What to do if Google’s not indexing your site

I’ve had a couple of companies contact us this week, trying to talk us into buying backlinks for our sites. Besides looking less than legitimate, these companies are a waste of money. Bottom line: don’t buy backlinks.

It doesn’t do your website any good. That’s not to say that you don’t need backlinks, but you need ones that Google will like and count as a positive part of your site.

An old friend of mine contacted me and asked me to take a look at a site. She said that Google wasn’t indexing the site, and she had no idea why. It was a relatively new site, but not so new that Google shouldn’t have crawled it by now. The fact that there’s absolutely nothing in the index makes me think that there’s a problem somewhere.

When this happens, the first thing I’ll do is check the robots.txt to make sure no one has blocked access to the Googlebots. If that’s happened, or if there’s a noindex tag on the home page, that can be the whole problem.

This wasn’t the case here. It was a WordPress site, but it didn’t have Yoast installed, so that was my first step. After that, I organised a sitemap, and then got together some basic backlinks.

If you have a local company, these can be as simple as a local team or school you’re sponsoring, a Yellow Pages or other directory link or a link to another local organisation. It doesn’t take much.

As a final step for indexing your site, set up Google my Business. Then share your site on social media. Get a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account, and use them regularly.

Google likes to see you’re out there, working your site, making it available to search engines and to other people.

For more information, visit the StewArt website.

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.

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