Why can’t I see my brand-new website in Google?
You’ve gone to all the trouble and expense of crafting a beautiful new website. You know that it showcases your business, discusses your products and services, and answers the questions your customers are asking.
Your website company has just given you an administration login for your new website along with the good news that the site is ‘live’. So you head straight over to Google, type in your company’s name, and … nothing.
I mean, you expected to have to scroll down a bit to find your new site, but it’s not anywhere, not even when you get to page six of the search terms.
What the heck?
What is going on? Why isn’t the website appearing on Google?
Now, nobody really knows all the ins and outs of Google’s search algorithm – that mysterious black box that looks at a website and decides where it will rank in search results.
Google holds its cards very close to its chest, and occasionally makes changes to the algorithm that can drastically change a site’s ranking overnight, plunging it way down the rankings, or elevating it to page one – without anyone having made any changes to the website at all. This makes Search Engine Optimisation an inexact science at best, with no guaranteed outcomes.
Anyone who says differently is not being straight with you.
But we do know enough about how Google works that there are established broad guidelines for best practice. Google are very open about what they are trying to achieve through their search algorithm (even if the details are secret), and they do tell us what they are looking for in general terms.
So, what could be going on for a website that isn’t ranking in Google search results – especially a brand-new website?
The website is so new that Google doesn’t know it exists yet
Google has ‘bots’ that constantly crawl the internet, gathering information about websites and feeding that information into Google’s search algorithm.
If your site hasn’t been crawled by a bot yet, Google has no idea it even exists, so it won’t be appearing in Google searches. A newly launched site needs to wait for Google to find it and add it to the Google index before it will show up in Google search results.
Advice from Google says that their bots can take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks to crawl a new website.
Set up Google Search Console and submit your sitemap
Set up your Google My Business listing
Set up Google Analytics
Tell your clients about your new website
Update social media pages with your new website
How to get Google to index a new website more quickly?
Give it time
The lowest effort approach is to just wait and give Google time to crawl your site in its own time. Google will find your site and start the process of working out what it’s about, whether it’s a trustworthy site with good content, and ranking it accordingly.
But there are a few things you can do to help Google find your site faster.
Set up Google Search Console
Search Console gives really specific data about the search traffic that arrives at your site via Google search. The Search Console is also where you can submit a sitemap of your site to tell Google to go look at the URLs of your website. Read more about Google Search Console here.
Claim and optimise your Google My Business listing
If your business has a physical location, setting up your Google My Business listing with all your contact details and new website URL is another way to let Google know that your website exists or has changed. When the Google My Business listing gets verified and updated, that’s a good indication that Google has found and indexed your site. Find out more about Google My Business here.
Set up Google Analytics
We would really advise everyone set up Google Analytics which will track all the traffic to your website. In addition to giving you some essential data about your website’s performance, this is yet another way to prompt Google to crawl your site. Read more about Google Analytics here.
Make sure your social media pages have been updated with the new URL
If you’ve already got a social media platform, make sure your new website details are there, and that you’ve told your followers about it. Google takes note when a site receives traffic from other sources – not just from search queries.
Tell your customers about your new website
If you have a mailing list or newsletter, make sure you tell your customers about your new website that way, too.
How to keep your site ranking in Google
Once your website has been indexed it will begin to show up in Google search results. By updating your website regularly, adding a topical news item or other content, you will not only keep your website visitors informed, but you will also continue to 'feed' the Googlebots who will index this new content as they find it – hopefully improving your page ranking.
You may also choose to use paid advertising, such as Google Ads to get your website appearing on page one of the search terms, but remember there is not much point directing more traffic to your website unless you are keeping the content relevant and helpful for your customers.
Discussing your company's services is a great way to improve your search engine ranking for those search terms. Learn about writing great service pages.
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