Why Google Fails to Index Your Website
Website operators know the importance of effective SEO (search engine optimization). Writing engaging content that provides solutions and new information to a target audience is a reliable way to boost website traffic, create conversions, and stay on top of search engine rankings. However, creating and posting a great blog is only half the task. Search engines need to know that your site exists.
Search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) must index your website for it to gain organic traffic. When search engines fail to index your site, it is impossible for your potential audience to find your content organically.
What Are “Crawl” and “Index?”
“Crawlability” and “indexability” are two significant factors in SEO. Crawlability refers to the ability of a search engine to access the content posted on the web page, while indexability refers to the search engine’s capability to assess, analyze, and add the web page to its index.
During the crawling process, Googlebots use links to navigate from one website to another, searching for new information or updates to report to Google. These include new websites, changes in existing web pages, and broken links. After crawling through the site, all information gathered is processed and listed. This effort is known as “indexation” and can make the website more available on Google’s searchable index.
Why Isn’t My Site Indexed?
If your website does not appear in the search engine results, there is no need to panic. Most of the time, this indicates that there is an error (or errors) that prevent Google from indexing your website.
Let’s take a look at potential problems and their solutions:
- Crawl errors – Though rare, Google may sometimes experience trouble crawling some web pages. To identify your crawl errors, check the Google Search Console Dashboard. This dashboard shows a list of error messages that require attention:
The dashboard displays a list of crawl issues related to your website. Note that “404” is the most common error. This means that Googlebot was not able to find the page. One reason behind the 404 error is that other websites link to pages of yours that no longer exist. To solve this problem, take note of all websites linking to unexisting pages on your site and contact them. Send an email asking them to change the old link to a valid link.
- Indexing to a www- or non-www domain – Technically, “www.” is a subdomain of the broader non-www version. This means that http://example.com is completely different from http://www.example.com. To help get Google index your website properly, you need to add and verify ownership for both in your Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) account. In addition to this verification, set your preferred domain.
- Google hasn’t found your website – This is a common problem, especially when launching a new website. It usually takes a few days for Google to crawl and index a site. If that fails to happen, you might have an issue with your sitemap. Follow Google’s instructions here to request a recrawl to “fetch” your site.
- Robots.txt is blocking – A robot.txt file is used by web developers and content managers to prevent a search engine from indexing a certain web page. Removing the page from the robot.txt file allows your site to reappear in the Google search index.
Wondering why Google isn’t indexing your website? Call me at (416) 888-8756 for professional SEO consultation. The John Vuong team of expert SEO specialists and I will happily put your business in a better position to increase your ranking among online search engines.