Why isn’t my website visible on Google?

One of the first questions asked after launching a website tends to be: “Why isn’t the website visible on Google?” Being invisible on one of the world’s largest search engines is problematic. In this article, we will focus on an important factor when troubleshooting this issue - indexing. We’ll explore what indexing is, why it’s important, and how you can ensure your website gets indexed on Google.

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What is indexing?

Indexing is the process by which a search engine like Google catalogues and stores websites and their content in its database. Only after Google indexes your website can it appear among the search results.

A spider is often used as a metaphor to visualise this process. This metaphorical spider crawls along a web, making small notes of the content it finds along the way. The threads that hold the web together are links on the Internet. A good link structure facilitates more efficient crawling and paints a picture for the “spider” of how the pages are related to each other.

This is why indexing is important

Only indexed websites can appear in Google’s search results. If your website is not indexed, it will not be visible to potential visitors, no matter how good the content is. Often, indexing is a hygiene factor; once the site has appeared on Google, it’s easy to forget about it. Then, suddenly, one day, you may notice that it takes forever for your new pages to appear in the search results. We will go into tips you can use today to minimise the risk of running into this problem.

Tools to speed up indexing

To ensure your website is properly indexed and optimised for Google, Google Search Console is an indispensable tool. Here are some actions to take in Google Search Console:

Verify the ownership: First and foremost, verify that you own and control your website in Google Search Console.

Upload your sitemap: By submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console, you give instructions to Google on how to find an overview of your site’s content. This helps Google navigate and index your pages more effectively.

Monitor indexing status: Google Search Console allows you to monitor how many of your web pages have been indexed. This helps you diagnose any issues.

Fix any errors: If you discover errors or issues preventing your site from being indexed, you can use Google Search Console to address them. The tool often provides specific recommendations to solve technical problems.

Request a new crawl: If you have made significant changes to individual pages, you can manually request a new crawl of these pages.

Common issues related to indexing

Technical problems: Technical issues on your website, such as an incorrect robots.txt file or noindex tags, can stand in the way of indexing.

New website: If your website is new, it may take time for Google to discover and index it. By uploading a sitemap and requesting indexing, you can speed up the process.

Low quality or duplicate content: Google’s spider is not foolish; it avoids spending energy unnecessarily and does its best to avoid pages with low-quality or duplicate content.

Blocked by Robots.txt: If you accidentally block Google from indexing your site via the robots.txt file, you will not appear in the search results. You can easily check this by adding /robots.txt after your domain to see which pages are blocked.

Too large and messy site: In SEO contexts, there is talk of “crawl budget.” The budget allocated to a site is linked to the site’s quality. You get a larger budget if you have more inbound links to your site. This means that if you have very few links but an enormous site, it will take longer for all pages to be indexed. Likewise, updates will take longer to effect. Note: This is not something you need to worry about unless you have a huge site. That said, here are some measures you should consider, which are good regardless of the site’s size:

• Improve PageSpeed

• Work with clear internal links

• Avoid long chains of redirects

• Aim for a flat site structure

• Limit the amount of duplicate content

In summary, how to get your website to appear on Google:

1. Ensure that your website is technically optimised for search engines and that nothing hinders indexing.

2. Create high-quality and unique content with plenty of internal links that are relevant to your visitors.

3. Ensure that Google Search Console is set up correctly.

Veronica von Feilitzen

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Anna Frössén

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