Note: This is a series of weekly articles designed for the novice to learn step-by-step how to improve their position on the search engines. Each step takes approximately 15 minutes, and are all easy to implement. If you, the reader, takes each step one by one each week, you’ll soon be getting better search engine results, and hopefully more qualified visitors to your website.
Last week, we talked about a technique to see exactly what Google sees about your website. By using site:yourdomainname.com in the Google search bar, substituting your website domain for “yourdomainname.com“, Google will show you every single page that they know about.
Note that I said, “…that they know about.” That’s different than what actually exists. The point is, that if Google hasn’t indexed or read your new page that you just published, it’s invisible and will not show up on Google’s Search Engine Results Page, no matter how well you’ve done a good job at putting in search engine optimization. Until Google has read and indexed your page, it simply doesn’t exist.
So why is this important? First of all, it takes Google a while to figure our or discover that you’ve got new content on your website. It may take them a week, two weeks or even a month (or more!) until it shows up. They only come along every so often to check to see what’s new, so it may take them awhile to figure it out.
However, if you know that a specific page (or even many pages) are not showing up, there may be a problem that you need to dig into.
Let’s say that you know you have 25 pages on your website, and Google only shows a few pages, or even one (like the home page). There could be several causes for this.
Look to see if you have a robots.txt file in your website. Go to your browser, and type in your domain name and add a /robots.txt. So it might be http://www.xyz.com/robots.txt.
The robots.txt file is a great place to put instructions to the search engines. If you see a line in that file that reads:
That is an instruction to Google and other search engines to go away – to disallow everything from the home page down. Sometimes web designers forget to take it out or put:
instead. Oops. Easy fix. Ask your web person to change it as above. Then you have to wait a bit for Google (up to a few weeks) to catch up to your change.
- Get a link from the home page (or other websites) that links to one or more sub-pages and make sure all sub-pages link to other subpages.
- A better solution is to replace the navigation with a regular HTML or CSS menu. That way Google can navigate your site and index the rest of the pages.
Pretty rare these days are “frames” websites, but again, we do run into them here and there. Google will not navigate a frames site at all, so all you’ll get indexed is your menu. Here’s an example of a frames website. Notice that the menu bar and the content scroll separately. Google will only see the menu bar, and can’t see the other side (with the content). The fix? Get a new website. There is no place for a frames website in today’s internet marketing rules.
Do you have problems with your website page(s) not showing up on Google? Post a link and we’ll take a look.