You’ve been working on your site’s SEO for a long time, but your website is not appearing in Google search results?
Of course, you want it to rank on the first positions in Google for the most relevant keywords, and maybe you do all necessary activities to achieve that, but there are several reasons why your website is not showing up on Google.
Here, we will tell you, what those reasons can be, how to find out, what the exact reason is, and how to fix the problem and rank on the first page of Google.
Reasons why your website doesn’t Show Up in Google
- It is not indexed by Google
- Bad SEO optimization
- Technical Issues
- Google Penalty
These reasons are explained further below.
Your Website is Not Indexed by Google
After you create your site, one of the first activities you should do is to submit an xml sitemap and robots.txt file to Google Webmaster Tools, as well as webmaster tools of other search engines like Bing, Yahoo and other.
If you didn’t do that yet, you can generate an xml sitemap using the Sitemap Generator tool, generate robots.txt file with the robots generator or do both using Yoast SEO WordPress plugin if your website is built on WordPress.
If you are not sure if your site has these files or not, you can use the following tools to find it out:
If you have already done it, another reason why your site doesn’t show up in Google is that it is too new and hasn’t been indexed by Google yet. It usually takes between 4 days and 4 weeks for Google to index a new website.
Here are some ways to speed up this process:
- Speed up your server/site
- Improve Domain Authority (one of the main SEO metrics, improving it takes a lot of time and effort, you can find out your DA score here)
- Upload an XML Sitemap (if you haven’t yet)
- Decrease the number of pages/links on your site
- Use another tool from Google Webmasters called Fetch as Google
If you submitted your sitemap long time ago, and expect to appear in Google already, another reason could be that you have a no-index tag on your pages. Ask the person who designed your website, if he added such tags in the code. If it was created on WordPress, there are some plugins like Yoast SEO that enable you to set this setting without programming knowledge.
The easiest way to find out if your website is indexed is typing in this in Google:
Of course, changing the domain name to your website.
Your website is indexed?
Then there should be another reason for not appearing in Google search results.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a set of activities to make your website rank in Google. Despite popular misconceptions, SEO is not only about keywords, it entails muuuch more…
This misconception is one of the reasons why you site might not show up on the first page of Google.
After a large number of Google algorithm updates, this search engine became so smart that it filters all low-quality content that doesn’t help users. So, one of the reasons is the low quality and quantity of content.
When you write a post, it should be helpful for visitors, and answer their search query. It should fully cover the topic, but not more. Don’t explain secondary concepts in many details, better link to a relevant article, where the reader can learn about it.
Tired of these details and just want to do business?
If you try to optimize your web page to search engines, you might think that the more keywords you include, the better. But, this is wrong. Many high-quality articles rank on the first positions in Google without even including the keyword in text.
This is more the case for websites with high domain authority. For you, as a new website, it is recommended to include the target keywords and their synonyms in your pages, in the places where they naturally fit. It is recommended to use your main keywords in the first and last paragraphs of the text, as well as 1-2 subheadings.
If you did everything right, and you think that none of the above can be the reason why your website is not showing up in Google, it can be because you chose wrong keywords to rank for. Maybe, there is too much competition for this particular keyword, and your new website cannot compete with the giants. You should choose the right keywords before creating a page. This can be done by right keyword research.
Another important thing about SEO is that you need to have a semantic base and a specific topic of your website to rank high. For example, you have a website related to gardening, and you wrote the first article about cars. Even if you found low-competition keywords and created a great post, you will probably not appear on the first positions of Google search results.
Not the case?
Then let’s continue and find out your reason of not ranking in Google.
Another invisible reason for that are some technical issues. Some of them could be:
It means that you have the same content on several pages of your site, or you have copied information from another website (or somebody from you).
To find out if you have duplicate content, use the duplicate content checker tool. If you just wrote a post based on information from other websites, you can use the plagiarism checker to find out, if your content is unique (otherwise, Google won’t let this page rank high).
When you found some duplicate content, exclude it from index (sitemap again), delete it, or change the text on your pages to make them unique.
The structure of your site should be clear, so that both people and search engines understand it. You shouldn’t repeat information on different pages of your website, otherwise they will compete between each other and neither will be on a high position in search.
Low quality backlinks
Other websites can link to yours because you have some interesting information to refer to, they might use your graphics, and link back to the page, where they found it… or just want to let you get spammy links to disappear from the first Google search page.
Hopefully, you didn’t try to get links from comments and forums on other websites… If you did, try to delete them if possible, because it is important to have relevant backlinks (anchor text relevant to source and target pages, links should be do-follow, the page you have your link at should have a high domain and page authority, and high quality of content…).
You can check your backlinks also on Google Webmaster tools, but the following websites give you more information on the quality of your backlinks: MOZ, Ahrefs and MonitorBacklinks. There, you can also find the ways to check the quality of your backlinks.
So, you found some low-quality backlinks. To get rid of them, try to delete them manually. If it is not possible, ask the webmaster of the website to delete it, or make it no-follow. If all that doesn’t work, you can use Google Disavow tool, but Google doesn’t recommend using it too often.
Low Page Load Speed
Nobody likes slow websites…
And if people don’t like something, Google doesn’t like it either. This is the case for slow websites. There are several reasons, why your website is slow:
- Too many videos, images and other graphics. You shouldn’t use too many graphics on your website, as it makes it much slower.
- Your graphics are not optimized. You might use the right number of images and videos, not too many, but maybe you’ve taken them from your super professional camera. When you are posting those images on Facebook, Instagram and other social media, they are automatically compressed to save space on the servers and to improve the page load speed. On your website, you also shouldn’t use images of a too high quality. You can compress them using one of multiple image compression plugins for WordPress, or using some external tools like my favorite com or Websiteplanet’s free image compression tool.
- Your code is not optimized. The person that programmed your website might not have done it in the most efficient way. Creating a nice website is not enough, it should be also fast and mobile compatible.
- Too many plugins (in case of WordPress). If your website was built on WordPress, it might have too many plugins that make it very slow. Plugins are great, they give more interesting features, but you shouldn’t use too many of them, 10 is more than enough, but at least try to have less than 20. Delete all unnecessary ones. Very often, our clients have several plugins filling the same function. So, they not only make the website slower, but also interfere with each other.
There are many other reasons, why your website is slow and many other ways to improve it.
Some of the most efficient (but not free) ways to improve the speed of your website, is using a faster (dedicated) server, and CDN (content delivery network).
Your Website is not Mobile-Friendly
According to the study from 2016, mobile internet usage passed desktop for the first time. More and more people use their mobile phones to access the internet. Because of the small screens and lack of some functions on mobile phones, your website should be minimalistic and mobile compatible to look good on mobile devices.
Moreover, if the page load speed of your website is ok on laptops, it may be too slow for mobile devices. To find out, if your website is mobile compatible, use Google’s Mobile friendly test.
If you have a website on WordPress, you should choose a mobile friendly theme. If your website is made using HTML/CSS/JS, use per cents of the total width and height in HTML instead of exact number of pixels, @media in CSS and some other methods to make your website responsive.
Another technical reason, why your website is not showing up on Google, are broken links. Broken links are links that lead to… nowhere. Maybe, you have changed a link, but other pages still reference to it using the old one. Maybe you deleted some page, or the page on another site you linked to was deleted.
It is difficult to keep track of all your links, especially if you have dozens of them on every page. Fortunately, there is a tool to check broken links on your website. Check them and delete or change to correct ones all broken links you have.
Your Website is Penalized by Google
Another big reason for not showing up on Google is that your website is penalized by Google. To make the search friendly and helpful to every user, Google introduces some rules to do SEO.
In case if you have a spammy content, misleading information, links to suspicious sites and some other Black Hat SEO factors, your site can be penalized by Google (check 50 reasons, why your website could have been penalized by Google).
To find out, if your website was actually penalized, you can use this tool. The process of dealing with the Google penalty can be very long and hard, but not impossible. Find out how to deal with Google Penalties here.
How to Detect the Reason Why Your Site is Not Ranking
You can check the reasons for not ranking in Google step by step, or just use one of the SEO checking tools below.
They look nice and give you impression that they are very professional, but they are not. Mostly because many of the ranking factors are hard to measure automatically. These tools don’t cannot know the topic of your website, and what keywords should be the main there, they cannot check the social media engagement and many other metrics that only the Google Algorithms or professional SEO specialists can analyze.
Still, here are those tools:
I hope these tips on how to make your website show up in Google helped you to resolve your problems. If they didn’t, let our specialists analyze your website for you, and let it rank in the top of Google Search Results in no time.