Reasons Why Your Web Pages Are Not Indexed by Search Engines

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Many reasons exist as to why your site is not indexed in a particular search engine. I will discuss a few of the reasons why your site is not indexed. The majority of the reasons focus upon design techniques.

You did not have the advertising budget

Yahoo, Looksmart, and iWon are now charging $299.00 just to have your site reviewed. This does not guarantee that your site will be indexed by those search engines. Many search engines have changed their format to “Pay Per Click” formats where the highest bidder gets top placement. Many of these “Pay Per Click” search engines have a minimum bid of five cents, while a few start at one cent.
Your site was not optimized to work with the search engines

Saving your money and having a friend or neighbor design your site only puts your site in dire straits. You are running a business and being indexed in the search engines is much like choosing which side of town you want your business on. Do you want visitors to come to your store? If you have a “brick and mortar” store you tend to be more particular about where you open your business. Design techniques are the foundations of your Internet store and incorrect design techniques are more apt to keep your business from being ranked higher in the search engines and even keep it from being indexed at all.

Your Links are Embedded in JavaScript

Search engines do not typically understand the higher languages used in web site development. Just because you learned a new trick does not indicate that it will benefit your web site. Today, designers are using Flash with its fancy design techniques to build complete web sites. The problem there is the separate pages inside the Flash program cannot be read by the search robots. This does your business no good at all. What the search engines cannot read they can not list.

Your Pages Aren’t Cross-Linked

Search engines can come in from any page on your web site from a link on another person’s web site. If this happens and your site does have your pages cross-indexed you’ve just lost one part of the battle. It is imperative to include hierarchical links on all your web pages. This practice ensures that every page within your site will be visited. If you remove old pages from your site that may already be indexed or linked to from someone else’s site you’ve shot yourself in the foot again. Always leave old pages on the server and ensure you create links to the index page and the replacement page if there is one.
Does your HTML follow established sequence rules?

An html page has to have this basic structure:

<META name="description" content="">
<META name="keywords" content="">

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Search engines do have a tendency to not index web sites and pages that fail to follow proper coding practices. If a tag requires a closing tag always ensure you close. The only tags that does not require a closing are the tags used for line break and horizontal rule. (Note: This only applies to standard HTML)

Do you have any badly formed comment tags?

Comment tags are extremely important in some instances. However, if they are incorrectly formatted they will prevent your site or page from being indexed because the “Search bots” will not be able to understand the codes that follow the comment. Example of properly formatted comment:

<!-- This HTML comment is correct. -->

Examples of bad comments:

<!- This HTML comment is badly formed. ->
<! This HTML comment is badly formed. >
<This is badly formed>
<!--This is badly formed--! >

Are you using a Virtual Domain Redirection Service?

An Internet Redirection Service allows you to have a domain name that is easy for people to remember versus an address at, for example, Geocities or Tripod. When you use this type of service your site is enclosed in a frame regardless of viewability or not. That could create major problems for your site when it comes to indexing your pages. Typically, your keywords and meta tags are washed away by the frame within which your site is enclosed. The best suggestion here is to get a domain of your own and use a hosting service. Armed with this knowledge we recommend our services. Read about our web hosting services.

Is your site using meta refresh and meta robots tags

Check your code for the following tags between the <head> and </head>:

<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="0; URL=http://www.somedomain.com/path/file.html">

This tag redirects to another page. If you have this tag in your code, the indexer will usually completely ignore your web site altogether.

<meta name="ROBOTS" content="NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW">

This tag specifically directs robots to ignore that web page. If you have placed this tag in your code for a reason that would be fine. Otherwise, I recommend you remove it immediately.

Do you have free web site hosting?

The major problem with free hosting services is they have numerous methods of enforcing their advertising banners on your web site. This can cause your site to not get indexed properly. It can also detract from your web site. There is another solution most people totally forget about; every ISP offers a certain amount of space on their servers to their clients for their use. Then again some ISP’s do not let you run CGI or any other language not included in their “canned” scripts. If that is a problem then I would recommend finding a reasonably priced alternative to free hosting or you can use our hosting services.

Are you using a web site you can create from an online service?

Although these services may seem cost effective they normally are not. Take for example a Yahoo Store, may people use them and many people are successful with them. However, the problem lies in the fact that the stores are behind a CGI script and are therefore impossible for search engines to index. Other services that provide similar services also cause problems in getting your sites indexed due to the inability to properly code the pages. Our advice is to get a professionally designed web site and hosting services.

Lee Roberts President/CEO of target="_blank">Rose Rock Design, Inc. and owner/developer of the Apple
Pie Shopping Cart
the search engine friendly shopping cart.

Reasons Why Your Web Pages Are Not Indexed by Search Engines
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