8 Reasons Why Your Site Isn’t Showing Up on Google

Adam Steele
Apr 30, 2024
why isn't my website showing up on google

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Imagine finally seeing your website pop up on the first page of Google. The vision is now reality. Not to mention the new leads, sales calls, and that sweet feeling of your hard work paying off.

If this remains a frustratingly distant dream, don’t despair. There are likely a few simple (and a few not-so-simple) reasons Google is ignoring you.

Let’s get you on their radar.

Quick Wins: Fix These Today to See Results Fast

The quick wins. The small tweaks. The little crinkles that are easy to iron out.

Fix 1: Consider Whether Your Website Is in Its Infancy

If you just launched your website, take a deep breath and understand that Google (most likely) isn’t ignoring you on purpose. Google’s crawlers (robots that “find” new web pages) constantly explore the internet. And they’ve got their work cut out for them. Predictions place the size of the “Global Datasphere” at 175 ZB by 2025 (1 ZB is 1 trillion GB, yeah, TRILLION). So, as you can imagine, it can take Google some time to find a freshly launched website.

It’s just a drop in the ocean, after all.

Regardless of the vast size of the internet, Google is actually pretty quick at finding new websites. While the timeframe varies, most new sites should be indexed within a few days to a few weeks.

If you can’t wait that long, here are some proactive ways to help Google find you faster:

  1. Submitting a sitemap through Google Search Console can speed up the discovery process. Here’s an XML sitemap guide on how to do just that.
  2. Secure a few backlinks will also boost your site’s visibility. If your website gets linked to from a site that Google has already crawled, it increases the chance those crawler bots will find your website quickly.

FYI: we offer link-building services. Kick your site’s launch off on the right foot.

Fix 2: Make Sure Google Can Actually Find You

Your website could be the crème de la crème of websites, but sometimes, technical settings tell Google’s crawlers not to index it. Since you’re here, I’m guessing this isn’t your intention, so let’s make sure that’s not happening.

Here are two common things to check:

  • Robots.txt is a file on your website that gives crawlers instructions. Sometimes, it can accidentally be set to block all search engines. You can usually find your robots.txt file by typing in your website address and then adding /robots.txt at the end (like this: example.com/robots.txt). Our robots.txt guide will help you out here.
  • Noindex tag is a snippet of code on individual pages that says, “Yo, Google, skip this one in search results.” Noindex tags have their uses but can get added to the wrong pages by mistake. Where to find this depends on what platform your website is built on (WordPress, Shopify, etc.). Learn more about noindex tags here.

If you’re stuck, a quick Google search with the name of your website platform + “noindex” should do the trick. And if you need more hands-on help, a web developer can give your site a quick tech checkup.

Fix 3: Speak Google’s Language

The better Google understands what your website is about, the more likely it is to connect you with your target audience.

Let’s start with keywords. These are the words and phrases people type into Google when they need something—a product, a service, or information. So, as you can imagine, figuring out the keywords your potential customers actually use to find resources or services like yours is pretty dang important.

The best approach here? Weaving keywords through website content naturally, especially in a few important places, such as:

  • Page titles are the first thing potential visitors see in search results, so make it count. Be clear about what you offer, and include the keywords someone looking for your type of business is likely to use.
  • Headings make your content easier to scan for your readers, and they also give Google clues about what each section of your page is about. Include your keywords in headings where they fit naturally to boost your SEO.
  • Image alt text is the text description that shows up if an image doesn’t load. It is also used by screen readers for visually impaired users. Briefly describe your image, and include a relevant keyword where it fits naturally. (Example: Alt text for a photo of a repaired pipe leak might be “Chicago plumber fixing a burst pipe.”)
  • The most important thing is writing naturally for your human readers. But as you write, weave in your keywords where they fit organically with your website’s content. Don’t force it—if a keyword doesn’t make sense in a sentence, leave it out.
  • If possible, include a keyword in your page URLs. Instead of a generic “example.com/page-1234”, you could use “example.com/chicago-emergency-plumbing.”

Just don’t overdo it. Google specifically warns against keyword stuffing. It’s a clear sign that you’re optimizing for search engines and not users. A big no-no.

Level Up: These Take More Time (But Are Totally Worth It)

The “slightly more complicated yet will surely give your website a decent boost” practices.

Fix 4: Make Your Website the Best Answer

You can have all the right keywords, but if your website doesn’t actually help people, it’s not going to rank well. Google is all about user experience. They want to connect searchers with websites that provide the best answers to their questions or solve their problems.

So, how do you figure out what people are really looking for?

Here are a few tricks:

  1. Check out online forums, social media groups, or even sites like Quora, Discord, and Reddit, where people in your industry hang out. What questions are they asking? What problems are they trying to solve?
  2. Create content that directly addresses those pain points. Analyze the competition by searching for your main keywords and see which websites are already ranking on page one. What are they doing well? Don’t copy them, but use their content as inspiration to make your own version even better and more in-depth.

Great content takes time to create. Start with a few high-quality, problem-solving blog posts or pages, and build from there. It’s better to have a smaller amount of amazing content than a lot of thin, keyword-stuffed pages.

Fix 5: A Faster Website is a Happier Website

Slow websites = frustrated visitors. If your page takes too long to load, people will hit that back button in a heartbeat. Google knows this, so they also care about how fast your site loads. A fast website generally gets a boost in search rankings.

The good news: even small improvements can make a difference.

Here’s where to start: Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is free and easy to use. It will analyze your site and give you specific recommendations for speeding things up. Two of the biggest speed culprits that kill page speed are often oversized images (compress them before uploading) and too many plugins and/or scripts (especially on platforms like WordPress).

Technical speed optimization can be complex. If you’re unsure where to start, check out our page speed SEO guide, where we detail 23 ways to speed up your website.

Fix 6: Be Mobile-Friendly (Or Lose Half Your Potential Visitors)

Here’s an interesting little fact for you: Just shy of 60 percent of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. So, if your website is difficult to use on a smartphone, you’re potentially turning away a huge chunk of visitors.

Google knows this. That’s why mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor.

Here’s what matters: Speed matters because mobile users are often on slower connections, so make sure your site loads quickly on phones. Navigation is key.

People should be able to easily find what they need with taps and swipes, not struggle with tiny menus and unclickable buttons. So, make sure your text is large enough to read on a small screen without zooming for readability.

Not sure if your site passes the test? Most modern website CMSs like Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix have responsive themes or templates that you can optimize for different screen sizes. We have a mobile SEO best practices guide that is sure to help you out, too.

Fix 7: Boost Your Website’s Authority

The more high-quality backlinks you have, the more trustworthy and authoritative your website appears to search engines.

Here’s where to start: Niche directories are a great place to find backlinks, as many industries have online directories where you can list your business. These links are relevant to your field, which is a good signal to Google.

Also, make sure your social profiles clearly link back to your website to boost your authority. Reach out to community websites, local bloggers, or even other businesses in your area about potential link exchange opportunities to build quality backlinks.

Or why not use a trusted vendor like us? We offer a range of link-building services that take the hassle out of, well, link-building.

What if I Still Don’t See Results?

Have you bent the rules and are paying for it? Let’s get you outta the sin-bin.

Fix 8: Get Back on Google’s Good Side

Did you f-up? Don’t panic. Most of the time, it’s unintentional. Google has guidelines for what they consider good practices. Violating these, even unintentionally, can land you a penalty. This means a drop in rankings or, even worse, getting totally removed from search results.

Some of the common culprits are things like buying spammy backlinks or having “thin” content (pages with very little or low-quality information).

How do you know if you’ve been penalized? Log into Google Search Console and check the “Manual Actions” section for any messages. If you see one, the bad news is you’ve got work to do. The good news is it’s fixable. Identify what caused the penalty, address it as best you can, and then submit a reconsideration request to Google.

Want to know more? Understanding penalties and fixing the root problem can be complex. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, our manual actions guide will help you out.

Conclusion and Next Steps

I know this was a lot to take in, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to fixing SEO issues. But don’t let that stop you from getting started.

Pick ONE fix from this list and implement it today. Even small changes add up over time, and you’ll start to see your website climb higher in those search results.

Remember, SEO is an ongoing journey, not a one-time fix. Keep learning, keep tweaking, and don’t be afraid to experiment. And if you find yourself needing more hands-on help, that’s where we come in.

Our team of SEO experts takes the guesswork out of search engine optimization and puts your website on the path to greater visibility.

🚀 Head over to our SEO services and discover how we will help you boost those rankings. 🚀

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

Explore Services

Written by Adam Steele on April 30, 2024

COO and Product Director at Loganix. Recovering SEO, now focused on the understanding how Loganix can make the work-lives of SEO and agency folks more enjoyable, and profitable. Writing from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.