Online Marketing – Why is My Site Not Being Indexed?

Posted: Friday February 17th

The vast majority of website visits start off when a web surfer enters a search query into Google or another search engine. For your site to have any chance of succeeding, it is going to need to be visible to the search engines otherwise it will not appear in the results. Search engine software known as a ‘crawler or ‘spider’ regularly scans over websites and adds them to the search engine index. They will then appear in the results when someone enters a relevant key word or phrase. There are a variety of reasons why your website might not be indexed properly. Consider the following tips to remedy this problem and make your site more search engine-friendly.

Pages Inaccessible Without a User-Submitted Form

Any section of your website which requires extra user interaction to access will not be indexed by the search engines. If you want the content of your site to be indexed, then it needs to be public. Search engine crawlers cannot submit forms or do anything else other than scan content which is visible to anyone. Any content or links that you want the search engines to see should be outside of any restricted section of the site. Likewise, search engine crawlers cannot see any content which is only accessible by performing a search.

Content in Java, Flash and Other Plug-Ins

Content programed in Java, Flash or any other plug-in cannot be scanned and indexed by search engine crawlers. Any content including links and keywords embedded into these mediums will be completely invisible to the search engine crawlers. This is precisely why it is a bad idea to have a site fully programmed in Java or Flash unless you don’t care about search engine optimization or you have a text-based version of the website which the search engine crawlers can read.

Content Blocked by robots.txt

Robots.txt is a robots exclusion protocol (REP). It is a text file stored in the root directory of your web server. This text file allows web masters to specify which pages of their websites should not be indexed by the search engines. If you find that your site does not appear in any search results, you should try checking through the robots.txt file to see if anything is excluded. There are also other methods of blocking content from the search engine crawlers such as Meta Robots. This provides more features and customizability.

Too Many Links on a Page

Depending on the search engine, crawlers only scan a limited number of links. This is typically no more than 100 links per page. The idea is to help cut down on spam and keep accurate rankings. If you have a page containing too many links, split it into different pages, ideally categorizing your list of links in the process to make for a more user-friendly experience for your visitors.

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