We get this question a lot. If your website is nowhere to be found on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or the other search engines, it’s typically for one of about five reasons. Go through the checklist below and make sure you haven’t fallen victim to one of these traps:
- Your website is complete, or mostly, Flash
Flash is great; it’s interactive, it looks good, it makes your website look modern and fancy. The only problem is search engines cannot understand it. In fact, search engines can really only read text. If your website is all Flash, search engines are blind to whatever you’ve spent all that hard work and big money creating. Sorry. Don’t shoot the messenger.
- Your website has a ‘splash page’
Like the looks of the intro page? Want to have your users “step through the threshold of your website?” Don’t. Splash pages are bad for visitors because people want to get to the ‘meat’ of your website ASAP. Making them sit through a video, or click on a link only infuriates them. Remember, anything bad for visitors is bad for search engines. The first page your viewers see should be a page that describes what your business does and how you can help them.
- Your website has too many pictures
Remember the first bullet point? Search engines can’t ‘see’ anything other than text. If your website is made entirely of images and graphics, you’re not letting Google come in and read what you’ve written. Bottom line: ditch the images for real text.
- Your website doesn’t have any incoming links
Links tell Google that your website is special enough to link to. It’s a vote of confidence from other websites that essentially says your website is worthy. Google interprets and counts these links. If your website is an oasis in the middle of the Internet with no incoming links, Google probably thinks you’re not really cool.
- Your robots.txt file has an error
Think of your robots.txt file as a restaurant’s menu. Before you walk inside, you glance at the menu posted near the door to see what the offerings are, what the prices are, any daily specials, etc. When you sit down, you have a better idea of what you’re getting yourself into. To search engines like Google, robots.txt does the same thing. It tells search engines what files you have, where they’re allowed to go, what they’re allowed to see and what they cannot. If you have an error in your robots.txt file, you might be telling search engines to ignore everything. A simple mistake to correct.
If your website isn’t showing up on Google, run through this list and make sure you’re doing everything right. Still not showing up? Contact Whistler SEO and we can help.