There are few things more frustrating for a business owner than spending time on their website only to find that a simple Google search shows that it isn’t being ranked by search engines. In the worst case scenario, the business website may not even be showing in the index, no matter how far through the listings you go.
There are many reasons why your site may not have entered a search engine’s index just yet, so before you take any drastic measures, consider all of the following as possibilities.
Is Your Business Website Brand New?
It can often take a while for search engines to actually identify that a new website exists. In many cases, this can take a week or more following the launch of the site.
Before your business website can enter the index, it must first be crawled so that search engines can identify the purpose of the site and develop an idea of where it should be ranked. This process may take a couple of weeks after the site has been identified as existing, as there are many different ranking factors that determine your positioning.
In these cases, it is best to exercise a little patience and consider creating some links to your new website to alert search engines to its presence.
The way search engines see your business website differs from the way regular users view the content. Search engines use “spiders” who are tasked with crawling the site to examine its content. The spiders provide the search engines the site’s overall theme and who it is intended to target.
A poorly optimized website makes this process much more difficult. If a spider can’t determine the purpose of the website by crawling its content, which includes meta data and title tags in addition to what is actually on each page, it is going to struggle to categorize it. This means that you won’t appear for a Google search until the content has been properly optimized to make the site’s purpose clear.
The keywords your business website is optimized towards also plays a part in how search engines rank it in the index. If the keywords you have chosen are highly competitive, you have to consider the fact that you are attempting to gain ranking against websites that are more established or better optimized than yours.
Research the keywords you will use. Think about what users are likely to search for based on your services and location. Consider using less competitive keywords for which it is easier to achieve ranking.
In worst case scenarios, a previously established website may lose its place in the index as a result of a penalty applied by the search engine.
This is a fairly rare occurrence though it can happen if the site contains a lot of poor content that is of little use to visitors, or if the site owner has built lots of unnatural backlinks using websites that have poor reputations themselves. Escaping a penalty is a long and arduous process, but it may be an issue you have to face if your business website has been overzealous in its optimization efforts.
All of the above could play a part in search engines failing to index your business website. In most cases, the key to solving these issues is implementing a dedicated online marketing plan that looks to increase exposure while ensuring the site operates within the guidelines provided by the search engine.