I made an interesting observation this week: the AAL FIREARMS homepage isn’t listed in Google’s search results. In fact, it has never listed on Google for the year this website has been active.
At first, I assumed it was because Google had not yet indexed the site. However, after building the site to a decent size, “aal firearms” still would not show up in the results. Six months ago, I paid Google for Adwords advertising to make sure they know this page exists. More than 50$ went down the hole and the homepage still didn’t show up. In fact, Google shows “aal firearms” as a typo and searches for “all firearms” automatically. You have to manually click “search ‘aal firearms'”. I find it interesting that none of the other search engines make this automatic correction.
Barely making the first page, Google will show the Homestead page – the newest page on the site – but it will not show the homepage. Two of the top three search results are for FFL registry pages with my business name, but still no homepage.
Until recently, I used Startpage as my search engine. DuckDuckGo has a good reputation, but Startpage seemed to have the edge because it utilizes Google via a proxy. However, I once again checked the search results for “aal firearms” in an attempt to find my homepage. Google? Nothing… Startpage? Nothing… Bing? Yes! First hit is the homepage. DuckDuckGo? First hit.
My homepage doesn’t appear on Startpage, but guess who does^
Several months ago I entered the business on Google Maps. After the same several months, it has finally appeared BUT the homepage still does not show up in search results.
I don’t know if this is intentional shadowing or a bad case of being on the wrong side of the algorithm bots. I do know the website is getting a fair amount of traffic the last few months. Of the increase of traffic, 97% has come from direct links via posts on Gab, Steemit, and Minds, as well as via links from other blogs where I have been mentioned. Exactly 0% came from Google.
There are still a few reasonable hypotheses for why the homepage does not appear on Google, but until something changes over at Alphabet Inc. I will be using DuckDuckGo from now on. Even though Google – still the most popular search engine in the world –  doesn’t display my homepage, with the growth I have seen in the last few months, I must be doing something right.