So you’re wondering why your website does not show up on search engines even though you can access it on the internet. When you try to search for your website or post and you see these errors:
“Your search did not match any documents” Or “There are no results for…”
There are many reasons why but one important and often overlooked reason is that your website, pages or posts are not indexed properly. If you want to know how to fix it then keep reading.
There are over 40,000 searches every second on the internet and I don’t want to count on the search engines to finish indexing my site. I rather index it myself to be absolutely sure that it’s visible to the public. Every second that goes by is a missed opportunity.
How Search Engines like Google, indexes your Website
Most of not all search engines will use a method called “crawling”. This function is typically automated. It scourers through the internet for content and then it categories the information into a database. You can think of it like the Index of a Book or Novel. It’s way more complicated than that and different search engines have their own methods but you get the idea.
For the most part, search engines do a pretty good job of indexing your website but it’s not perfect. Depending on how your website is made, what type of content you make and many other factors; search engines can have a hard time understanding how to categorize or index your site.
And most of the time you’ll find that your Home Page and some of your Primary pages are already indexed but your Posts or Articles aren’t, this is especially true if your website is relatively new to the online space.
How to know, if your website is NOT Indexed?
Most people don’t realize that their site isn’t even indexed yet until they start searching around for SEO or How to Rank higher on search engines. And when they try to check to see where their website is ranked, they quickly start to realize that their pages and post aren’t even searchable. What’s the point of SEO if no one can search for your site?
So normally, you would go on a search engine like Google and type in the title of your post but that usually will give you a bunch of other listings that has similar titles as your post so it’s not really accurate. So the next course of action would be to put quotation marks around your title to initiate an exact phrase match like this:
“Best way to build a business”
This can sometimes work if the title of your post is unique enough but a more accurate way to do this and the easiest way to check is by using a simple site function search in the search bar.
You can do this by placing the “site:” function before your website address and being your search. If you get no results then there’s either a misspelling, your site is offline or the address you entered doesn’t exist, at least that’s what the search engine thinks.
You can also check individual pages, posts or any URL on your site. All you have to do is to put “site:” in front of the address and it’ll work in the same way.
This will work for Google, Bing and Yahoo Browsers.
Index your Website with Google’s search engine
If you want to index your website to Google. You can use Google Search Console but you do need to login and register your website to be able to submit for indexing.
By the way you can also use Search Console to verify if your site hasn’t been indexed yet, but it’s always good to have Google Search Console since it has many useful tools for your website. So regardless, I highly recommend you sign up.
Anyway, once your in the dashboard, you want to:
- head over to Console’s search bar
- type in the URL you want to inspect for indexing
- then Click on “Request Indexing”
Keep in mind that the process is not instant but it usually takes an hour for my URL to appear in Google searches. Your wait time may vary.
Alternatively, if you have a sitemap for your website then you can upload it to Google Search Console by:
- Click on Sitemaps tab
- Enter the URL for your sitemap
- Press Submit button
Using a Sitemap is the most efficient way of indexing your website and to keep it updated. If you are using WordPress, some SEO plugins like RankMath will have features to create a sitemap for you.
Index your Website with Microsoft’s Bing search engine
Indexing your website for Microsoft’s search engine is just as easy. The first thing you are going to need is register with Bing Webmaster Tools.
When you first start to register with Bing Webmaster Tools. You will be given an option to link your Google Search Console to your account and you are then able to use the sitemap from Google Search Console if you added one there.
Otherwise, once you are reach the dashboard, you want to:
- Click on URL inspection
- Enter your URL and hit the Inspect button
- Then click on the Request Indexing button
Alternatively, if you have multiple URLs that need indexing, you can:
- Click on URL Submission
- Click on Submit URLs button
- Here to can enter one URL per line
Note: You can only submit up to 10 URLs per day.
You can also submit a sitemap of your website for indexing as well. Do this by:
- Click on Sitemaps tab
- Click on Submit sitemap button
- A pop up will appear and you can enter the sitemap’s URL and press the Submit button
If you are using WordPress then you can use the Bing URL Submissions plugin. This will automatically and immediately index your site as soon as content is published or updated.
While other plugins will do a similar job but this tool is slightly faster because it directly interacts with the search engine itself.
Feel free to check out my other Website Tutorials for more fixes and guides like this one.
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