You paid a friend to build a site, or you struggled through a website builder like Wix and now you’re asking yourself, Why Google Does Not Rank My Website?
Why Google Does Not Rank My Website
It’s been a few weeks or months since your brand new business website went live, and it’s not showing up in Google searches.
First, search for your company name. No luck? Test to see if your website has been indexed by searching for the URL. Look for http://yourcompany.com. If your website doesn’t show up on the first page with this test, you need to have either a serious conversation with the person who built it, or if you used a website builder, a serious discussion with yourself.
To keep this short, we will concentrate on searching not for your domain, but for your business name and important keywords, because the reason for having a website is to show up in search engines when people look for your business or for your products and services (keywords).
Why Google Does Not Rank My Website – Don’t Be Fooled
So you are sitting there wondering why your competitor is on the first page when your search for the same widgets you sell, but you are nowhere to be seen. Your head is screaming “Why Google does not rank my website! I hate Google!”
First, know that Google knows your search history, your location, and much more when you search. Put simply, it is entirely likely that two different people that live right next to each other, will see different search results for the same search phrase. So you always need to open a private or incognito browser window to get a more accurate assessment of you web presence.
Put another way, if you search for your business rankings on a work PC, it’s likely to rank your website higher, because Google knows where you are and what you have looked at (and how long you’ve looked at it). You will see that “I’m on the first page!” but I could bring in my laptop to your business or pull out my phone and search for the exact same phrase, yet find you all the way back on the wasteland known as page 4. Standing right by the PC telling you that you are on the first page.
Rule number one. Always do your ranking research in an incognito mode, so the only thing Goggle knows is the locality of your Internet Service Provider.
Why Google Does Not Rank My Website? – Web It 101
So now that your have learned how to properly research your website rankings, here are 25 reasons why your website is not ranking.
- The Address – The free website builders use a format like this; company.wix.com/companyname. You don’t have a domain. You have a website on someone else’s domain. Bad Idea. Having a website without a domain is like having a car with no tires.
- Robots.txt -This is the text that blocks the Googlebots from seeing content to index. For instance GoDaddy blocks pictures from being indexed. That even includes your company logo. Simply put, on a build your own website, Google only sees text. It see no pictures, gifs, video…just text. How could you possibly think Google would think for a minute this is valuable enough to be on their first page?
- Cloaking – Why this is still popular with independent website builders is beyond comprehension, Cloaking is when you show Google content A for ranking, and users content B. Google has tools to uncover cloaking, and it’s a quick way to disappear from Google rankings (penalized).
- Duplicate Content – You needed content for your new website, so you simply copied from a competitor site, changed a couple words, and you were done. Unique content is a must for ranking.
- Status – If you wonder to yourself, “why Google does not rank my website?”, ask yourself do I have an active website or a static website? An active site is a website that adds content regularly and frequently (at least every few days). A static site is a website that went up years ago and hasn’t changed since. Google loves active sites. It one of the many things they consider for search engine ranking,
- Over-optimization – This is when your website builder knows cloaking is bad, so they use a keyword every 100 or so characters. Googlebots know how to read and having a keyword percentage above 3%, content will look unnatural to both users and Google.
- Little or No Text – If you have a site loaded with pictures of your product or services, and very little text, know that Google likes text. It relies on text. It relies on text embedded in the pictures so they can know what the picture represents (title, alt, description, caption). Each page should have a minimum of 300 words.
- Hosting – Choose your hosting wisely, and if you are using free hosting, don’t be surprised if your website neighbors are gaming, gambling, casino, Indian and Canadian prescription websites and more. If so, Google won’t rank your website well at all.
- Unresponsive to Mobile – It’s crazy to even have to bring this up, but well over a year ago, Google announced that you will fall in mobile searches unless your website is mobile-friendly. Then in subsequent changes to their algorithm, it has been confirmed that that extends to desktop searches. Get a responsive website. This is a must for Google rankings and vastly increases your user-experience (UX). Test your site.
- No Social Signals – If you don’t have Facebook likes, and you don’t know what Google + is, and you think only robins tweet in the Spring, your competition knows better. And your competition also knows Google looks at all of that for ranking.
- No Images – Or more accurately, no title, alt, description, or caption. Do it now. And if you are on a website builder platform where all that is blocked by robots.txt? Get off. Now.
- Your Content is worse than your competitors. First, you are not alone. But if you want to get ahead, make your content better than theirs and Google WILL notice.
- Flash – Flash was cool back in the day. It’s not cool now, but many templates on the build your own website platforms still use Flash. It doesn’t work on an IPhone, it doesn’t work on an Android and Google hates it. Lose it.
- Blank Pages – If you have blank pages indexed, that could be pulling you down in the rankings.
- You Bought Links – If you sell handmade flower arrangements and you have a link from a tactical firearms dealer, even a Googebot can see that’s a paid link. Paid links can drag you down the rankings.
- Link Networks – It’s likely someone has already contacted you to buy into link networks, it’s also like their clients have already been punished by Google. Google actively searches for private link networks. It’s not unusual for just one link from a black listed Russian website and you’re left wondering why your website doesn’t show in rankings anymore.
- You Don’t Use Content Marketing – Content marketing is one of the best ways to both add content your your website (and keep its “active” status), and use social media to drive users to your website to see the content (increasing the social signals). Are you beginning to get the picture?
- Your Website is Slow – Part of this relates to hosting, but how is your website built? Are the pictures not optimized? Does it use Flash? There are a handful of reasons a website is slow, but know that Google measures website speed for ranking. You can even test it.
- Your Bounce Rate is High – Google measures well over 200 factors when determining your ranking in any business name, keyword or locality search. If potential customers go to your site, but then leave quickly without going to any other page, Google knows that. If you have a high bounce rate, that negatively affects your rankings.
- MicroData – Microdata is an HTML specification used to nest metadata within existing content on web pages. Search engines, web crawlers, and browsers can extract and process Microdata from a web page. It helps Google understand your content for indexing.
- Blog Networks – A waste of time and money. Being on 10 WordPress or Tumbler blogs is not a good strategy. It doesn’t work.
- Your SEO is Not Localized – If you are a local business, or service a specific area, Google needs to know this and provides specific steps to help.
- Click-Through Rate – This is the percentage of clicks you receive from people looking for a particular search phrase. The higher the click-through rate, the more likely you move up in the rankings. But also be aware, Google balances this with bounce rate. If visitors don’t stay and hit back to the search listings, that tells Google the click-through is not relevant. Ideally, you’ll want a high click-through and low bounce rate. Then you will move up the rankings.
- Age – One of the big factors that cause some sites to rank well is the age of both the domain and the website itself. Most of the sites that rank high are at least a couple years old.
- Lastly, Quality Content – When wondering why Google doesn’t rank my website, know that since the Google Panda update, Google has been able to determine content quality of websites. For example, it can determine whether a site is too thin or has duplicate content, allowing for a much better analysis of content quality than ever before. And Google doesn’t just look at the content on a website. It looks at the content on one website and compares it to other websites within your space or industry. So if you have higher quality content than all of your competitors, you are much more likely to outrank them in the long run.
Why Google Does Not Rank My Website – Conclusion
Also know that all these reasons apply to every page on your site, because Google ranks webpages, not websites.
There are a lot of reasons why websites and webpages don’t rank well. These are just some of the primary reasons we’ve seen over the years. The biggest step a business owner can take is Content Marketing. Content marketing directly addresses points in almost half the reasons up above, directly impacting 4,5,6,7,10,11,12,17,19,20,22,23 and 25 and touching many others.
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