For your site to be seen it needs to be indexed. However, it may not be for one reason or another. Here are six of the most common reasons your site doesn’t appear in search engines.
1. Black Hat SEO Spam
There are a lot of black hat SEO strategies out there, mostly in the form of spamming in hopes of helping a page get to the top of the rankings quicker than usual. Google is always keeping tabs on the sites that come up in its search results, and high quality is essential. If sites are caught utilizing black hat tactics such as SEO spam, action will be taken against them that makes sure they don’t show up at all. Other actionable methods include keyword stuffing, cloaking, content scraping, and spam links. Taking shortcuts like these isn’t worth it in the end. Make sure your site is free of any of this sort of activity and then submit a reconsideration request if need be. Ensuring you’ve a solid white hat linking strategy and a solid content marketing strategy helps here.
Websites that harbour malware are obviously going to disappear from the search results at some point. No search engines want the reputation of leading people to harmful websites. Fortunately, you can likely find out if there’s some sort of malware issue with your site before de-indexing occurs. Google Webmaster Tools generally offers warnings concerning malware compromises. You can remove the issue once it’s found and double your efforts to keep the site clean and secure for visitors. Yet again, a reconsideration request may be called for. Here are some good tips to avoid it.
If your website is down for considerably amounts of time – usually up to several weeks at a time – it’s almost sure to be de-indexed from search results. The only way to fix this particular issue is to get to the root of the problem causing the de-indexing and make sure the site remains up full-time. It will likely take some time to get traffic coming in on a consistent basis, but again, once all this has been dealt with you can likely get back on the index with a reconsideration request.
4. Being Indexed under a Different Name
Make sure your domain name hasn’t already been indexed. Some sites are indexed without the WWW in the URL, and the two different versions are recognized as different sites by search engines. If it turns out that your site is indexed in a manner that you don’t prefer, you need to go into the Webmaster tools and specify which version you want search engines to cater to. A 301 redirect will be necessary to help get everything back on track as well. Here are some awesome tips on indexing.
5. A Lack Of Incoming Links
This is one of the biggest problems plaguing sites that are relatively new. If your site isn’t being linked to from other places of value, it’s going to take a while for Google to consider your site worthwhile. You can consider building up some back links through manual means. Highly ranking sites ranking to you will be the most beneficial, and spamming your link on other smaller sites like random blogs can possibly get you penalized.
One easy means of getting some incoming links when you’re just getting going is to submit your site to Google Plus. This way, you’ll help your site get picked up by search engines naturally and in a way that’s clearly favored by Google. You can also try submitting your URL to Google by going through the Webmasters tool.
6. Sitemap Errors
The sitemap, either in XML or HTML form, is what gives search engine robots the list of URLs that are going to be crawled inside of your site. If it isn’t automatically updated, the bots will take a long time to discover the full list. As such, your index status will be heavily delayed. Here are some good sitemap tips.