Why isn’t my website ranking in Google?
It’s disheartening when you invest your time and energy into building a website from the ground up, only to realize that it’s not listed in Google. Being that Google is the world’s most widely used search engine, failure to rank can result in dramatically fewer sales/conversions.
So, why isn’t your website ranking in Google and what you can do to fix it?
Google Doesn’t Know About Your Site
If Google doesn’t know that your site exists, it won’t be able to rank it in the search results. This is particularly true for new websites, as Google’s army of “bots” have yet to crawl them. Be patient while allowing Google to find your website. You can give the search engine a helping hand by building some links in the process, such as posting your website’s URL on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
You can also submit your website to Google via Webmasters Tools. After logging into your account, click the “Site configuration” link on the left sidebar > Sitemaps > Add/Test Sitemap > and enter the URL of your website’s sitemap.
In the event that your site doesn’t have a sitemap, you can create one for free at https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/.
Google Has Penalized Your Site
Another possible reason why your website isn’t ranking is because Google has penalized it. If you violate the search engine’s guidelines, they may take manual action by either lowering your site’s rankings, or in severe cases, removing it from the search index. Penalties such as this typically only occur when the offending site has engaged in spamming or link manipulation schemes, both of which are against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Even if you haven’t personally violated the Webmaster Guidelines, the previous owner of your site’s domain name may have, at which point the penalty may still be in effect. If you believe this is the reason why your site isn’t ranking, send Google a reconsideration request, explaining that you recently acquired the domain.
There are also algorithmic penalties that are much harder to identify; namely Panda and Penguin. If you haven’t received any manual action from Google, but you have experienced a sharp or even gradual but significant drop in traffic your site might be suffering from one of these algorithmic penalties. If you suspect that you’ve been hit by Panda, click here to read about the Panda update and how to recover from it.
A third possible reason why your website isn’t ranking in Google’s search results is because the robots are blocked. It’s not uncommon for webmasters to accidentally block search engines from their website by modifying either the .htaccess or robots.txt file. For instance, adding the following code to your robots.txt file blocks all search engines from crawling the site:
Double check your robots.txt and .htaccess files to ensure search engines are able to crawl your website.