seo globeDo We Still Need To Submit Sites To Search Engines?

You’ve just published a new blog or WordPress website and you’re all excited about getting it into the search results!

So, in today’s era, circa 2013, what do you need to do to ascertain that Google is going to find you and your content?

I got this great question this week from Becky Thompson… she asks:

“I’ve been following you about two years, I get your daily emails, and I need some help. I own a web design business on the side in a very small town. I build and run websites for country folks who only know they need a website for validity of their business.

Anyway, I need help with SEO, just to submit the sites to the search engines. Do I do it monthly? Weekly? Is there a good business that performs SEO that I can pay at a reasonable price? All of these folks have their landline business with YP and I advise them to tell YP to link to their site. But I still want to submit their site to search engines so they know I’m working for them? I can tell from the hits on the sites that nobody knows these sites exist.

Do you have any thoughts?”

Great questions Becky!

First off, thank you for your kind words and thinking of me. SEO is something I enjoy so lets jump into getting you off on proverbial right food.

The History Lesson

The idea of submitting sites to search engines is circa-1999. Maybe 2003. Not today. Gone is the era of paying for search engine submission services.

The Goal?

The goal of doing search engine submissions was to ensure that the search engine found and indexed your content.

A site search goes in the Google search box and looks like (yes, including the colon)…
site:yourdomain.com

If ANY entries are returned, you know that the site has been indexed by the search engines.

Today’s Game

Today, on WordPress, you set up the WordPress SEO plugin. You enable the site map. You add a post. And then you check the 2 or 3 boxes in the sitemap tool to tell it to hand the sitemap to Google/Yahoo/Bing.

Beyond the sitemap, the act of publishing the post, sent a “ping” from WordPress, to centralized ping servers, (don’t add a billion of them, the one it comes with can be fine for now), and the ping servers let all the search engines know. Think of a ping server like the town cryer and WordPress handles getting your memo to the town cryer.

That’s it. Once your sitemap is submitted, that part isn’t repeated. And the ping stuff happens on it’s own.

Generally speaking, you’ll be able to see, using a site search, that within about 3 days, Google will have come to visit and crawled the site.

The key step is to get busy publishing great content so you have stuff to publish to send to the ping server for the search engines to find and index.

Speeding Up Indexing

Can we turn that 3 days into 1 day? Can we get each new post indexed rapidly?

Sure, there are additional sites like Pingler.com, Pingmyblog.com, Pingthatblog.com, Pingomatic.com, and Pingates.com that let you use their ping server to also ping some additional services.

You really don’t want to do massive amounts of over-pinging though because ping servers will start ignoring you if you repeatedly hit them… and most of the existing ping servers already cry in each others ear!

Another way to speed up indexing is to share the link to the site through social media and social bookmarking channels. Because these channels get indexed rapidly, Google will often come through the link and discover the site.

Getting Indexed Is Just The Beginning

Here’s the thing though…

Just because you have been spidered (visited) by Google and indexed in the search results, does not mean you will not be buried on page 137 of the search results.

Brand new sites tend to artificially rank a little higher than they eventually will due to some Google games, but making the front page for a short tailed term is unlikely unless there is no competition.

Just getting the site up and getting indexed is the very small fragment of SEO work that most sites will need if they want to rank high on the first page (which is the only location that will send traffic to the site).

At that point, you move into the much bigger world of Search Engine Optimization and of building up both that site’s content and credibility ranking factors to slowly improve the rank of the site over time.

This is one of many SEO chores that have returned to a more natural state of existence courtesy of having important features built right into WordPress!

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