You feel like you’ve done everything right, but is your website still not showing up in Google searches?

Bad news: There are various reasons, it may not appear on Google.

Good news: A lot of them are easy to fix.

Below are eight possible reasons why your website doesn’t show up on Google or other search engines and how to fix these issues.

Before we start…

When typing something on Google that someone wants to see that’s available on your website, it’s important to note that generally a potential visitor is not looking for your website.

They are looking for information on a page of your website.

This is a significant difference.

If Google doesn’t know the page you’re trying to rank, or if Google determines it’s not worth ranking, it won’t appear in search results.

SIDENOTE.

Your home page is probably the page you are looking to rank the most.

Therefore, to be displayed on Google, your home page or any of your websites pages must meet the following three things.

  • Google knows your website exists and can find and access all your important pages.
  • Your pages show the keyword/s you want to be found for.
  • You have proved to Google that your page is worth ranking for your targeted search queries.
 

Most of the issues addressed below are related to one of these three issues.

Let’s start with the simple things …

1. It’s new; Google doesn’t know about it yet.

First of all, don’t panic! If your site is fresh, it may just be a matter of relaxing and checking back for a moment. There are many moving parts for indexing, crawling, and ranking your site. Sometimes it takes a few days. Or maybe a few weeks before Google discovers your site and the keywords that determine what your site is about.

How to fix it:

You can search for your site on  Google’s search operator. Site: Enter domain to see a list of pages found for that domain. If you enter the full URL of a particular article, you’ll see that only one search result is returned. If you find your page, it means that Google knows your site and has entered its index. If you find your page in the index but think it’s not working well, you may want to dig deeper.

Install Yoast SEO and send the generated XML sitemap to Google Search Console to speed up Google’s discovery process. In Search Console, you can also use URL inspection tools to check the performance of specific pages and view your site.

2. You’ve noindexed your site or the content.

One of the most common reasons Google doesn’t index a site or a particular page is because it accidentally gets a noindex. If you add the noindex meta robots tag to your page, Google-bot will notify you that it can crawl the page but not index the results.

How to fix it

How can I check if a page is not indexed? It’s as easy as opening the page and viewing the source code. Somewhere in the page header. This tells search engine crawlers that page content should not be added to the index and should not be ranked.

That will happen! Sometimes we make a mistake and inadvertently don’t index posts. Fortunately, this is a simple fix.

3. Your website has been removed from Google.

From indexes and search results, Google may determine that it does not meet Google’s quality guidelines, or that the site impairs the user’s ability, or for other reasons. Google may have deleted it temporarily or permanently.

Here are different ways Google can remove your site from search results:

  • Deindex: When a domain is permanently removed from Google. Also called a ban.
  • Penalty: The domain or page still exists, but the page cannot be found with a straightforward search query. This penalty can be done automatically via Google’s algorithm or manually applied by a Google Quality Engineer.
  • Sandboxed: No domain or page has been de-indexed or penalised, but Google’s traffic is suddenly reduced.
 

Google may warn you about using the Search Console if your site is blocked from the index because it violates quality guidelines.

How to fix it?

If you receive a notification that your site violates the quality guidelines, you can modify your site to meet these guidelines and then submit your site for review.

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t notify you if your site is algorithmically filtered, which can be very difficult to identify.

Suppose you suspect an algorithm penalty due to a recent significant reduction in organic traffic. In this scenario, the first thing to do is see if the reduction matches a known or suspicious Google algorithm update.

4. Google can’t crawl your site.

You may have instructed Google not to index your content, but you may have instructed Google not to crawl your site at all. Blocking crawlers with so-called robots.txt files is a surefire way never to get traffic. Blocking a robot is easier than you think. For example, WordPress has a search engine visibility setting, and if you set the search engine not to index this site, they will do their best to keep crawlers out. Uncheck this option to make the site available again.

WordPress manages site indexing by setting search engine visibility using the noindex approach described in Point 2. This change was necessary because Google may still be indexing the pages it encounters.

How to fix it?

In addition to directing WordPress to block search engines, other technical issues may be generating crawl errors that prevent Google from crawling your site correctly. Your site’s web server is not running correctly, and your code may contain a server error or a nasty bit of JavaScript, triggering a crawler error. Ensure Google can easily crawl your site.

5. The content on your website is poor.

When it comes to content, if your site’s copy or images are terrible, likely, your site won’t appear in Google search results.

Search engines want to rank sites that deliver high-quality content that matches searchers’ intent and meets their needs.

When creating content, be sure to be comprehensive enough to answer the questions and needs of the visitor. That way, the user does not have to press the back button to see other results.

You don’t have to create a comprehensive guide to rank in SERP’s, but you can provide users with valuable content that encourages them to stay interested in the site and take the next step.

How to fix terrible content

If you need someone for your content, consider partnering with a full-service content marketing agency to create custom site content. Writing experts know how to create content that ranks in search results and can help enhance existing pages to improve their position in SERP’s.

It’s also important to remember that search engines and users like new content. Therefore, update it regularly for the best results.

6. You don’t have enough high-quality backlinks.

There’s nothing that prevents Google from finding your page, but you still have to “prove” to them that it deserves to be ranked.

Google’s algorithm involves hundreds of elements, but it seems that backlinks continue to be the main marker for the quality and rankability of your website pages. This has been discovered many times in correlation studies.

If the web page placed above has many backlinks, it may be why your pages and listed below or doesn’t show up at all on search engine and especially Google.

How to fix it?

To see how many unique websites (see domains) are linked to your page, paste the URL into Site Explorer or the free backlink checker tool.

Go to Keyword Explorer, search for your target keyword, and scroll down to the SERP overview. Here you can see the most important pages at the moment and the SEO metrics for each page.

Scroll through the Domains column to see how many unique websites link to each page.

If your page isn’t up to date, consider creating more backlinks.

7. Your website does not have “authority.”

One of the most influential SEO metrics that many marketers, especially content marketers, are looking at is Domain Authority (DA). Even if some of the pages above you are from high DR (domain rank) sites, you may still be able to rank them.

Want to know how?

By creating more backlinks and “link authority” at the page level. After all, Google ranks web pages rather than websites.

8. You have duplicate content issues.

Google tends not to index duplicate content as it occupies unnecessary space in the index, just as there are two copies of the same book in the library.

Instead, it typically indexes only the versions that are set as canonical.

If no canonical is set, Google will try to determine the best version of the page to index.

Unfortunately, Google’s ability to notice duplicate pages without a non-self-referencing canon isn’t perfect.

How to fix it?

To find duplicate content problems on your website, scan using Ahrefs Site Audit and go to the Content Quality report. Look for clusters of non-canonical duplicate pages and nearly duplicate pages. Alternatively, we provide free website audit reports that will help to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your website and content.

Mark Preston

Mark Preston

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