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Indexing Allowed, Yet Posts Not Appearing in Google Search

  1. I have just discovered that posts in several of my blogs are not appearing in Google searches. (Settings > Reading > Site Visibility has consistently been set to "Allow search engines to index this site.") For example, a Google search for this:

    "Ray Woodcock" "a camping trip" -site:amazon.*

    does not produce a hit for the actual post. Likewise, in another blog, a search for this:

    "Ray Woodcock" "University of Arkansas"

    does not lead to either of two posts that contain those terms.

    What am I doing wrong?

    The blog I need help with is leisurepurpose.wordpress.com.

  2. Hi Ray,

    Please note that Google needs some time to update their index. Also, WordPress.com has no control on how your site appears in the Google index and in which position, so there wouldn't be a way for us to physically change this.

    But, after looking at your site somethings do stick out to me. Your posts are set as links on your Archive page:

    http://leisurepurpose.wordpress.com/archives/

    It's impossible to find your posts without going to that page. Is there a specific reason you set it like this? What you can do is have a specific Posts page which will allow readers to easily navigate your site and read your posts. With the current state, it's a bit difficult to read your posts.

    In order to change this you can publish a Page titled anything you want (a lot of users I know title it Blog or Posts). Then set that page as the Posts page by going to Settings > Reading in your Dashboard. Then all your posts will be there without having to do all those extra clicks. In my opinion less clicks, the better the experience for the reader.

    Also, if you want an Archive of some sort, check out the Archives Widget. This is a great way to organize your posts by date. If you don't want to organize them by date, you can also organize it by Categories using the Categories Widget. Take a look at the links to see if it works for you!

    Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

  3. Grace, thank you for your reply. Please note the following:

    1. The posts have been online for more than six months, so there is no question of waiting for Google to update its index.

    2. I appreciate the suggestion of a Posts page, but I do not understand how that would make my posts more accessible. Situation A: my posts are listed on my Archives page. Situation B: my posts are listed on a Posts page. How is B superior to A? Readers will still have to click a link from my homepage to get there unless I set that as my homepage, no?

    In that suggestion and in the suggestion about widgets, I think your idea must be that I would want to display a list of my posts in the sidebar. I have decided not to do that, at least for the time being.

    I do appreciate your suggestion, but I am still at a loss as to why some of my posts are appearing in Google searches and others are not.

  4. Situation A: my posts are listed on my Archives page. Situation B: my posts are listed on a Posts page. How is B superior to A? Readers will still have to click a link from my homepage to get there unless I set that as my homepage, no?

    So I think it may be better to look at how a list of links looks in comparison to a Posts page with images and excerpts:

    http://en.blog.wordpress.com/

    If you look at that posts page, there's featured images, and also a small preview of the post which is helpful for readers in my opinion. Being able to scroll down and have a good idea of what the post is about besides just the title is a bit easier on the eyes for me and certain posts capture my attention, leading me to click and view the post.

    However, this is obviously subjective. If this is not what you want it's definitely not necessary. You have a better idea of your readers than I do. :)

    Cheers!

  5. Don't know about Google - but I would not waste my time on any of your sites - you have sites spread out all over - all have "archive" pages or junk like that - so lots of looking around to find content - no way of really knowing what is what - I find long lists of links to be boring - I have an archive page on my site and it is one of the least popular pages around

    you have two choices - fight city hall, and all the search engines and the WordPress software or listen to Gracie above on good blog structure -

  6. Auxclass -- please don't waste your time on any of my sites.

    Gracie -- I did have an arrangement like that at one point. It seemed to be appealing to casual browsers, but overly noisy for more in-depth readers. Note also that Auxclass immediately observed my other blogs: my links to the archives list of posts, and to the list of other blogs, were the only options available to the curious individual. That was the objective -- those two key lists were not lost in the noise.

    But anyway, my original question is about why Google would notice some posts and not others. Presumably there is something about Google's approach to WordPress that varies according to post content, length, tags, or something. I thought a WordPress forum would be a good place to start, in the search for resolution of that mystery.

    Take care.

  7. But anyway, my original question is about why Google would notice some posts and not others. Presumably there is something about Google's approach to WordPress that varies according to post content, length, tags, or something. I thought a WordPress forum would be a good place to start, in the search for resolution of that mystery.

    To be quite honest it's a mystery to me as well. I don't really know how Google runs their search engines and why certain links are above others. But, in general, I'd think that the more clicks/views you get, the higher it will be. In order to get a much more specific idea of what it is I'd contact Google about this as we have no control over their search engine.

    I'm so sorry I couldn't give you a better answer than this. However, what I can provide you is an overview of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on WordPress.com:

    http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/seo-on-wordpress-com/

  8. OK. Thanks again!

  9. You're welcome!

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