My Website Isn’t Showing up on Google. What Do I Do?

Learn about common reasons why your website isn't showing up on Google, including not submitting a sitemap, not targeting the right keywords, and more!
  • Headshot of a smiling man in blue shirt on a black background.
    Matthew Gibbons Lead Data & Tech Writer
    Author block right corner shape
  • April 12, 2024
  • 5 min. read

If you know anything about search engine optimization (SEO), you know that the whole purpose of it is to get your site ranking in relevant Google search results. Why? So that your target audience discovers you in their Google searches, leading them to visit your site and convert into customers.

“But Matthew,” you might be saying, “that’s just the problem — my website isn’t showing up on Google.” In that case, don’t worry. There are several reasons your site might not be appearing in search results, and I’ll go over six of those reasons below:

  1. You haven’t submitted your site to Google
  2. Your website is too new
  3. You’re not targeting the right keywords
  4. Your site doesn’t offer a good user experience
  5. Your website has a penalty
  6. Google updated its algorithm

Keep reading to learn more about each of those possible causes for your website not showing up on Google, including how to fix them!

1. You haven’t submitted your site to Google

If you want to get your site ranking in Google ASAP, you must submit your site to Google for crawling. The best way to do that with an entire website is to submit an XML sitemap, which you can do in Google Search Console.

When you submit your sitemap to Google, it will crawl and index all the pages on your website quicker. That means you’ll improve your website rankings in a shorter time. Of course, how high your site appears in those rankings depends on the quality of your SEO.

2. Your website is too new

Did you just submit your sitemap to Google yesterday, and you’re confused as to why it’s not showing up in rankings today? Well, don’t panic. The fix for this issue is simple: Sit down, breathe, and give it time.

Search rankings don’t move at the speed of light. Even after you submit your site to Google, it’ll take time for it to climb the rankings and start to generate traffic. You need to give it time — a week, at the very least, but SEO can take three to six months to show results and rankings

Now, if more than six months goes by with no change, then that’s an entirely different problem — which leads us to the other possible issues on this list.

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3. You’re not targeting the right keywords

If you’re familiar with SEO, you know that one of the most important tactics you can use is to target certain keywords that you want to rank for in Google search results. The question is, are you targeting the right keywords? If not, it’s no surprise your website isn’t ranking.

After all, targeting any old keywords won’t cut it. You need to target relevant keywords. They should relate to your industry and what you sell. That’s how you ensure you’re reaching an audience interested in your business.

Additionally, target long-tail keywords — that is, keywords that are several words long. Long-tail keywords are more specific, meaning they can help reach a more precise audience while also having less competition in the search results.

When you target relevant, long-tail keywords, you have a better shot at showing up in rankings.

4. Your site doesn’t offer a good user experience

The thing about ranking in Google is that you have to earn a high spot. It doesn’t just happen — your site has to address the right search intent and provide a positive user experience. If it doesn’t do that… well, it won’t rank very well.

So, if your site isn’t showing up in search results, it’s worth asking yourself if your website itself might be the problem. What’s the user experience like? Do pages load fast enough? Is it mobile-friendly? Are the pages coherent and organized?

If there are issues with your website’s page experience, you should make fixing those issues your top priority. That’s the best way to shoot upward in rankings and get in front of your target audience on Google.

5. Your website has a penalty

Another potential reason your website isn’t ranking is that it’s been hit with a penalty by Google. Google slaps websites with penalties when they use black-hat (or unethical) SEO practices. Such practices include:

  • Buying links
  • Using keyword stuffing
  • Cloaking
  • Duplicate content

You want to be sure to avoid these practices. It might seem like a quick and easy way to cheat the algorithm, but if Google catches on, it will manually prevent your site from ranking. So, make sure your site isn’t using any unethical SEO practices.

6. Google has updated its algorithm

One final reason for your website’s not showing up on Google is that Google may have updated its algorithm. This is likely the case if your website was ranking in search results until very recently, at which point it suddenly dropped in rankings. Sometimes when Google makes a big algorithm update, it can really shake things up.

Take a moment to do some research and see if Google recently made a search update. If so, it may be that you just have to wait a bit for things to settle back into place. And if waiting doesn’t help, you should look into what the update was for. If the update was about prioritizing secure websites, for example, you should look into optimizing your website security.

It’s always a good idea to keep up with the types of changes Google makes to its algorithm because they happen every so often, and sometimes these updates impact the way your site ranks. The better you’re able to stay on top of those changes, the more you’ll be able to avoid dramatic drops in your website rankings.

Get help improving your website rankings from the SEO experts

If your website isn’t ranking in Google, looking into the above issues should help you get to the bottom of it. But if none of those things help, it may be time to consider partnering with a professional agency.

That’s where we come in. Our team of SEO experts knows exactly how to fix a website not showing up on Google, and we can put that knowledge to use to help you appear in search results and rank better.

Interested in partnering with us for our SEO services? Just contact us online or try the SEO.com app today!

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Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.

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