Google Presence

Google Presence: Diagnosing Why Your Site Is Missing from Search Results

Not showing up on Google search results? Here’s how to evaluate your Google presence and find solutions that help improve organic traffic.

Sometimes, it feels like you’ve done everything right and your website is not showing in Google search results. Even with a strong online strategy, there might be a few reasons why your Google presence needs a couple of adjustments.

The good news is, that the solutions for these issues are generally rather simple, meaning you can get listed quickly and start seeing organic traffic to your site. Review these possible reasons you aren’t showing in Google search results and what to do about it.

Reasons Your Website is Not in Google Search Results

Showing up in search results is a powerful way to experience website traffic without the need to pay for ads. But to get there, you’ll need to resolve the issue of not seeing your site in search results. Here are some ways to diagnose the problem and ensure everything is in place to help search engines find you.

1. Website Age

Search engines require some time to discover and crawl websites. So if you just launched your website, Google hasn’t had time to index it yet.

If you want to know whether Google has indexed your site, you can conduct a simple search: site:[insert website URL here]. A good sign that Google has indexed your site is if there is at least one search result.

But if you see no search results, that’s a clear indication that Google has not indexed your site yet. 

To get more granular to see if a new page on your site has been indexed, you can use a specific page URL in your search. You should see that page in search results if it is indexed.

The best solution to this issue is to submit a sitemap to the search engine within Google Search Console. The sitemap will help Google find and index your pages and can get your website on search results faster if it is new.

2. You’ve Blocked Robots from Crawling Your Site

You might inadvertently have checked a box or input code that tells search engines not to index your website. Webpages with a “noindex” tag will block Google from adding it to search results.

It won’t matter that you’ve uploaded your sitemap to Google if you’ve blocked indexing. And while you might not remember checking this box, it’s in the site’s settings somewhere. 

On WordPress sites, it’s likely in a plugin that you’re using for managing metadata and other SEO tools, such as Yoast SEO, SEOPress, SEOQuake or WP Rocket.

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Go to the plugin settings and look for a box titled “search engine visibility” or “site indexing.” Make sure that the setting is set to index. At times, this is a setting that is just left on by mistake after a website launches. Developers use this setting to prevent search engines from indexing sites that are in progress.

Alternatively, you might have the setting on for one specific page, which is prohibiting Google from viewing that page. In that case, go to the specific page and check its settings.

You might discover this issue when running your site through an SEO checker, such as SEMRush or AHREFs. You’ll see an error in the results that shows how many pages have noindex tags. 

3. You Need Additional Backlinks

If your site shows up on Google when you search for your URL, it means you’re getting indexed. But you might still find that you aren’t showing up for your target keywords.

To increase your website’s domain authority and rankings, you’ll need to get high-quality backlinks. This tells search engines you are trustworthy. It’s like a friend or family member giving you a glowing review to tell someone who doesn’t know you how great you are.

The key when building backlinks is to ensure they are on websites with a strong domain authority. Websites with low domain authorities can do more harm than good for your rankings. 

SEO tools are a great way to know how many backlinks you have and their quality. That way, you can adjust accordingly and seek out new opportunities to help grow your SEO strength.

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4. Your Domain Authority is Low

The lower your website domain authority, the more challenging it will be to rank for your target keywords. Even with a perfect strategy for on-page and technical SEO, you’ll need to grow and improve your domain authority to make it to the first page of search results.

See how your domain authority stacks up to your competitors. Work on raising your authority score above that of your competitors through careful strategies. Don’t work with spammy backlinking “experts” or try to raise your numbers fast. SEO is a long game and trying to do things too fast could make Google mark you as spam.

Two major factors in domain authority include backlinks and internal links. You don’t want to go crazy with internal linking, but you do want to make it clear how various pages of your site relate to one another.

5. The Content is Misaligned from Search Intent

When Google is ranking web pages, it looks at the searcher’s intent to serve up the best content to answer those queries. You have to think like a customer to meet their search needs.

Updating your web page to better meet the customer’s needs might increase your search rankings. Pages focused on sales likely will struggle to rank for keywords that are not branded. Instead, Google will look for more neutral informational pages, such as blogs and information that help a consumer accomplish their goals.

6. Your Website Has Duplicate Content

While it can be tempting to copy and paste relevant paragraphs or meta descriptions from one page to another, it will hurt your website immensely. This looks lazy to Google and makes it skeptical about the content you’re posting.

Duplicate content also takes up space on Google unnecessarily. It doesn’t want to have the same content on multiple results because that doesn’t serve its customers best.

Check your SEO tools for duplicate content. This might be duplicate page titles, meta descriptions or content on a page. Update your content to make it unique so search engines know your content helps answer questions.

7. You’ve Chosen Overly Competitive Keywords

Setting up a new website is hard because it isn’t established like your competitors are. Because of that, those established websites are more likely to rank for high-competition keywords right now.

It’s better to target longtail, low-competition keywords to help get your website established and ranking. If you target highly competitive keywords, you’ll likely struggle to get on the map in established industries. 

Although you’ll be targeting lower search volume keywords, you’ll likely see faster and better results, with lower search volume keywords because you can make it to page one on search engines for those keywords, which means you’ll see traffic from the keywords. When they are pages deep on your website, it won’t translate to website traffic, which won’t translate to conversions, making them low value for your site.

8. Your Website Has a Google Penalty

Search engines can penalize websites that they find have violated their trust in some way or made a large mistake. Google sets forth quality guidelines. When websites don’t adhere to these, Google might assign a penalty. 

To know whether you have a penalty, visit Google Search Console for penalty alerts. Once you know what’s happening, you can take steps to resolve the issue and resubmit your site for Google’s consideration.

Help Diagnosing SEO Issues Holding Your Website Back

SEO is complicated and has so many factors that can dictate how and where you’re ranking. To see measurable results, work with a trusted expert with a proven track record of helping companies deliver real business results through SEO and not just rankings. New Light Digital offers marketing strategy, including SEO. That way, you get a holistic view of what to update and adjust in your full marketing strategy to experience the most impactful results. Schedule your free consultation now

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