Q and A: Why isn’t my home page indexed – and how can I fix it?



Google appears to have indexed my Products page but not my front page or the information in my header source code. Why is this happening and how do I rectify this issue?


Hi Chris,

Sometimes it takes us a little longer than we would like to respond to questions (sorry about that), so by the time I managed to reply, it seems that your home page (URL provided) has actually been indexed.

It appears to me that the site is relatively new, and although you would normally expect the home page to be indexed first, this is not always the case.  It appears that your product page was crawled and/or indexed first – and then (some time later) the home page appeared.  This may happen if you have more links to the internal page  nthan home – but at the moment it appears that you have just a few links to the home page,

For new sites, the types of things that you should do to help speed up the crawl/index/ranking cycle include :

  • Link Building – this is THE most important thing you can do
  • Check Crawl ability – ensure that your site can be properly crawled by search spiders (do a Google search for “Spider Simulator” for tools to help with this)
  • Add your site to webmaster tools – this won’t necessarily help with the crawl rate, but can at least show you how/when the site is crawled by Google and highlight any crawling issues
  • Create and submit a sitemap – this would normally only be of significant benefit for larger more complex sites – but for a new site can help with the crawl process

Your site is still quite young, and now seems to have at least been properly crawled and indexed, but there is plenty of scope for optimisation to improve your rankings.  I suggest that you start with the basics – look at generating additional content, optimise Page Title and description tags, implement search engine friendly URLs, and most importantly, undertake some link building.

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting (SEO Services Brisbane)

Q and A: Why use paid advertising and not consider organic listings?


Dear Kalena…

What are some of the reasons a person will continue to spend thousands of dollars a day on paid advertising and not consider Organic listings. How would you begin to approach persons like this aside from the obvious question…Why?


Hi Willie,

As you are probably aware, there has been debate for years over the Pros and Cons of  Pay Per Click (PPC) versus Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – with many people holding strong opinions for and against both.  There is way to much info on this topic to cover properly in this little old Q and A, but I’ll try an summarise the highlights and give my perspective on the issue.

Some PPC benefits

  • Fast results – can usually start seeing results within hours (or even minutes) of activating a campaign
  • Only Pay when a user clicks
  • Relatively easy to target the Keywords you want
  • Don’t necessarily have to change your site
  • Good Tracking capabilities (so can monitor, measure, adjust and improve)
  • You get to define where users go (you specify the landing page)
  • Can target Specific regions/localities for your ad to appear
  • Achieve Page 1 visibility quickly and easily (but not necessarily cheaply)

PPC can be a very effective way to promote a website (particularly a new site). However once you stop spending, your ads stop showing, and the visitors stop coming – there is no long term benefit for the expense.  PPC is relatively quick and easy to setup – but it is just as quick and easy for your competitors – if they have deeper pockets, they could ultimately win, no matter what you do.

As long as you know what a click is worth to you, and are certain that the returns are greater than the cost, PPC can be very effective.  You don’t care if it costs you $2,000 (or more) a day as long as it generates $5,000.

PPC is one of the few ways a brand new site can get found in the search results and start to generate traffic (and revenue) while the longer term SEO strategies kick in. The data generated from a PPC Campaign (such as which keywords are converting) can also be an extremely useful source of information for an SEO campaign.

About SEO

Here are some of the benefits of Search Engine Optimization:

  • Visitors from Organic Search are Free
  • The rankings a website achieves through SEO can continue for a long time after the work has been completed
  • On-page changes (which are probably necessary for SEO) can help improve conversions as well as traffic
  • Typically more searchers click the natural search engine results (88%) versus the pay per click ads (12%), so you are likely to get much more traffic from Organic results.
  • Users typically feel Organic Search Results have a higher “trust” level

Of course SEO is not free – it requires effort and investment, often over a long period.  In some competitive niches it can be very difficult (or even impossible) to achieve page 1 rankings, but in most niches it is possible to relatively easily achieve reasonable rankings and traffic. As far as I am concerned, it’s the user that should be at the heart of any SEO strategies. Pretty much whatever you do to improve the user experience is likely to improve your rankings and conversion rates (and ultimately increase sales/enquiries)

I’m actually a fan of both PPC and SEO (and I’m not just fence sitting), there are Pros and Cons to each and depending on your specific needs, one or the other (or even both) could be right for you.

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting (SEO Brisbane)

Q and A : When will my site show up in Google ?


Hi Kalena

I just created a site for world of warcraft hunter talent builds. It is a blog site, and I checked in cPanel, and googlebot has visited. But I am not indexed.  I tried ‘site:www.domainnameprovided.com’ in the google search box, but it can’t find me.

Is there an average time gap between googlebot crawling and your site showing up in results?  Or should it be basically instant (as long as your site is not rejected).  I checked my site and it seems that none of the keyword densities are above about 4%.  So please can you check out my site and tell me if I’m spamming somehow?
(Website URL Provided)


Hi  Danny

This is quite a common “concern” for owners of brand new sites.  Many have an expectation that their site will automatically show up in the search engines as soon as their site is launched.  As you’ve discovered this is certainly not the case.

Google and other search engines are pretty good at finding new sites (eventually) but there are a number of things that you can do to help speed up this process.  The best way to be found is to get links to your site from other third party sites – the higher the profile, and the more relevant these sites to yours the better.  It is also possible to “submit” your website url to Google via http://www.google.com/addurl/ – but you are much better off getting third party links.  Creating a sitemap.xml file and submitting it via Webmaster Tools can also help.

Use a site: Query to See What is Indexed

Typically, you could expect your site to be crawled and at least partially indexed within a few weeks. Using the site: command as a search query – e.g. site:yourdomainname.com is a quick and easy way to determine what pages on your site are currently indexed by a search engine (this works under Google, Yahoo and Bing).

Under Google, it is likely that you will be found for a query on your business name, or some other unique string from your site – you may even (initially) achieve some reasonable rankings for more general keywords – but typically (unless your website covers a very niche area), these generic rankings are short lived, and you will more than likely not be found for most keyword phrases for 6 to 8 months (this is known as the sandbox effect)

Site Check

It’s now been a couple of weeks, and I’ve had a look at how your site is indexed in Google. You currently have a dozen or so pages indexed.  However, your site appears to be redirecting to another URL which is a subdomain of another site – and that other site contains a variety of other subdomains – some of which include adult content. This is likely to impact your rankings and you would be much better off setting up your site under it’s own hosting environment.

WOW sites are of course hugely popular, and this is a pretty competitive area.  There are many free WOW based blog “themes” available, and it looks to me like you have selected one of the free themes for your site.  This is OK – but is another factor that makes it difficult for you to differentiate your site from the others – and as far as the search engines are concerned could very well make it harder for you to “stand out from the crowd” and achieve better rankings than your competitors.

Keyword Density

Finally, don’t get too hung up on keyword densities. Whilst keywords are certainly important (and you should know which keyword phrases are the most important ones for you to optimise for) – you should be focusing on providing interesting, relevant, useful, and unique content for your users, rather than writing for the search engines.  If it is good for your users, it will be good for search.

Andy Henderson
Ireckon Web Marketing

Q and A: How do I Optimize Flash?


Hi Kalena…

I have a question about SEO and flash. We insert flash headers into our web pages sometimes and also use it to insert video into site pages now and again, but we don’t do entire sites in flash. Are there any recent tips or tricks to optimizing the type of flash we use for our sites? Are there any standard coding tips we should be implementing?

Thank you!

Dear Amy,

As you are aware, fully Flash websites present a major problem for SEO. Traditionally most flash websites do not rank very well (if at all), and despite recent improvements in the ability of search engine spiders to crawl Flash, this is still mostly true. These days, even though search engines are able to navigate through flash sites, idenify content and locate (and follow) links, it is still (as far as I am aware) not possible for search engines to link to specific sections or “pages” within a flash file.

Flash Optimisation

The approach that you have taken – using Flash elements within a traditional page – is the best way to make the most of the Flash functionality and still maximise your ranking potential. Once I would have recommended that if you use flash for navigation you should also provide a text based navigation alternative, to allow search engines to crawl the site. However, I believe that this is no longer necessary as I am starting to see pages indexed by the search engines that are only linked from within flash – proof that crawlers are in fact able to navigate and index them successfully.

There is less evidence however, to show whether search crawlers are able to associate relevant anchor text in the flash file with the link (as they would for a text based link for example). There are also fewer constructs within flash to allow you to associate additional keywords to links, so text links are still likely to be better for optimizing your site. By all means use Flash elements if you need or want to but be sure to also include plenty of other non-flash content.

Flash Video Optimization

Optimization for Flash Videos is much the same as optimising any video. Even though search engines are getting better at understanding video – and I suspect it may be sooner rather than later that they will be able to automatically transcode and decipher comtent for the audio track of videos – this is not yet the case, so you should ensure that any pages containing video content also contain relevant text based content and keyw9ords (and preferably a full transcript from the video).

As for other tips and techniques for optimizing Flash – it’s really too big a topic (and probably to technical) to cover in this blog – but you may like to take a look at this Flash Website Optimisation Strategies post by dgm in Sydney.

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting SEO Services (Australia)