Why is a website not being found in search?
We all know how important it is to be found on Google when people search for our products or services. Yet often a website may be included in search results, just not for the search term or at the position desired. To determine why a website is not found in search, start by looking at which search phrases the website is already found and what position it has in the search results. By using a Google Webmaster Tools we can create a table, such as shown below. The table shows that the website has appeared in search results for the listed search terms, called Queries. The Impressions column is the number of times the website was displayed for that search term. The position is the ranking of website’s listing for that search term at the time of search.
What are search rankings and what does it mean to be found on the first page of Google?
Google loads 10 pages of listings at a time for a search phrase, so even though the website may have been in the impressions, it does not mean that anyone actually saw the page the listing was on. A Google page generally has 10 listings on it, therefore a position of 23 would be on the 3rd page of Google, with a slight chance of it being seen. A position of 75 would be on the 8th page of Google, therefore an extremely low chance of being seen. Typically a new or non-optimized website positions are very high, so the chance of someone clicking to the website is low. To make it more difficult, Google is always changing the ranking factors, and also personalizes results so that two people rarely see the same listings in the same order for the same search query.
Where are we currently found in search?
In any case, Webmaster Tools help us figure out what phrases a website is being included in the search results. When you optimize your website for search, you can track over time to see if the position improves. This is the best way to keep a marketing company honest with their SEO work– pick a search phrase, tell them your website’s current position, and get them to work on improving the position. If the website is not listed in these rankings, then that means it is positioned higher than 100, and quite a bit of work needs to happen.
Example of a Queries Report for a local contractor’s website
|home remodeling contractor bethel ct||15||76.27|
|home addition company bethel ct||11||75.18|
|bathroom remodeling contractor bethel ct||8||62.62|
|grout cleaning danbury||4||61.75|
|grout cleaning danbury ct||3||61|
|kitchen remodeling fairfield county ct||3||97.33|
|kitchen remodeling contractor bethel ct||2||44|
|roofing contractor bethel ct||2||64.5|
|handyman fairfield ct||2||84.5|
|bethel ct residential electrical contractor||1||50|
|residential painting contractor danbury ct||1||55|
|kitchen remodel bethel ct||1||64|
|carpentry service in ridgefield||1||65|
|painting contractor danbury ct||1||65|
|newtown ct mold removal||1||69|
|carpentry service in danbury||1||70|
|bethel residential electrical contractor||1||78|
|carpentry service in bethel||1||78|
|danbury ct mold remediation||1||78|
|hardwood floor refinishing danbury ct||1||83|
|wood floor refinishing danbury ct||1||85|
|floor refinishing ct||1||86|
|paver walkways morris county||1||96|
|basement remodeling ridgefield||1||97|
|hardwood flooring refinishing ct||1||99|
|bathroom remodel fairfield county ct||1||100|
|bathroom renovation fairfield county ct||1||100|
|wood floor refinishing ct||1||100|
|insulation contractors brookfield||1||101|
|kitchen renovation fairfield ct||1||101|
Google is for the searcher, not the listed company
Lastly, one of the main reasons that we as consumers rely on Google to find information, is that they are different than other directories. Google is continually trying to anticipate exactly what a searcher is looking for. The faster and easier a searcher can find things on Google, the more likely they are to use Google in the future. Other directories will position your listing at the top of the category for a fee, but all of Google’s organic listings are free. Google uses thousands of insights to determine if a listing meets the best intention of a search phrase.
For example, a man with a truck and a lawnmower will probably not outrank a large landscaping company for the search phrase “yard care”, nor should they! The large landscaping company probably has more experience, larger crews, new and better maintained equipment, and can do a more consistent job over time. The one-man mower should compete for “same day lawn-mowing”, “low-cost lawn mowing”, etc.
For all of their stated claims that they are an information provider, Google makes 98% of their money from Ads. They are an advertiser and want us all to be advertising in order to be found for search phrases that we are not the best suited for. It is not easy to get on the first page, or stay there, so we have to work diligently to show that we are the best result for that search phrase in the market, or we end up buying search ads.