So you have created a brand new website? You’ve put it live and now you eagerly type your website name into Google search and HEY PRESTO!....wait a minute…why is my site not showing?
Sometimes we forget that Google does not hold everything that is, and has ever been on the internet.
So what do we have to do to get our site indexed by Google quickly?
Googlebots, crawling and indexing
Before we get started those who are new to this should know what a Googlebot is and the differences between crawling and indexing.
- Google Spiders or Googlebots (for the phobia sensitive) are simple search bot software which Google sends out to collect information around the web to add to Google’s searchable index.
- The crawling process is where your site gets scanned by a Googlebot trying to find new and updated information in order to update their search engine.
- If the Googlebot finds new or updated information on your site, this information is processed, and added to Google’s searchable index if they deem the content to be of a certain quality.
How can I get my site discovered on Google?
Getting your site indexed by Google can take some time. As webmasters we try and speed this time up as much as possible sending out hints to the Googlebots to come crawl our site. The best thing about the tips below is they can also help build some referral traffic to your new website too, which is always a good start!
- Create a sitemap - Having a sitemap on your website is great for Googlebot as it basically lists each page on your website in one XML document. If set up correctly and updated, it tells search engines when new pages have been made and also how often changes to pages may occur. If your using WordPress or Joomla to make your website installing a sitemap plugin such as;
WordPress – Google XML Sitemaps plugin
Both these make it easy to create and maintain an orderly sitemap. You can also use tools such as XML sitemaps generator to create a XML file to upload to your web server via an FTP.
- Submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools - Before you start this process make sure you sign up for Google Webmaster Tools. Once you have created your account you will need to add your new site to Webmaster Tools, then go to Optimisation > Sitemaps and add the link to your website’s sitemap e.g. www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml. (make sure you test the sitemap to make sure it’s working correctly before completing this process.)
- Installing Google Analytics - Most people will want to track their web traffic regardless of getting the site indexed, but this may give Google a nudge in the right direction to head towards your site. Sign up simply by creating an account and adding your site much like Webmaster Tools.
- Get your site social - If you have set up social media channels for your new site or you already have them, link them up with the new site by adding them to both the site as well as the social media profiles. You can also get your friends and colleagues to share the new site on their social channels. Although these links will be nofollow, they will alert search engines that are tracking social signals.
- Bookmark It – Add your site to quality social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Delicious
By undergoing these 5 simple steps you’re hopefully your site will be brought onto the Googlebot radar and shortly be indexed. It can take over a week to see yourself finally show up on Google, but don’t let this stop you optimising your site.
Having a blog attached to your site is a great way to create on-going content that updates on a regular basis. Googlebot generally crawls and indexes blogs faster than regular pages. Having links from your blog to your new pages on the site may help them get found quicker.
Have you found any other techniques work for you? Do you think certain platforms get indexed faster? We would love to hear from you, leave your comments in the section below.