Your shiny, new and wonderful website is all finished and live, the launch party is over, yet when you search for it on Google you can’t find it! It must be a huge disappointment to put all that effort in not to have it found on search engines right away.
This is in fact quite normal and can depend on many factors, here are the two most common reasons why your website may not be indexed in Google right away.
Google Has Not Visited the Site to Index it Yet
This is likely the most common reason. Google doesn’t know about the new site, so it wont have added it to the index. Google discovers new websites by several means…
- Using a website submission form at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url?continue=/addurl&pli=1. Generally your web developers should do this.
- Using a website site map XML file that is submitted to Google Webmaster Tools. Google provides web developers a very useful tool for managing websites with Google, and the tool allows developers to submit a website and all its pages to Google, to inform Google what pages exist on a website. Your web developers should do this too.
- By indexing other websites that have added a link back to your website, and then following that link to discover your new site.
At Amity Web Solutions we prefer method 2. All our websites will have a webmaster account created and a Sitemap XML file submitted to Google.
But even following this approach your site may not be indexed right away. It is very important to note that Google could take from a day or two to up to several weeks before it decides to act upon the submitted website and crawl and index the site in its search results.
So make sure your web developer has submitted the site to Google, and then be patient, Google will index it soon.
You can check if your site is indexed by searching for the domain name directly by entering the following in Google (substituting your domain name):
Google Has Indexed It But Keywords You Are Using Do Not Show Results
It may be that Google has actually indexed your site but certain keywords you are using will not show results. Searching for your site directly as above will inform you if its indexed or not. If it IS indexed, then your website may not be optimised for the keywords you are using to search for it.
Several factors exist in order to rank high for the keywords you are using to search for it:-
- The keywords, and more importantly the phrase, you are using needs to be within the content on the website. Ideally it should be a page title, a page heading and then within the content. This may help the site rank higher for these keywords.
- Having the keywords or phrase as anchor text in backlinks from other websites to your site will help Google associate your site with that phrase. e.g. linking the phrase “Web Design Caerphilly” to www.amityweb.co.uk on another website, will help Google make the connection between keywords and the website. Note: there are other factors to take into account, especially since the Google Penguin update, which is beyond the scope of this blog post, nevertheless it’s still relevant!
- Competition. If you have optimised your site for the keywords as in point 1 yet still are not ranking high, then competition could be a key reason for this. Competition, e.g. other websites that are optimised for the same keywords and phrase, is one of the main reasons for not ranking high, and one of the most difficult to tackle. For example, if you are the only provider of “web design in caerphilly” then it is likely your site will rank high for this phrase one that phrase is added to the site. But if you are one of say 20 providers of web design in caerphilly, and considering Google by default shows 10 results on a page, and then consider that the other 19 companies are all trying very hard, and maybe even spending a lot of money, to search engine optimise their websites for this phrase, then it is likely your site will not rank high with little optimisation effort. You would need to invest more time and effort into search engine optimisation to compete with the others doing it.
It is very important to note that once you do make changes to the site, by adding in a keyword phrase into a page title perhaps, Google could take from a day or two to up to several weeks before it re-visits the site and indexes the changes. So you wont see results immediately!
So in summary, the first step to ranking your new site on Google is make sure Google knows about it via site map submissions, and then to make sure it ranks higher the website will need to include keyword phrases people will search for, and for a competitive market even further search engine optimisation techniques may need to be undertaken.
Hope that helps!