The #1 Thing That’s Keeping Your Blog Content from Ranking

“Why doesn’t my blog show up on Google?” you might be asking yourself with a mix of (justified) frustration and disappointment. You’ve been working hard on your blog, all for the purpose of driving traffic to your website via search engines. And Google doesn’t seem to even notice that your content exists!

Before you assume there’s a problem with your content or that Google is out to get you, consider this: If you’ve been churning out great content on your site and blog, but not seeing any increase in traffic, it’s possible that your content is falling victim to the #1 SEO issue we see…

Your Content Isn’t Indexed.

Luckily, this is a common problem, and an easy one to fix. But before we get to the solution, let’s dive into why this happens in the first place, what indexing even is, and why it matters.

What Does It Mean for Google to “Index” Something?

Have you ever wondered how librarians know which books they have at the library? Or what would happen if you brought a random book from home (maybe one you wrote yourself) and just stuck it on the shelf at the library? No? Just us?

All of the books in a library are cataloged, which means that at some point in time a person touched each of the books and added them to a database that contains the inventory of all of the books in the library. From there, they use a complex system to organize and categorize the books based on various factors like genre, publication date, author, etc.

Now, we’re marketing experts, not Dewey Decimal experts, but at the most simplistic level, Google’s index works very much the same way. Google’s team of cataloging librarians are called “crawlers” or “bots,” and they wander the interwebs, following links and searching for new content.

Now, think back to that rogue book you added to the shelf. If someone brings it up to the circulation desk and tries to check it out, the librarians are going to notice it a lot sooner than if it just languishes on the shelf, ignored, for months.

The same is true with content on the internet. If people are visiting that content, it is going to draw the bots’ attention much sooner. If you have a high-traffic website to begin with, it’s therefore easier to get even more traffic. But this doesn’t help you if you’re trying to drive traffic to a website that had low (or no) visibility, just as an un-indexed, unknown book could sit forgotten on the library shelf forever.

Why Would Google Not Index Content?

Google’s algorithm is very sophisticated, and ever-changing, but there are a few common reasons that Google would not index content.

If the bots can’t find it

(that is, if it’s no-indexed, on an orphan page, or otherwise not crawlable)

If the domain doesn’t get much traffic

(therefore seen as potentially irrelevant to most searchers)

If the content is perceived to be spammy, duplicate, or low quality

How To Ask Google To Index Your Content

So, how do you bring your content to Google’s attention? There are several ways, from the basic analog methods to sophisticated plugins and automations. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on the basic, anyone-can-do-it methods for asking Google to index your content.

#1. Submit it via Google Search Console

If you don’t have Google Search Console set up for your site, stop what you’re doing and do that right now. Google Search Console is a free tool that is vitally important to SEO for blogs.

If you do have Google Search Console set up, give yourself a nice little pat on the back, and then log in to your account. In the menu to the left, near the top, you will see an option called “URL Inspection.” Give that a click, and then enter the URL of the page or post you’d like to submit.

If your content is already indexed, the page here will tell you. If not, it will present you with the option to ask Google to index it. Once you submit the request, it can take up to a few days for Google to crawl and index the site. Be patient, and do not submit multiple requests. It won’t help.

#2. Share it on Social

Sharing a new blog post on social media is not only a great way to drive organic traffic to it, but it’s also a useful signal to Google that they should index it. Anecdotally, as of the time of writing this post, sharing a new page or post on Twitter, specifically, will result in it being indexed faster than sharing it on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

If your site is new or doesn’t drive much traffic organically, we strongly recommend just submitting your content the more official way through Google Search Console. However, if you’re able to work in sharing your new content on Twitter into your general content creation workflow, that’s really a win-win.

Remember, once you do have your website indexed, it can still be a long process to drive traffic to your website. Keep creating great content, be patient, and let your web presence grow steadily.