If you are reading this, you probably created a new blog or website and you are wondering why your site is not showing up on the results of Google or Bing. It happened to me. I created my blog and five minutes later I was typing my blog address in Google and expecting to see my site on the results. Now, they say it takes 4 to 6 weeks to be “crawled” by the search engines. I found a way to speed up the process and have the site show up in about 48 hours. This post is an update of my earlier post on the topic.
What I learned in the last couple of weeks is that there is more than receiving your website as result of a search for the website address. That is the easy part. You will also need to receive your website as a result of a search for content. That means that somebody searched for a topic (not your web address) and your site got listed. Here are the two steps needed to get your site active with the search engines:
Submit your site to the search engines. Search engines use computer programs to search the web for new and modified sites to index them and use that information in their searches. This is called crawling. Until your site is found and indexed it will not come up at all in any search. By submitting your URL to the search engines, they will look for your site the next time they crawl. That means your site will be found in about 48 hours.
Submit your sitemap to the search engines. When your site is found through crawling, the search engine does not know the structure of your site. Sitemaps tell search engines the structure of your site and help them increase the coverage of your site. This allows a complete indexing of the site and better chances to be a relevant result for a search and getting listed closer to the first position.
Note: If you are using WordPress.com you don’t have to worry about submitting your sitemap to the search engines. WordPress.com automatically sends updates to search engines every time you add, update or delete a page or make a post. You still get value from using Webmaster Tools and verifying your website. If interested you can follow the steps below.
The following paragraphs will give you the step by step instructions to submit your site and sitemap. I have included the direct links needed to complete the tasks in the shortest time possible. At the end of the article you can find further readings on the topic.
Submit Your Website
You only need to follow the links provided for each search engine. Next, you type your URL, or website address, in the space provided. Finally, press the submit button and you are done.
- Add Your URL to Google. Google also provides a text box to comment on the site being submitted.
- Submit Your Site to Bing. You should type the address of the home page.
Submit Your Sitemap
A sitemap is a list of pages of your site that are available to crawling. In order to submit your sitemap to the search engines you will need to
- Create or Identify Your Sitemap,
- Verify Your Website with the Search Engines using Webmaster Tools, and
- Submit Your Sitemap inside the Webmaster Tool.
Create or Identify Your Sitemap. If you are using WordPress you don’t have to worry about creating a sitemap. WordPress has already created one for your and its address is
If your are not using WordPress, you will need to verify with your provider/host, or you can create your sitemap. There are a number of free websites that will help you generate your sitemap. For a good list of sitemap generators click here. Please choose a sitemap generator and follow the instructions provided. Your sitemap address will probably be the same one mentioned.
Webmaster Tools. To submit your sitemap you will need to use the Webmaster Tools provided by each search engine. Webmaster tools are free service that allow you to see all kind of statistics about your blog or website. You can submit a sitemap, site feeds, see how the search engine index the site, check and alter crawl rate (how often they look a your site) and see what keyword searches led to your site. Although these services are beyond the scope of this post, it is good to know you will be getting a lot from the webmaster tools. Here, we just need to examine how to submit a sitemap.
Submitting your sitemap in a webmaster tools will require creating an account with Google, Bing and Yahoo. If you have an existing account with any or all the sites, you can use it to get access to the webmaster tools. For your convenience I include the links to the webmaster tools:
- Google Webmaster Tools.
- Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Yahoo Site Explorer.
Once you create your account and enter the webmaster tool, you will add your website. You will be asked to verify you own your site. The webmaster tool will give you instructions on verifying your site. You can also follow these instructions.
Submit Your Sitemap. The las step is to submit your sitemap address inside the webmaster tools. After you have an added and verified your website to the webmaster tool, you can add your sitemap within the tool. Find and follow these links:
Google. On the left-hand side, Site Configuration –> Sitemaps –> Submit a Sitemap. Enter the sitemap address.
Bing. To the right of your website, press Add Sitemaps. Enter the sitemap address.
You have now completed all the steps needed to bring your site up to speed with the major search engines. You will be able not only to search for your website but also for content within your site. Please type your comments, questions and suggestions.