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site still not indexed after six months

     
8:34 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've designed quite a lot of sites over recent years for businesses in a particular niche. I always get a few backlinks after launching the site and they always get indexed within a week or two.

I've got one site that Google stubbornly refuses to index and I'm trying to find what to do next.

I do appreciate that it is a small site with just 5 pages and not an enormous amount of text on the homepage, but really you wouldn't look at it as a thin or shallow site - just one that does its job! I have never had a problem getting a site like this indexed before.

So I've added a robots.txt file, added a sitemap, registered it in Webmaster Tools, added more backlinks and still no joy.

I can see no real difference (other than maybe being a bit heavier on graphics and lighter on text) with loads of my other sites which get indexed fine.

Prior to my designing the site, the domain had been registered and left unused (as far as I know) for about eighteen months. When I took the site on, the domain registration was moved and brand new hosting setup.

Googlebot didn't even visit for several months, then visited about a dozen or so times in October. Indexed fine in Bing and Yahoo.

So what next? Try and get even more links? Redesign the homepage and add loads of text just for the sake of Google? Move to different hosting in the hope it nudges the site out of the Googlerut it's in? Any other thoughts guys?

The site is a low budget one and when indexed only needs to work for pretty uncompetitive search terms!
12:12 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hello Nickreynolds,
I was thinking about meta noindex, but if your site is indexed in yahoo and bing, this is not the problem. Maybe your robots.txt is blocking just the googlebot.

Some month ago, Google launched this service to ping a URL. I think that You can try!

[blogsearch.google.com...]
1:30 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Did you try the "fetch as googlebot" trick reported elsewhere in these Forums? When you do the Fetch, you've got the option of requesting an immediate crawl. This, in turn, will lead to the robot discovering links on the Index page that weren't there before.

I agree that the problem is bizarre. Normally people want to know how to get the googlebot out of their sites! I've got a micro-site-- only five robot-accessible pages-- that just went "live" last week. Even during all the previous months when I just had a "coming soon!" page, the major robots visited every couple of days.

I just checked: all pages are indexed, even though they claim only one URL from the sitemap is in their index. They also haven't updated the Keywords list. This seems to lag a long way behind the general indexing. I've got a long-standing impression that the assorted branches of g### don't talk to each other: f'rinstance, why do they list three pages as being roboted-out when everything in the directory is identically linked? You'd expect either nine or nothing.

* * *

Awright. Now what the bleepity bleepity is going on? I click any dropdown item in gwt's new improved almost-illegible sidebar, and instead of the requested option I get a horizontal scroll bar.

!?!
1:43 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Check the domain history closely. Google is not indexing it for a reason. I doubt it's a bug or coincidental.

I have a domain with a prime .com name. It was previously parked at a site where they dump garbage articles on parked domains. It's now useless. If I ever what to use it I would have to submit a reconsideration request.
1:57 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks - done the "fetch as googlebot" thing - I'll see what happens.
As for domain history, I doubt whether anyone else will have registered this domain before the current user, although as I said it was registered before i got involved. Unfortunately i don't think we can access past info for .co.uk domains.
2:04 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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try putting the url in the wayback machine and see if anything comes up
2:12 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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toonarmy - was doing that even as you posted! Nowt there - I don't think it was ever hosted before. Just registered and left.
2:22 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Check the domain history closely.


Ditto - I built a site early last year for a small local company, and due to the domain being the company name, I didn't think it could have a history. Turned out it did.

It wasn't a case of not being indexed though, it got indexed, just never ranked, not even for the very unique business name that was also registered and claimed in Google places.

I had to go through the reconsideration request process to get the manual trigger lifted. 2-3 months later, traffic started flowing to the site.

MH
2:27 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I had this problem once, when I bought a domain that had lapsed for two years, but before that was somebody's totally innocent little homepage for their photos and musings (looking at it in Wayback Machine). Could not get indexed to save my life - the site was very much like others I had that got indexed without a hitch.

I submitted a reinclusion request stating the situation and that perhaps the previous owner had done something to get the domain penalized, but I was following all of Google's guidelines and couldn't begin to guess why it wasn't being indexed.

Within days, it was indexed.

I don't think the previous owner had actually done anything wrong. I think something about transfer of ownership or a sudden big change in a domain's content triggers a penalty, but the reinclusion request doesn't allow you to speculate that the algo is just being silly. ;)
2:31 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Have you tried to take text from the page, put in quotes, and search for that phrase in Google? What comes up? I have seen sites indexed with their IP address and not their domain, and other issues like that.

If there's nothing even for a search for your domain name in quotes (e.g. "yourdomain.com") then I would definitely file a reinclusion request within Google Webmaster Tools.
8:49 pm on Nov 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@nickreynolds did you tried using Google +1?
11:11 pm on Nov 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In WMT , robots.txt file when was downloaded by Google?
In WMT, sitemap is still in pending?
9:25 pm on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WMT - fetch as Googlebot - success 4 November - url and linked pages submitted to index
WMT - robots.txt - success 4 November
WMT - sitemap - has a small clockface (?) next to it
11:03 pm on Nov 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Someone helped me with some sleuth work and discovered there was a site hosted on the domain in Nov 09. So going down the reconsideration request route
2:28 am on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Good luck!
1:24 pm on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Let us know how it goes with the reconsideration request.
11:48 am on Nov 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Quick update.

The site is now indexed, so I'm guessing the reconsideration worked although I didn't get any communication, so of course it may have been something else that had the desired effect!

Case closed!