website now showing in a Google site: search

Hi all,

A client alerted me to something odd yesterday. The site we produced for them is not at all visible by Google in any way.

Googling site:www.website.co.uk states the search didn’t match any documents.

The hosting is somewhat unusual in that our client will not allow their information to sit anywhere near the more unsavoury aspects of the internet, so we have to upload to a temporary host server, where their hosts then move the site to a live server.

However, our client states that one of their sister companies uses the same hosting company, but their site is found perfectly well in Google.

The only difference I can see in our site and the one that shows is that I have used XHTML and they have used HTML.

On Monday, I know the hosts are just going to come back to me and say that it is us at fault, so any suggestions would be welcome.

Jonathan


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Can’t edit title I assume? website NOT showing in a Google site:search


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Do you mean this is a new site that is not yet indexed by Google yet?

Or an existing site that has suddenly dropped out of Google listings?

David

On 16 Jan 2010, at 11:34 am, Jonathan Riddle wrote:

Hi all,

A client alerted me to something odd yesterday. The site we
produced for them is not at all visible by Google in any way.

Googling site:www.website.co.uk states the search didn’t match any
documents.

The hosting is somewhat unusual in that our client will not allow
their information to sit anywhere near the more unsavoury aspects
of the internet, so we have to upload to a temporary host server,
where their hosts then move the site to a live server.

However, our client states that one of their sister companies uses
the same hosting company, but their site is found perfectly well in
Google.

The only difference I can see in our site and the one that shows is
that I have used XHTML and they have used HTML.

On Monday, I know the hosts are just going to come back to me and
say that it is us at fault, so any suggestions would be welcome.

Jonathan


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It isn’t about search engine results - it just is not visible unless you know the url. The site has been live for 2 or 3 months. If you Google for a site you know to be visible, for example:

site:www.bbc.co.uk

It lists all available pages. Google my site:

site:www.floorco.co.uk

Nothing is visible


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It’s time to get this site listed. Here are a few things I would
recommend;

  1. Check that you don’t have a robots exclusion file preventing the
    site from being trawled by search engines. Normally you’d see the
    robots meta tags in the HTML of the pages or a robots.txt file in the
    root of your site. It’s also worth checking with the host that there
    is nothing from preventing search engines gathering data.
  2. Submit the site to Google; http://www.google.com/addurl/
  3. Add the site to DMOZ; http://www.dmoz.org/add.html
  4. Have the client create links from other, already indexed, sites
    link back to this site. For example searching link:http://www.floorco.co.uk
    in Google tells me that no one is currently linking to the site.
  5. Find directory listing sites that will list the site for free
  6. Submit the site to other search engines; Bing, Yahoo, etc
    Regards,
    Tim.

On 16 Jan 2010, at 12:20, Jonathan Riddle wrote:

It isn’t about search engine results - it just is not visible unless
you know the url. The site has been live for 2 or 3 months. If you
Google for a site you know to be visible, for example:

site:www.bbc.co.uk

It lists all available pages. Google my site:

site:www.floorco.co.uk

Nothing is visible

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Thank you for that excellent information, Tim.

Agreed that there is something wrong, and because I didn’t do anything different with this site compared to others we have online (I wouldn’t even know how to prevent robots visiting for instance), I am fairly confident that there is something wrong with how the host provider has things set up.

As far as linking from others sites. I do need to be careful because the client will not even consider linking from sites that are not “morally” hosted. However, I can certainly register it with other search engines.

I will post back when this is resoloved for those interested.

Jonathan


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As far as linking from others sites. I do need to be careful because
the client will not even consider linking from sites that are not
“morally” hosted.

Interesting. Has the client specifically defined this in any way?

They may be shocked to know that anyone can link to their site from
anywhere and they can do diddly-squat about it.

First things first: your wood flooring site is http://www.floorco.co.uk/

There, I said it. Perhaps Google just didn’t know it was there?

k


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On Saturday you said:

On Monday, I know the hosts are just going to come back to me and
say that it is us at fault, so any suggestions would be welcome.

There’s no robots.txt file at the web root level of the site, so it
doesn’t appear to be an exclusion thing. There’s no real need for
such a thing unless you want to restrict indexing of certain parts of
the site. Assuming availability of regular links, search engines will
go wherever they can in a site.

Earlier this morning I said:

Perhaps Google just didn’t know it was there?

Seriously though, it isn’t possible to have things both ways. Good
search engine ranking involves a number of things, and one key aspect
is having a variety of inbound links. If inbound links are
discouraged then it’ll remain weak on that score. And if there are NO
links to it… Google may simply not know it exists at all, or
considers it unimportant, or perhaps untrustworthy and therefore
sandboxed it.

I see that there is a google-site-verification meta tag in some of
your pages, so I’m assuming that Google isn’t totally ignorant
regarding the site’s existence. But Google refuses to use this stuff
as a way to expidite the indexing process, so it does no more than
get it on the general radar.

Looking further, I see a couple of minor sins in the site which,
combined with the few or no inbound links, could be discouraging
Google from showing content from your site. (Note that being in the
massive index and being shown in query results are not necessarily
the same things.)

Google pays NO official notice of the keyword tag for indexing, but
I and some others believe that it still glances there and uses what
it finds in its overall decisions about the page and the site. So…

  1. Don’t ‘stuff keywords’ in the keywords meta tag. In the home
    page’s keywords, “flooring” appears five times.

  2. Make sure that the keywords are taken from the human-readable
    content of the page. The majority of the keywords aren’t found in the
    body text. You could rewrite the text to fit the keywords, rewirte
    the keywords to fit the text… or, best, find some balance of the
    two.

This stuff won’t work positive magic, but it could help a bit with
your site’s overall Google credibility.

Nice clean design BTW, the client should be very pleased. Just one
comment: the background colour for the showcase intro page is perhaps
a little light for white text. Or to put it slightly differently,
isn’t the white text a little light for that background? The relative
contrast is somewhat low - have you tried black text there?

k

p.s.
The idea of sitting ‘near’ the more unsavoury aspects of the Internet
is slightly peculiar to me. Unless you’re actually on the same
physical servers as a dodgy site (and might get tarred with the same
IP address-blocking brush) there’s not really any such thing as
proximity. Everything is potentially one click away from everything
else - and at the same time nowhere near everything else. WHY would a
dodgy site link to this one?


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You can also submit a site map to Google.

For anyone on our hosting its a simple job to use the “Google Site Map” function any time the site has a new page added. This creates a site map and submits it to Google informing them of every new linked page you have on your site.

David Owen

On 17 Jan 2010, at 13:13, Tim Plumb wrote:

It’s time to get this site listed. Here are a few things I would recommend;

  1. Check that you don’t have a robots exclusion file preventing the site from being trawled by search engines. Normally you’d see the robots meta tags in the HTML of the pages or a robots.txt file in the root of your site. It’s also worth checking with the host that there is nothing from preventing search engines gathering data.
  2. Submit the site to Google; http://www.google.com/addurl/
  3. Add the site to DMOZ; http://www.dmoz.org/add.html
  4. Have the client create links from other, already indexed, sites link back to this site. For example searching link:http://www.floorco.co.uk in Google tells me that no one is currently linking to the site.
  5. Find directory listing sites that will list the site for free
  6. Submit the site to other search engines; Bing, Yahoo, etc
    Regards,
    Tim.

On 16 Jan 2010, at 12:20, Jonathan Riddle wrote:

It isn’t about search engine results - it just is not visible unless you know the url. The site has been live for 2 or 3 months. If you Google for a site you know to be visible, for example:

site:www.bbc.co.uk

It lists all available pages. Google my site:

site:www.floorco.co.uk

Nothing is visible

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Yes David. As a user of your excellent hosting company I am fully aware of that feature. Unfortunately, as explained earlier these people use a very odd host.

I added Google Analytics code to the site, and all of that is being seen by Google, even though as far as everything else is concerned, the site doesn’t exist.

As expected, the host is saying there is nothing different to the hosting for our site compared to the site which is showing.

I can’t remember how to post code on this site as it may help if I posted the first few lines of code from both sites on here for people to compare? Can somebody remind me please?

Jonathan


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Code from my site which Google cannot see:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<script src="Resources/prototype1602packer.js" type="text/javascript">
</script>
<script src="Resources/scriptaculous181packer.js" type="text/javascript">
</script>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8"/>
<title>Home | Henley | Magna | Azota | Wood Flooring</title>
<meta name="viewport" content="width = 1000, minimum-scale = 0.25, maximum-scale = 1.60"/>
<meta name="description" content="The Floorco Group. This site showcases only a small selection of completed projects: it would be impossible to show our full range since we offer around 40 different species of wood, over 1,000 different products and our portfolio is constantly evolving."/>
<meta name="keywords" content="oak wood flooring, oak engineered wood flooring, solid oak flooring, walnut flooring, walnut floor, designer wood flooring, designer wood floors, hardwood planks, henley, magna, azota"/>
<meta name="generator" content="Freeway 5 Pro 5.4.2"/>
<meta name="google-site-verification" content="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"/>
<style type="text/css">
<!-- 

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Code from the site which Google can see:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<html>
<head>
<title>Havwoods Hardwood Flooring</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<meta name="Description" content="Havwoods Hardwood Flooring">
<meta name="Keywords" content="Havwoods, hardood flooring, ">
<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
function F_loadRollover(){} function F_roll(){}
//-->
</script>
<SCRIPT TYPE="text/javascript" SRC="./assets/rollover.js"></SCRIPT>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="./html/style.css">
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="./html/site.css">
<style type="text/css" title="NOF_STYLE_SHEET">
<!--

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And more importantly the search engines will like any links “in” to your site. Which might be the reason why no search engines has found the site yet.

As the saying goes… “no man is an island”

David

On 18 Jan 2010, at 09:10, Keith Martin wrote:

They may be shocked to know that anyone can link to their site from anywhere and they can do diddly-squat about it.


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It isn’t whether any search engine has found the site or not, but simply that site:www.floorco.co.uk in google shows no documents online.

I believe that even the most simple sites will show at least one page using that method.

Keith. Forgive me. I wasn’t ignoring you posts. For some very odd reason, I don’t think your posts were showing for me this morning!?


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One test is to type some unique information that would only appear on that site, like the telephone number for example. If I try the telephone number and I can’t see the site in the results I know there is an issue.

If I try with this site, I don’t see any results from the site in Google or any others for that matter.

Is this a new site? Perhaps its just not listed yet. I hear that new sites can get sandboxed for a while before being listed.

David

On 18 Jan 2010, at 12:18, Jonathan Riddle wrote:

It isn’t whether any search engine has found the site or not, but simply that site:www.floorco.co.uk in google shows no documents online.

I believe that even the most simple sites will show at least one page using that method.

Keith. Forgive me. I wasn’t ignoring you posts. For some very odd reason, I don’t think your posts were showing for me this morning!?


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Right, Keith, I have now read your posts!

Invaluable information there and I appreciate you taking the time to look - and thanks for the comments regarding the design. Background colour noted.

I don’t like to comment too much directly about the client, although I have mentioned them in passing in recent times. They do kind of appreciate that just by having a website, there is little they can do about who links from where to their site. However, we do need to do what we can to protect them from the nasties of the world wide web. They have a filter email company that checks and reads all of their emails for example, before sending them on, and their hosting works in a similar way.

They are only able to see pre-defined whitelisted sites themselves, but are aware that for everyone else, their website is one click away from seeing something rather shocking! It is a large step for them to have taken to even have a website.

The client wanted minimal copy, which we tried to explain would make getting found in search engine results very difficult. I have tried to name the pictures accordingly, and then use those words as keywords.

This is all extremely useful and important information which I can look at soon - but at the moment, Google really doesn’t think the site exists for a reason other than poor indexable content.

Jonathan


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Sometime around 18/1/10 (at 07:18 -0500) Jonathan Riddle said:

It isn’t whether any search engine has found the site or not, but
simply that site:www.floorco.co.uk in google shows no documents
online.

Frankly, I’ve stopped trusting that site: search feature completely
as I sometimes see odd results that don’t always add up, as here.

If Google has decided not to show your site in search results then
you won’t get anything - even if Google does actually have data
about it stored in the indexes. With sites that it has decided to
blacklist, sandbox or similar, I think that, rather than wiping data
(which Google basically never does), the records are flagged in some
way to mark them as not to be shown.

Keith. Forgive me. I wasn’t ignoring you posts.

No problem! I assumed you were busy with stuff, no offense taken. :slight_smile:
Looking at your code examples, I suggest trying the following:

  1. Shorten the description by about 50%, keeping it relevant to the
    page content.

  2. Reduce the number of words in the keyword set, make sure they
    reflect the page content, and remove duplicates.

  3. Get in-bound links.

  4. Get in-bound links.

  5. Get in-bound links. Ideally with the link tag wrapped around
    meaningful text (that relates to the destination page) and with
    similar title, alt text etc. content set up in the link as well.

k


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On 18 Jan 2010, at 12:18, Jonathan Riddle wrote:

It isn’t whether any search engine has found the site or not, but simply that site:www.floorco.co.uk in google shows no documents online.

If Google doesn’t know about your site (which it doesn’t) then it can’t show any documents. A common misconception is that Google knows about everything on the web, it doesn’t and can’t - there are lots of sites/pages on the web that are simply inaccessible unless it knows an address for them.

I assume the other sites you made had links to them from somewhere else so Google managed to find it. If there are no links to the site from other sites (there are now, Keith posted one that will get indexed before long) that Google does know about then you will need to manually add it to Google (see Tim’s post).

Hope this helps,

Joe


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Keith, do you think in-bound links would help? :wink:

Would you consider the description OK on this page:

But the keywords on that page:
oak wood flooring, oak engineered wood flooring, solid oak flooring, designer wood flooring

is bad? Using wood flooring in that way is being seen multiple times and so maybe I am being blacklisted because of that?

Suguest: oak, oak engineered, solid oak, wood flooring?

Link tag wrapped text would be “oak wood flooring” with that wording being a physical link?


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Sometime around 18/1/10 (at 12:31 +0000) David Owen said:

One test is to type some unique information that would only appear
on that site, like the telephone number for example.

A very good suggestion. Of course, on this site the phone number is
set as a graphic. :slight_smile:

I hear that new sites can get sandboxed for a while before being listed.

Yes, and there’s no specific time that the sandboxing lasts for.
That’s another thing that could be improved by having in-bound links.

k


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