So you managed to set up your new blog. You were much excited about it, told all your friends and some of them even took the effort of paying your new site a visit, but now the amount of daily visitors dropped to somewhere near freezing point.
How do all those websites generate traffic ? Thanks to search engines like Google, Live and Yahoo!. Great ! But before search engines can send traffic to your site, it has to be indexed. In the post “How to SEO your WordPress blog and make Google like it” I promised to show you ways to get your new blog noticed and indexed by the search engines. So here we go : there are several ways to accomplish indexation and attract the search engine bots or crawlers to your new website, but there’s one road you don’t want to take…
DO NOT ADD YOUR WEBSITE URL to the search engines using the addurl-page ! Most search engines offer the possibility to add your new website url to their index. They promise they’ll drop by and crawl the site asap. But they don’t (at least not right away) ! Adding your site like that will get you a few weeks behind. Especially Google has a bad reputation. It looks really tempting when you take a look on this page, but be strong !
Share your place on the net with us. We add and update new sites to our index each time we crawl the web, and we invite you to submit your URL here. We do not add all submitted URLs to our index, and we cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when or if they will appear.
Looks great, I know, but the real art is in getting your blog noticed by the search engines without taking action yourself. The trick is to get links on other sites that the Googlebot and other crawlers visit frequently. Not an easy job ? Sure it is ! All sorts of blogs, forums, social bookmarking sites, social networks, … will do. A few tips :
- Sign up for del.icio.us and tag some websites you really like (including your own).
- Pay your favorite blogs a visit and comment on some of the posts, but not without filling out your new blog.
- Adjust your profile on your favorite forum and add your blog url to it.
- If you know someone that already has an indexed and active blog, ask him/her to add your new blog to his/her blogroll.
In most cases, your website should be indexed within a few days, sometimes even within 24 hours. You could object to this method that most links on blogs, forums and social bookmarking sites carry a rel=”nofollow” and that they are not followed by the crawlers. This is simply not true. Search engines like Google follow the link just like they would follow any other link, it just doesn’t count towards your ranking.
Now how can you see whether your website is indexed or not by Google or another search engine ? Easy, just ask them.
- Google : follow this link and change www.example.com to your own domain name or just type “site:www.yourdomain.com” in the Google search box.
- Yahoo! : follow this link and change http://www.example.com to your own domain name.
- Live Search : follow this link and change www.example.com to your own domain name or just type “site:www.yourdomain.com” in the Live search box.
Google usually is the quickest in noticing links to your new site and generally is the fastest to index the homepage of your website. Yahoo! and Live Search need a little more time.
Once Google has indexed your blog, it’s time to reward Google for noticing your blog and sign up for the Google Webmaster Tools account. It’s a free tool Google offers to webmasters (the only thing you need is a free Google account):
Google’s webmaster tools provide you with a free and easy way to make your site more Google-friendly. Using our tools, you can:
- Get Google’s view of your website, and diagnose potential problems.
See how Google crawls and indexes your site and learn about specific problems we’re having accessing it.
- See how your site is performing.
Learn which queries drive traffic to your site, and see exactly how users arrive there.
- Share info with us to help us crawl your site better.
Tell us about your pages: which ones are most important to you and how often they change. You can also let us know how you would like the URLs we index to appear.
- Get started today — it’s free!
Simply log in with your Google Account and add your site URL to get started. It’s an easy and free way to have a more interactive experience with Google.
The Google Webmaster Tools offer a lot of great tools to manage your website in the Google index and are really worth checking from time to time. Signing up for the Webmaster Tools once your site is indexed, the rest of the pages should follow really soon.
When Yahoo! has indexed your main page it’s time to set up another account, this time at Yahoo! Site Explorer.
Site Explorer allows you to explore all the web pages indexed by Yahoo! Search. View the most popular pages from any site, dive into a comprehensive site map, and find pages that link to that site or any page.
Track, Probe, Manage your site & feeds in Yahoo!
Add your site to the Site Explorer and the indexing of the rest of your sites pages shouldn’t take long.
For now Live Search doesn’t offer the same services Yahoo! and Google do, but they have started developing a similar tool. The Live Webmaster portal is still in beta, but if you’re lucky you can create an account (using your Hotmail or Live account) and add your website.
Use the Webmaster Tools to troubleshoot the crawling and indexing of your website, submit sitemaps and view statistics about your websites.
That’s it ! Adding your website/blog to all of the above mentioned tools should get your posts indexed in the main search engines (Google, Yahoo! and Live Search). I’ll try to write something about the different features every tool has to offer, but for now it should get you and the indexing of your blog started.