available tools.
*The information above does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified attorney.