My site isn’t showing up on Google. Help!
Don’t worry. There are lots of quick fixes you can implement to get your site to show up in Google’s search results. On this page, we’re diving into the most common reasons why your site isn’t showing up on Google, along with how to fix them.
Common reasons why your site is missing from Google search
Let’s get started!
1. You have low rankings
First things first — it’s always a good idea to verify that your site is actually missing from Google’s search results.
Many people think that their website isn’t showing up on Google at all when, in fact, their page just has very low rankings. For example, you may have just checked the first five pages of the search results and assumed your site isn’t appearing on Google when it’s actually ranking on page 40.
That’s why you should check that your page or site is missing from Google’s index before doing other troubleshooting.
To verify that your page is missing from Google’s index, do a site search for your page on Google. Here’s how to do a site search for a website and a page:
- For a site: Enter the syntax: site:your-domain-name
- For a page: Enter the syntax: site:url-of-page
If you see results, the page is in Google’s index. If you don’t see any results, there could be a few reasons why your page or site is missing. If this is the case, we’d recommend checking out the next few reasons on our list below to help Google discover and index your page.
2. You’re preventing search engines from indexing your pages
Still saying, “my site isn’t showing up on Google”? Don’t worry, there are a few more culprits that could be behind it.
Another possible reason why your site isn’t showing up on Google is that you’re preventing search engines from indexing your pages.
A “noindex” meta tag is a piece of HTML code that tells search engines not to index your page. So, if you have this tag on a page that you want indexed, it won’t show up on Google, even if you submitted your sitemap.
The best way to find pages with a “noindex” tag is to use Google Search Console. Google Search Console is a free tool that gives you access to tons of features and reports that help you measure your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance.
To find the “noindex” tagged pages, navigate to the Indexing report, click on Pages, and then look for pages “excluded by ‘noindex’ tag.”
3. Search engines aren’t able to crawl your pages
Your site may also not show up in Google’s search results if the search engine can’t crawl your pages.
Google’s search engine spiders crawl your site to discover your pages and add them to its index. If it can’t crawl your site, your pages won’t appear in the search results.
Most websites have a robots.txt file. It tells search engines how to crawl your site, instructing them on which pages to crawl and which not to.
Sometimes, URLs may become blocked in your robots.txt file, preventing them from being crawled and indexed.
Google Search Console can help you identify pages blocked from being crawled in your robots.txt file.
Simply head to the Indexing report, navigate to pages, and then look for the “blocked by robots.txt” report to see a full list of pages that are prevented from being crawled.
It’s important to note that robots.txt files can be tricky to navigate and fix. If you aren’t experienced in optimizing robots.txt files, it’s usually recommended to contact an expert to help.
4. Your page doesn’t match search intent
Google aims to provide its users with websites that give them the information they want. That’s why it’s critical to ensure that your page answers users’ questions and provides them with the information and solutions they’re searching for, otherwise known as matching search intent.
If your page doesn’t match the search intent of a particular keyword, Google may not display your site in the search results for that keyword.
First, think about the keyword you’re trying to rank for. Then, search for that keyword on Google and check out the pages currently at the top of the search results to get a feel for what content users are looking for.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to rank for the keyword “best golf courses.” When you search for this keyword on Google, you’ll see results that look something like this:
Since these results are all lists of golf courses in the US, you can reasonably conclude that users are looking for a page that lists the best 100 golf courses in America.
Your page should follow this same format to match search intent and give users the information they want. Only then will your page have a chance at ranking for that keyword.
5. Your page doesn’t offer a good user experience (UX)
Not only does Google want its users to find the information and solutions they need, but Google also wants to ensure they have a good experience on the websites they visit to get that information.
That means if your site is slow to load, difficult to navigate, or challenging to read and digest information on, users may be quick to leave. That will signal to Google that your website doesn’t offer a good experience and shouldn’t rank.
There are lots of optimizations you can make to your site to improve your UX. Here are just a few tips to ensure your users have a good experience every time:
- Improve your page load speed by using a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights
- Optimize your site’s navigation by using hamburger menus
- Include images, videos, and headings to make your content easy to digest and skim
- Ensure all buttons, links, and other site functions work correctly
6. You have duplicate content
Are you still asking yourself, “Why is my website not showing up on Google?” You could have duplicate content.
Google tends not to index duplicate content because it will take up extra space in its index that it will want to save for unique content.
As a result, Google tends to only index the page you set as canonical. If you didn’t set the page as canonical, Google will index the page it thinks is the most relevant and useful. However, this isn’t always perfect.
That means the page you intended to rank may not be indexed at all and, as a result, won’t show up in the search results.
It’s essential to frequently check your site for duplicate content and remove it or set canonical tags on the pages you want Google to index to ensure your site appears in the search results.
There are lots of tools that can help you find duplicate content issues. For example, you can use an application like the Screaming Frog SEO Spider to crawl all of the URLs on your site to find duplicate content.
After running your crawl, you can export all duplicate content by heading to “Bulk Exports > Content > Exact Duplicates and Near Duplicates.”
Once you’ve found all the duplicate content on your website, all you need to do is redirect or canonicalize the duplicate pages.
Get your site on Google (and stay there) with SEO.com
We hope we answered your question, “Why isn’t my website showing up on Google?”
If you’re still struggling to earn those higher rankings in the search results or get your site to start ranking on Google in the first place, a professional SEO agency, like SEO.com, can help solve your SEO challenges.
Just check out more SEO tips, techniques, and advice on our blog!
- 1. You Have Low Rankings
- 2. You’re Preventing Search Engines from Indexing Your Pages
- 3. Search Engines Aren’t Able to Crawl Your Pages
- 4. Your Page Doesn’t Match Search Intent
- 5. Your Page Doesn’t Offer a Good User Experience (UX)
- 6. You Have Duplicate Content
- Get Your Site on Google (and Stay There) with SEO.com