It’s not just you… Google really does hate some websites.
In fact it hates them so much it won’t even list them in their index. (You did know Google is just an index of pages it has crawled right? It’s not the whole internet.)
It wasn’t always like this though. Google used to love all websites. But over the years it’s lifted it’s standards and it likes to only rank what it thinks are the best websites.
Why? Because Google prides itself on delivering the best answers to your questions. It doesn’t want you sneaking off to Bing!
So how did this happen, what did you to do upset Google?
- Did you sign up with one of those “1st Page Guaranteed” or “pay nothing” SEO agencies.
- Did you keyword stuff your meta keywords (that’s soooo 90’s)
- Did you repeat your keyword loads of times on the page, but then hid it by changing the colour of the text? (You’re not the first person to think that will work.)
- Did you hire an agency who just ‘stumbled’ upon your website to give you free keyword analysis?
- Or – my personal favourite – did you fall for the unsolicited mail telling you that your site is not even listed.
“The version of your website and SEO-algorithm is outdated and affecting your outcome on prominent search-engines.”
(We’ve actually received an email saying this. Watch out for those outdated algorithms!)
There are lots of reasons, but let’s take it one at a time.
1 – 1st Page Guarantee
There is no reputable SEO company or inbound marketing agency on this planet that can guarantee you anything at all on Google.
Why can’t they guarantee it? It’s simple – they don’t control Google. How can you guarantee something you ultimately have no control over?
The only people who can make you a guarantee is Google themselves, and they’re more interested in getting you to spend advertising dollars with them.
No single person knows all of the factors that make up the Google algorithm. It’s a closely guarded secret. And do you really think a company that has contacted you out of the blue or paid for a radio ad knows that secret?
It doesn’t work like that…
2. You’ve keyword stuffed your site
Let’s say we wanted to get www.searchjam.com.au ranking for the term ‘awesome red sneakers’
So you stuff the keywords section of your metadata with Awesome Red Sneakers, Best Awesome Red Sneakers, Comfy and Awesome Red Sneakers, Nice Awesome Red Sneakers, etc., and expect it to shoot to the top of the search engines to sell your, no doubt, lovely and Awesome Red Sneakers.
It doesn’t work like that…
3. You’ve put invisible text on the site
Ha ha! I know what will stump the Googlebot (that’s what is crawling all over your site). I’ll say the words ‘Fluffy Kitten Slippers’ 1,000 times and then, ha!, I’ll make the text white on a white background. Genius.
It doesn’t work like that…
What Can You Do?
So what do you do? You’re too busy running your business to devote 10,000+ hours of your life to becoming an SEO expert.
Here are some quick wins anyone can do.
1. Are you actually listed?
Make sure your site is actually listed on Google. You can do this by typing the following into google: site:yourdomainname.com.au so for us that would be site:searchjam.com.au. Google will then give you all of the pages indexed on your site.
Or you can just google the name of your business and you should appear on the 1st page.
That’s going to show you if the site is actually listed in the search results. If you’re not there, that’s why you’re not being found. There are various reasons why you wouldn’t be listed – too many to mention here. (Just send us an mail, let us know your domain name, and we’ll tell you why it’s not listed and what you can do to get it re-listed.)
Advanced tip: Doing a “site:” search in Google can help you find other big holes in your SEO. For example, if Google is indexing a lot more pages than you have in your .xml site map, you might be channelling link authority to junk pages such as author archives and media attachments. If you’re using WordPress, you can tell Google to ignore these pages in Yoast’s free SEO plugin.
2. What are the keywords you want to be found for?
Are these keywords mentioned anywhere on your site? If not, it’s a good idea to put them there. But don’t keyword stuff!! Just put them naturally in the text on the site and then in the page title and URL if possible.
‘For the best awesome red sneakers, contact Search Jam. Our awesome red sneakers are the best in Melbourne, test drive a pair today’
3. Do you have a Google business page?
Search for your business on Google Maps, if your’re not there, claim your listing. It’s easy, see here: https://www.google.com/business/befound.html
4. Is your social media up to date?
Get a Facebook Business page, which will give you a free, powerful backlink back to your website: https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page
Even if you never plan on using Facebook, just having a profile there (and on as many other social media platforms as you can) is helpful for SEO.
But never, ever think that a facebook.com/YourBusinessName is a substitute for your own website. But it’s facebook, they’ll be around forever! (cough cough … Myspace). Would you pay to build a house on someone else land?
Even if Google does hate your site, there’s a lot you can do to rekindle the relationship. Follow some of the steps listed above and you might just find Google falling in love with your site once again!