Five quick ways to get a website indexed by Google

When you first start out, your website is completely unknown, you have no inbound links, and you can’t be found in the search engines. So what do you do?

1) Submit your website URL to Google

Google can’t index your website if it doesn’t know about it, so submitting your homepage URL is definitely the best place to start. This may not be the quickest indexing method but it’s a safe and sure one to start you off. Google’s crawlers will find all the other pages in your website by following internal links.

2) Add an XML sitemap

It can take quite some time for Google’s crawlers to index all the pages in a new website just by following links. The larger the website, the more time it can take. Pages at a high click depth from your homepage can take a lot longer to get indexed because the crawlers don’t discover them until after several rounds of indexing and link following have occurred. I find that adding an XML sitemap really solves this problem because it tells Google about all your pages ahead of time. If you have a large website with many high click depth pages then an XML sitemap will help indexing enormously.

An XML sitemap is basically a text file (saved with an XML extension) that lists all the URLs in your website. The XML sitemap protocol is very simple so it can easily be created by hand or automatically with an XML sitemap generator tool. The XML sitemap standard is supported by Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft so the same sitemap can be used for all three search engines.

Once you have created your sitemap file you have to submit it to each search engine. To add a sitemap to Google you must first register your website with Google Webmaster Tools. This website is well worth the effort, it’s completely free plus it’s loaded with invaluable information about your website ranking and indexing in Google. You’ll also find many useful reports including keyword rankings and health checks. I highly recommend it.

3) Submit an article to Digg

Another interesting thing I’ve noticed lately has to do with social news websites. If you submit an article to Digg or Reddit or one of the many other large social news websites, your URL tends to get picked up by Google very quickly. Typically a Digg article will appear in Google’s index after only a day or two. This is great news if you want new pages on your website to be indexed very quickly.

4) Add a Google map

I discovered this little trick just the other day when I was helping my girlfriend build her big doodles website. Felicity’s always drawing cute little pictures, she scans them in at super-high resolution, cuts them up into tiles, and displays them on her website with the Google Maps API (It’s a great way to explore massive images on a small bandwidth connection). To make the ‘doodle map’ work on her domain we had to first apply for a Google Maps API key. So we did this, then we played with a few test pages on the live domain – to my surprise after a couple of days her website was ranking on the first page of Google for “big doodles”, I hadn’t even submitted the domain to Google yet!

5) Source quality inbound links

Another very useful method of speeding up indexing is to get as many inbound links from quality websites as possible. If you know someone who runs a popular website or blog why not ask them for a link and a bit of a plug? It seems that the more popular a website is, the more indexing attention it gets from Google, so creating a good inbound linking strategy is essential. Spend time writing interesting and useful articles for your new website and these should start attracting more and more good quality links over time…

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