5 reasons why Google does not index your pages and how to solve it
A while ago I put my website online. But when I search in Google my pages won’t be found.
The meaning of this kind of question is actually, Google does not show my pages. The reasons for this can be different, and in this article, I will discuss the most important 4 reasons.
Reason 1: Google hasn’t found your website or page yet
Especially when your website is up and running, this can be an important reason. Google simply hasn’t found your website yet. Although Google is nowadays fast in finding new sites, this certainly does not always have to be the case.
Make sure Google can find your website. The best way to do this is to place a link to your new website on another website (preferably one that is frequently visited by Google). Google visits the other website, finds the link to your website, follows it, and discovers your website.
Another way to index your website or page is to register it with Google (again via the Google Search Console).
Especially when your website exists for a while, and a certain page is not indexed, it is not recommended to register it via Google Search Console.
A new page on your website provided it receives an internal link, should be quickly indexed by Google. If this is not the case, this can have an (important) cause.
When you log in manually, or when you use the sitemap to discover it, it is difficult to discover the underlying problem, because then you simply don’t know that there is a structural cause.
Reason 2: Google cannot access all pages via the internal links
For example, Google will see your homepage but not the underlying pages. Here you usually have a crawl/navigation problem. Google does find your homepage but doesn’t get to the deeper pages.
Google usually finds new pages through internal links (think of your navigation links). But when certain underlying pages are not correctly linked, Google can’t find them either.
Make sure that your navigation structure is properly constructed. Furthermore, it is wise to keep pages as close as possible to the main domain, and to ensure that deeper pages are also linked from, for example, the homepage.
The principle that Google uses here is also logical. If a page has practically no internal links, then that page will not be that important. Otherwise, you would have linked it, wouldn’t you?
Reason 3: You prohibit Google from indexing your pages
Maybe an open door, but one to keep an eye on. Within your robots.txt or within the pages themselves you can indicate that you don’t want certain pages in the index (with the robots: no index tag).
Especially when you have a new website (or a redesign) there is a chance that your web builder has temporarily used no index on the temporary (staging) website. This is to prevent Google from indexing this test site as well.
However, when this website is put live, you should definitely remember to remove this tag.
Check your robots.txt file and the pages themselves for the “robots: no index tag”.
Reason 4: Duplicate content (duplicate content)
Finally, I would like to mention the duplicate content story. Suppose you have a webshop, for example. In this webshop, there are 1000 products, and therefore also 1000 pages. A large part of those pages has strong similarities, after all the structure and a large part of the text are the same. Especially when you do not place unique product descriptions, this can occur.
The problem is that Google can see these pages as a duplicate content. So Google thinks that these pages are too similar and then actually says: “why should I have to show all pages, they are all the same after all”. With the result that only one or a few are shown.
Make sure that every page on your website has enough unique content!
Not seeing your pages in Google can have several reasons. The most important ones are mentioned above. There is also a possibility that you got a penalty from Google, and that your website is punished.
This doesn’t happen very often (anymore). Before you start looking for it, I advise you to first investigate the above 4 reasons.