What Could Be Wrong With Your Website & Why Is It Not Performing?

If you are not happy with your site's success landscape, find out what's stopping it

If your site has been live for more than six months and it isn't driving any business, your anxiety is understandable. Several things could be going wrong with your site.

There are four main stages that go into developing of a website. This means that things will go wrong at either of these four stages. Let's look at what these four stages are, (also mentioned in the column to your right) and deal with them - one at a time.

Stage I Your site is not be getting indexed by spiders Stage II Site gets indexed but doesn't get visitors Stage III It gets visitors but they leave within a few seconds & Stage IV your site gets visitors, they stay, but don't take action. They don't sign up for newsletter, buy, participate in a poll, or whatever that you may want them to do.

We will discuss each of these issues one by one. As you understand where lies problem on your site you can take steps to fix.

Your Site Is Not Getting Indexed - First Stage

Your site's been up for a while but it hasn't been indexed by spiders yet. Is that your problem? Or you are too much of a novice and don't know whether your site is being indexed or not.

First let us discuss how to find out if your site is indexed by Search Engine Spiders or not:

1. Type The URL in the Search Bar:

After typing the URL in the search bar, press enter or search. Remember you have to type the URL in Search Bar and not Address bar. If first link that appears in results in yours, it means your site is being indexed by spiders.

2. Do a Site Check:

Google search users can type "site: URL address.com" and those using chrome can directly type their URL in the address bar to see if the site or a few pages appear at the top or not. If you see them then the site is getting duly indexed.

3. Do Info Check:

Again Google users can type info: Your URL.com. Again, Chrome users can directly type the URL in the address bar. Multiple links will appear in the result, all of them stating different things about your site. Like, showing you different pages that have been cached, provide links that are similar to yours, links of sites that link to you, and pages or sites that come up for similar phrases and terms and so on.

However if your link does not appear when you perform the above activities, it means:

(i) you need to give it some more time

(ii) Check de-activation status of your site.

If for some reason the spider decides not to index or cannot index your site, your site may never bring you a penny worth of business. If you are building your site not keeping search engine guidelines in mind then the bot (spider) might decide to de-index or blacklist your site.

In majority of cases you won't get warnings or hear from them before they penalize your site, and the penalization may not always look obvious. Sometimes it could happen quietly and subtly, and it may just lower your rank, your traffic can show a continuous drop, spider won't follow you etc.

Possible reasons behind site's de-indexing, or penalization.…

Once this status is confirmed, without wasting time you should start to sort things out, and make corrections, and then submit your revised blog or site to Google Webmaster Toolbar along with Sitemap to get re-indexed quickly.

Reasons Your Site isn't Getting Crawled by Spiders

Visit Google’s Webmaster Tool dashboard to see what crawling problems it is showing. You will find all the problems on the dashboard that you can start fixing one at a time. Lets discuss some problems that your site may have.

If it is showing 404 HTTP Status Code it simply means that the page, the link is pointing to does not exist there. Barring error 301, and 200, remaining codes mostly mean visitors are not finding the pages you want them to, & it’s adding to the bad experience that they are having on your site. Following reasons may be responsible for the above situation:

Robot .txt file: if your robots.txt file which is in the root directory contains a line that uses the command; User-agent: * Disallow: / it’s a command for crawlers on the web that there is no need to index content on your site.

.htacess is an invisible file that is placed in WWW or public_html root folder.  Check to know if your htaccess is poorly configured, because if it is, it will do things like creating unlimited loops, which will impact your site load adversely.

Meta Tags:  Check the pages which are not being crawled to see whether they have <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW"> in the source code. If you find this command, do away with it, because it won’t let the spider crawl your site.

Sitemap: If you go on feeding wrong or broken links into the sitemap out of ignorance, Google will stop indexing your site after a while. Read the problem pertaining to Sitemap carefully on the dashboard and after fixing remember to reload the revised sitemap for fresh indexing.

URL Parameters: Serious indexing issues can also crop up due to wrong configuration of URL parameters. And when these URL parameters get messed Google rejects the pages on your site forever. In the Webmaster Tool you will see Parameter section. They help convey the spiders of the dynamic links on your site that need not be indexed. Be careful while configuring them.

Low rank: Sites that don’t bother to update or add pages with fresh information at regular intervals suffer and stop getting spider visits sooner than later. Also, number of pages on a site and its page rank are closely related.

The Domain that you own may have be banned or blacklisted:  Previous owner of the domain may have carried out black hat strategies, or illegal activities on the site as a result of much Google may have blacklisted it.  Things like joining link farm, linking to low quality content, porn, gambling etc. So in spite of the fact that you are doing everything right on the site it’s not getting indexed.  Possibility that the domain was penalized by Google can’t be ruled out.

Use of Flash and Javascript: Also if your site has a lot of Flash, or/and content is loaded using Javascript and is poorly coded, the site becomes uncrawlable. If every page of your site has both the issues then you will have to redesign the entire site. Content should always be placed inside HTML.

Re-Directs Not Used Properly is another reason for crawler to not visit you. Add to that slow load speed. Especially when it comes to sites that need deeper indexing, e.g. eCommerce site. If your site has earned bad publicity for any reason and there are many people talking anti-you online the spider will stop visiting it.


Why is Indexing Important?

While indexing your site the spider stores information about your site or blog in its database. It uses the information to evaluate and rank your site in search engines which makes it possible for your target audience to find your site. Therefore the step is crucial.

The more often your site is indexed the better, the deeper a spider can go, and find more pages to index while it is visiting your site, the better. It's because of this factor that the web developers consider Sitemaps so important.

By now you know whether its indexing that is keeping success away from you or something else. Ones you sort it out and the site starts getting re-indexed with revised content, its great news. But if your site is indexed, the problem you could be facing may be one of the three listed below:

(i) You are not receiving visitors

(ii) You are receiving visitors but they leave within a few seconds of having arrived on your site

(iii) You get visitors, they spend time on your site, visit various pages, but leave without taking action that you expect them to.

All the above issues have been dealt with independently on this site. If you want to read about all four there are live links to the pages, in the side bar on your right. Click on them to read in detail.

If you have questions or are in doubt, feel free to ask. I will try to get back to you at the earliest.

Next Problem, your site is visited by spiders and yet it doesn't send visitors your way

Stage II- Site Gets Indexed But No Visitors


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