Why Isn’t My Website Showing Up on Google? | How to Index a Website

Why Isn’t My Website Showing Up on Google?

Key Takeaways:

How to Make Sure Your Website is Being Indexed by Google

Have you ever tried to Google your business just for kicks to see what your customers see in search results? We’ve all done it! In fact, it’s a best practice we suggest for keeping track of your SEO performance and identifying pages that could use a tune up.

But what happens when you Google your full business name, and your website isn’t front and center in the search results? You might scroll a bit and see your other accounts listed, like your Facebook page and YouTube channel, or maybe you see an article that mentions your organization, but the website you’ve put time and money into building is nowhere in sight.

Though your initial reaction may be to panic, there are a few things you should know about this:

  1. You can tell Google which pages of your website to present to searchers, and you may have accidentally told Google not to bother with certain ones.
  2. It can happen to anyone. It’s an honest oversight and it’s happened to us before too, unfortunately.
  3. There are a few quick ways to fix it, and we’re going to show you one that takes less than 2 minutes to enact.

If you have a WordPress website, this quick TTG Tidbit will teach you how to ensure Google is indexing any and all pages you want seen in search results. Here’s how to index your website pages on Google fast.

What is Indexing?

Google, like a lot of the tech you work with on a daily basis, probably feels like it works in mysterious ways. We’re here to cut through some of the wizardry and get to the facts you need to know to keep your business up and running smoothly. For example, here’s how Google defines the term “indexing:”

A page is indexed by Google if it has been visited by the Google crawler ("Googlebot"), analyzed for content and meaning, and stored in the Google index. Indexed pages can be shown in Google Search results (if they follow Google's webmaster guidelines). While most pages are crawled before indexing, Google may also index pages without access to their content (for example, if a page is blocked by a robots.txt directive).

Why Would I Deindex My Pages?

The panic of seeing your business absent from direct search results can be enough to leave you scratching your head about why anyone would voluntarily choose to have Google gloss over their pages. Why does the setting even exist?

There are a few reasons deindexing can be useful:

1. Incomplete Pages

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we’re willing to bet your website wasn’t either. Usually, WordPress websites and websites built on other platforms go through construction phases. You may not want a page to be reachable the second you start working on it because it isn’t quite perfected yet. This also applies if you need to massively overhaul a page; deindex it before working to ensure nobody navigates to inaccurate information. Just make sure you index it again when you’re done!

2. Duplicate Content

If you incorporate printer-friendly versions of your pages or other alternative versions of a page into your website, then you have duplicates of the same content on your website – and both versions don’t need to be indexed. Prioritize the page version that is designed to be readable on your website, since that’s what most users will want and need to see.

3. 2nd Step Pages

Our website marketing best practices include having forms that can capture visitor information and deliver offers to your customers. These forms should also drop your visitors onto thank you pages that can upsell them, inform them about next steps, or continue to connect them to experiences on your website. Getting back to indexing, these thank you pages are examples of second-step pages that don’t need to be indexed, because we don’t want people reaching them via search results!

The short answer for why you would want to deindex pages is to keep the most relevant content on your website toward the top of search results. Competing with your own less-significant pages for search rankings is a needless complication to the world of SEO.

Want to Learn More?

Check out these on-demand sessions to learn more about Google, WordPress websites, content creation, and more.

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