You’ve written an amazing post. You’ve proofread it, you’ve fact checked it and you’ve filled it with awesome links to authoritative sources. You’ve got it all set up for publication on your blog, complete with interesting images and a catchy title. You hit publish and you walk away, job well done. You come back later only to find you can’t find the post anywhere! Where did it go? What’s happened?
Some of the most basic issues that could lead to a post not showing up are related to your caching and drafts. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter. Your post is still there, but your local cache is an older version of your site. All you need to do is refresh. It’s a rare instance that this is all the issue is, but in that rare event, the last thing you need is to call support in a panic when all you needed to do was hit F5.
Drafts are a more common issue, though still related to a glitch in publication. Sometimes, instead of hitting post, you accidentally hit the save draft button. Your post is saved in full on your blog, it just isn’t live. Check your drafts and make sure it’s published.
These are basic issues; if you’re looking at why your post doesn’t show up on Google, but you know it’s on the web, these aren’t the problem.
Do you know how Google finds new content on the web? It has a few sources it watches. What it doesn’t do, however, is automatically find new content the moment it’s posted. Instead, it:
All of these have one thing in common; they relate to something Google already has. Either it’s a Google property software that is used to share content, or it’s a site Google has indexed and checks for new links.
Has your site been submitted to Google? If you’re starting a brand new blog on a new domain, chances are good that Google simply hasn’t discovered it yet. Post a few links to it throughout social media sites and other blogs; the Google web spiders will find their way to your site. You can also use the other methods; URL submission, Google+ shares and Feedburner RSS setup to submit new content links.
In all instances, it can take some time for Google to fully discover and index your site.
This is the hardest part about indexing new content, particularly on existing sites. There’s little you can do to speed the process. Google sorts through and indexes millions of pieces of content each day. Yours may be in the queue, but it may take some time to get to before it’s indexed. There’s not much you can do but wait.
On average, you shouldn’t have to wait more than a few days to see your content in the search results. Of course, that implies you’re looking in the right place. What you should do is search for your content in a custom site search. A site search will find the content if it was posted on your URL and has been indexed. If it has not yet been indexed, it won’t find it.
This is a common problem many webmasters encounter. Your content is indexed, but you still don’t see it on Google. The issue may be that it simply doesn’t rank high enough to show up on the first page or two. After all, with all the content that’s out there, it’s hard to find a niche without at least some related content already available. This is the difference between being indexed and being ranked. Being indexed simply means Google is aware of your content and has it in the database. Being ranked means it’s high enough in the search results to be visible.
If you’re indexed but not ranked, you have some options.
Investigate these issues and see if you can fix anything. It might be that you simply need to wait a few more days.
It’s also possible that you accidentally set your robots.txt or your page itself to noindex. This means Google may discover the page and add it to the database of known pages – for link purposes – but does not index the content itself. You will have to remove the offending code and let Google know that you’ve updated the content so it’s visible.
There are a few assorted other issues that may be causing your page to not index properly. They’re rare, but if nothing else seems true, it may be one of these.
If, after all of this, your content still doesn’t appear, you might want to contact Google support for a more accurate answer. The primary culprit, for the majority of cases, is simply time; if you can’t be found in the index, you haven’t yet been indexed. Once Google finds you, you will be, and you’ll be visible. There’s not much you can do to speed up the process, so you simply have to live with it. Why not spend the time crafting another good blog post?
Kenny is a blogger and networking professional. He uses blogging and content marketing as a launchpad for small businesses looking to grow their online presence.