Millions of new sites appear every day, each trying to make its mark on the World Wide Web, or at least to be noticed. In Internet marketing, visibility is everything, and if your site isn’t indexed by Google, few people are going to find it.
How can you get your site indexed as quickly as possible, so that you can start benefiting from all of the web traffic that you hope to get? In this article, I am going to show you how you can fast track the indexing process.
First, I should explain how indexing works. Before your pages can be indexed, the Google bots, also known as spiders, have to find your site. This is what is referred to as crawling. Once they have found your site, the bots will follow navigation links through your site, adding the pages to its index according to a secret algorithm established by Google. Other search engines work similarly, but may use differing algorithms.
Sometimes, the bots will find your site without any effort on your part. They may not index every page of your site however, and sometimes they will index only a few.
There are a few things that you can do to accelerate the indexing process, and to encourage the bots to index all of your pages. First, you should sign up for Google Webmaster Tools. Through Webmaster Tools, you will be given the option to signal Google that you have a new site, or that you have added new pages, so they can send bots specifically to your site. You will also be notified if Google has found any problems with your site’s pages. Google Webmaster Tools are completely free and have everything you need as far as analytics go.
Once you have a Webmaster Tools account, you should submit an XML sitemap of your website. An XML sitemap is a map of your site’s internal pages made especially for the search engine bots. While the search engines will eventually find your site anyhow, submitting a properly formed sitemap will help your site to get indexed more quickly. Bing has its own Webmaster Tools.
Next, you should start building links. Inbound links are one of the best ways to get Google to notice your site and index its pages, and one of the easiest ways to get good inbound links is by submitting your site to a few reputable web directories.
To begin with, I always suggest that people submit their site to DMOZ. At one time, Google was using data directly from the DMOZ database for its indexing purposes. This may no longer be the case but DMOZ continues to be an authority site, and one that you will want to have your site listed in. The downside is that it can take years for DMOZ to get around to acting on your submission. Still, it’s free, and worth the effort.
If you can find any good niche directories in your topic area, they are generally excellent choices. Additionally, there are several reputable general or topical directories available. Spend some time looking around this site, and the other sites in our network of directory-related sites, and you can learn how to tell a good directory from a bad one. The bad ones outnumber the good ones, so be careful.
A factor that is not always considered when it comes to getting a site indexed by the search engines is the site’s internal navigation. Site navigation should be clean and allow users to jump from page to page effortlessly. I recommend that you use breadcrumb style navigation as much as possible if your site includes a lot of pages arranged in a tree-like pattern.
Content should be interlinked as much as possible, but only insofar as it would make sense to your human visitors. Not only will this help your human visitors find their way around but it will facilitate your site’s indexing as well, and increase the chances that all of your pages will be included in the search engine’s index.
Other factors such as the site’s loading speed and how it is coded will also affect the speed at which your site will get indexed. A site with non W3C compliant or bloated code will have a harder time getting indexed. It is also very important that you keep your content fresh and updated. Google loves fresh content and by frequently adding new content to your site, you will feed the spiders, and encourage them to crawl and index your site regularly.
Keep in mind also, that Google looks for such things as responsive design. With more and more people accessing the Internet through smart phones and other devices, with various screen sizes, your site should be capable of meeting their needs, and Google will be taking that into consideration as well.
If you follow the tips outlined in this article, your site should get indexed in no time. Just remember to use Google’s Webmaster Tools, submit your XML sitemap, get links from good directories, and make sure that your site’s performance and navigation os up to par.
That’s not everything that you can do, of course, but it’s all that I have time for right now. This should be enough to get you started, and to get your site noticed. A reputable SEO firm might be able to help to take it further.