How To Get a New Site Listed in Search Engines

Mattan Danino
Reading Time: 4 minutes

It may be a shock to Internet-newcomers, but getting a brand new site picked up by search engines is NOT easy. Search engine discovery is based on several aspects of web design, site age, and Internet knowledge. Experienced Internet users are able to link their new sites to their older sites so that Google, Yahoo! and MSN Search can discover them quickly. What do you do to get a site indexed if you don’t have any existing sites established?

How Search Engines Work
Understanding the mechanics behind search engines is crucial knowledge to have in today’s world. “In order for your website to show up in a search result your pages must exist in the search engine’s index. Each search engine has an absolutely massive index and it’s constantly updated every minute of every day. The search engines have what are called bots or crawlers or spiders, basically computers that ‘pretend’ to be browsers surfing the web devouring content like hungry monsters. Their job is to make sure the search engines have the most up to date index of web pages possible so that when a person uses a search engine they get the most relevant response available.”

Now the goal is to get the spider to crawl your page. How do you accomplish that goal?

Submitting your site to a directory is a great way to get links heading your way. Directories exist to simply list websites, usually broken down by category. All you need to do is fill out a form and depending on whether submissions are manually or automatically approved, your link will show up in the directory with a period of time, usually 24 hours.

The problem with directories is they are essentially link farms, no content and lots of outbound links. Consequently they usually have very little clout in the search engines and since your link is sitting in amongst possibly thousands of other links the little search engine spiders may never find your site.

Leave a Thought on a Blog, Forum, or Bulletin Board
This strategy is good, but delicate. You would never want to just leave your website name on a comment just for that purpose- you need to put down some contributing information as well. If your website is listed alone in a comment it is considered SPAM. This is because people will most likely end up deleting your comment, even if you think the link to your site is valuable.

“The best way to go about this is to have a signature file (most forums have a function for this) that allows a few lines of self-promotion to be included at the end of your posts. Enter the community, get involved in the discussion and contribute. Now obviously you will have more knowledge to draw from if you pick communities based on topics you are familiar with and preferably are relevant to your site. Not only do you improve your chance of search engine spiders finding your site, you might get some real humans clicking your signature and visiting your site as a bonus (this is in fact a good general online marketing strategy to get more traffic to your site).”

Beware of the NoFollow tag default set on blogs. This tag will not let the Google spider crawl your content.

Another alternative is to start your own blog. This does require more work, but if your content is good then other bloggers may post their links to you. Then, you can build a network around yourself allowing the Google spider to crawl right onto your site. When writing your own blog, you also have the option of linking pages from your website- for example “About Us” can be linked to your name and go to the About Us page on your website.

Press Releases
“This technique is easy enough to implement but faces the same issues as directories because so many people make use of it you may get lost in the crowd. You can go to a site like PRWeb, submit your press release about the news of your new website launch and they will publish it for journalists to make use of. A good press release may even circulate all over the Internet but at worst you will be at least published on PRWeb (there are others PR sites out there – try a search for “press release distribution” or similar).”

Google Sitemaps
Google provides a sitemap submission system that gives you the tools to directly communicate with Google to let the search engine know when your site updates and ensures your entire site is indexed.

Link Love and Paying for Links
“Link love is a relatively easy thing to be on the receiving end of. You have probably heard of the favor bank, the social currency of our world. You can open an account with almost anyone by making a deposit by simply doing them a favor. Maybe you’re really good at graphic design so you can create a logo, or perhaps you’re an accountant so you can offer tax advice. You can then make a withdrawal by asking for a link to your website. Favor currency flows quite freely and can easily be accrued by doing good deeds.”

Getting a brand new site indexed and listed on search engines is just the beginning of Search Engine Optimization. Trying to raise your site from the very bottom of the index to the top result for key terms is a long process but this step should not concern you. Some things you just have to learn as you go.

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Written by: Samantha J. Stephan

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