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How do you add your URL to Google or get your website indexed for SEO by Googlebot?

In order to succeed at SEO, you must first get indexed by Google, Yahoo, and/or Bing. Many students ask me 'How do I get my site indexed by Google?' Or, once a website is up, how do you get the Googlebot to spider and thereby include your site in the Google index? The process is all about asking Google to spider your pages, and thereby work its magic with your SEO to get you to the top of your keyword searches. Here's how.

Jason McDonald - Senior SEO Director By Jason McDonald
Senior SEO Instructor - JM Internet Group.
Posted: April 12, 2010

Contents:

Attracting Googlebot's SEO Attention

So you have created a great HTML page on your website. You have thought through your target SEO keywords, woven them into your page tags, and created keyword heavy content. And you haven't forgotten to make this page 'work' for real human users, leading to a desired action such as a registration for a free consultation or perhaps a purchase.

Now the question is how do you attract the attention of the busy Googlebot, Google's search spider. As you probably know, the process is that first, the Googlebot must spider your pages, and second your pages must be included in the Google index, and then and only then do you have a shot at coming up on page 1 position 1 for your target search.

But how do you attract Googlebot's attention? Before we get to the specifics, remember that Googlebot is busy and harried. You want to make your website easy to read in terms of HTML using correct Page Tags, and you want to work hard to establish a 'reputation' as a site with frequent updates and high quality content.. Set a schedule for yourself in terms of blogging, news releases, and new content on your website - daily, weekly, monthly - whatever you can stick with. Your goal is to train Google to check your website on a regular schedule for your new content!

Formal Ways to Request Indexing / Add URL to Google

There are a few formal ways to request indexing by Google. First, there is the simple 'Add your URL to Google' form available to all on Google.com. This is located at http://www.google.com/addurl/. Simply enter your URL and you are done.

I wish it were that simple.

Like most SEO professionals, I am skeptical as to whether Google pays the slightest attention to this method. If it did, the spammers would pounce upon it and have the Googlebot spinning its wheels indexing everything from Viagra to Nigerian make money schemes to phishing Websites.

The second formal way to get indexed is to go to Webmaster Tools. If you don't have an account, they are free - you just have to verify ownership of your website. What you do is create an XML sitemap (you can use the fabulous free http://www.xml-sitemaps.com to generate an XML sitemap. Then upload it into the 'root' directory of your site as in https://www.jm-seo.org/sitemap.xml). This XML sitemap tells the Googlebot what pages are where on your website, how frequently you update and the priority of your pages. You simply logon to Webmaster tools, click on your website, then click on Site Configuration, and Sitmaps. Click on the button marked 'Submit a Sitemap.' If your XML sitemap contains your new page(s), you are telling Google to index them.

Related to this, be sure to include your XML sitemap in your robots.txt file, located at (for example), https://www.jm-seo.org/robots.txt). I teach this in our class on website structure - it sounds more complicated than it really is.

Simply follow these steps in Webmaster Tools / XML sitemaps, and you are done.

I wish it were that simple.

More Powerful Informal Ways to Get Indexed by Google

Google Webmaster Tools and XML sitemaps are undoubtedly important, and more important than the simple 'Add URL to Google' feature. But some healthy skepticism is still in order. I have experimented with just adding URL's or new sites in this way, and little happened. I think, again, that Google is skeptical of self-referential requests to add a URL to the Google index. Fears of spammers no doubt.

Thinking like Google - we might realize that the most powerful way to get indexed by Google or add a URL is going to be one simple thing: links. Getting other sites to link to your new website or new page means basically that the 'web community' has voted that you are important. Google loves links, and Google relies on links for much of its SEO mojo.

Here are some great easy ways to get links to your new page:

  1. Your Home Page. If you have 'trained' Google that you update your site frequently, and you have a decent relationship, you have a very powerful tool: your home page. Update / change your home page frequently with new content, and add direct links from your home page to new pages that you want indexed. We do this all the time on JM-SEO.org and Google now picks up our new content in a matter of days.

  2. Issue News. Create a formal news release on your new content, complete with direct links to the web page you want indexed. Syndicate your news release using either the free or paid news release services, that we teach in our session on news. News means links and buzz, and links + buzz spur Google to include your URL in its index.

  3. Solicit Links. Ask friends, family, business colleagues, bloggers, and others to post links to your new content. Again, these inbound links to your content will spur Google to index it.

Getting your content indexed by Google is difficult but is really a reputational and link game. On the reputational front, cultivate a website that Google likes. One that has frequent, new beefy content. On the link front, cultivate relationship with other websites and news syndication services, and Google will perceive these inbound links as 'buzz' about your website. It will then indexed your new website and/or new content.

In sum, the formal methods are weak at best. The best way to get indexed is a news and link strategy!

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