we have a website with a directory of addresses. The main purpose is the search of for addresses matching different criteria.
now we wanted to build some special landing pages for (google) searches which include a city name. these pages consist in a prefilled search for that city. we also have a special sitemap with a list of all cities with addresses. Only some pages are real pages in our CMS (TYPO3) with (little) more than the usual search result, most cities are just links to the search result with that city name.

we also have sitemaps, which are read by google (according the webmasterstools). The pages are responsive, fast and only with some minor warnings.

now the problem: you can find the site if you search in general (so it's not the top answer), but if you search more specific by adding a city name there is no search result for the site or any landing page within the total of ~150 google results. the landing pages are ignored by google, the whole site is ignored in connection with city names.
adding the filter to search on our domain only (site:domain.tld) google finds a lot of pages including the landing pages (independent of static or dynamic landing page), mostly the detail pages for the addresses.

what can be the reason for the not listing in the general search results?
what can we do to be listed in the search result at all? (better ranking could be a later question)

  • In addition to Why aren't search engines indexing my content? you should look at The Sitemap Paradox which talks about the limitations of sitemaps and how useless they are for SEO. Also keep in mind that Google considers multiple city pages to be web spam unless they have good unique content. – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 7 '19 at 9:56
  • I know someone would say it's duplicate. :-( As I stated: the pages are indexed. but they are found only if I narrow the search to our domain (top answer of that 'duplicate question'). It's just about: they are not listed if I search without domain restriction. The content of the pages is unique as the shown addresses are different from city to city (name + street + zip, no chain stores) with different services. – Bernd Wilke πφ Jan 7 '19 at 11:29
  • It comes down to two factors: 1. The pages are thin. You need more unique content on each. I like getting testimonials from local customers for that purpose. 2. You don't have good links into them. Just having them in a sitemap isn't enough. You need to link to each of them multiple times from other pages on your site. Some external links wouldn't hurt either. – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 7 '19 at 12:12