When you first launch your new website it will take a little time before the search engines will get around to indexing your website, however that doesn’t mean you have to sit around waiting for them to find you – you can speed up the indexing process greatly by taking some proactive action and submit your website directly yourself. It is worth the extra effort because it will see the site picked up more thoroughly, and a lot quicker than if you do not submit it. In the online world, the sooner you pick up momentum the more you can increase it.
Most search engine websites will have a simple form to fill in, which simply entails entering the URL of your site and sometimes a few simple comments and keywords explaining what the site is about. Almost instantly, the search engine bots “crawling” software will visit your site and start the process of indexing it, and hopefully within days your site will be appearing in the search engine searches whenever anyone searches for websites or information in your niche.
You have a couple of submission methods available:
1./ Submit Your Site To Search Engines Directly:
Most search engines such as Google and Bing have a URL address for manual submissions. You simply visit this URL and submit your details into the forms (some may require you to register first).
Here are a few of the major search engines submission URLs:
- Google Webmaster Central: You will need to sign up for an account, but you will need a Google Webmaster account anyway so you might as well sign up ASAP & submit your sitemap as well.
- Bing Webmaster Central
- Yahoo Site Explorer
2./ Create Your Sitemap Via another Website:
There are also websites which will create an xml sitemap for your website for free, however I haven’t personally used them so I cannot tell you what they are like, however most I’ve looked at tended to insert their name / website URL into the bottom of the generated sitemap pages…… so I personally wouldn’t use them for that reason alone. This method also would require manual updating every time you publish any new content, so it is far from ideal.
Install a (Manual) Sitemap Extension / Plugin:
For most types of website platform / CMS type (“Content Management System”) there are a range of extensions or plugins available to create and submit your site map, and many of them are completely free. Some of them are completely autmated and will “ping” the major search engines whenever you publish any new or updated content, others will create a site map but still require manual submission (or alternatively require collection by the search engines themselves when they visit your site – but will not “ping” the search engines)
One example of a manual submission plugin is the XMap plugin for Joomla CMS – it cannot ping the search engines, and it also has one other major flaw in my opinion: when it creates a sitemap it adds it’s own name into your permalink – that is to say that the link that you will submit to Google for your sitemap address will include xmap within the address…. for a start, this can cause a problem in the future if/when you ever stop using the XMap plugin. The plugin can also be very problematic and also requires extensions for other Joomla plugins installed in order to index their content….. Despite all these flaws it still remains one of the top Joomla sitemap plugins (possibly because there are so few alternatives). If possible it is best to use a sitemap plugin which does NOT include it’s own name in your sitemap link, and that automatically Pings the search engines and frees you from this repetitive task.
Install an Automated “Pinging” Sitemap Generator Plugin:
If you are using WordPress then you are in luck because WordPress has one of the best automated sitemap generator plugins currentlyavailable, and what’s more, it’s completely free! (and it won’t insert it’s brand-name into your sitemap URL, either…). It’s developed by Arne Brachhold and you can download it via WordPress website – Google XML Sitemaps Plugin.
Note too that there are also a couple of variations of this sitemap also available at WordPress and which are made by the same developer, such as one with support for qTranslate plugin, one for Google News websites, Multi-Site compatible, etc.
If you are using the Joomla CMS there are sitemap generator plugins available with automatic pinging capability, however I am only aware of one, and it is not free (it’s called “SEF Service Map 2 “).