When you launch a new website (like we just did, this past weekend!), it can take a few weeks and sometimes even a few months to be found (or indexed) by the search engines. For, remember, search engines do not show the live Internet; but a copy (index) of it.
But have no fear, because there are a few tips and tricks you can do to get your website found faster!
Check to make sure Google and the other engines can access it.
If you’re using WordPress, your developer will typically check a button to activate your robots.txt file for all pages. (It’s essentially a quick and easy way to hide the website from being indexed during development.) To check, simply go into your WordPress dashboard, then Settings, then Reading.
About halfway down the page, you’ll see an option to discourage search engines from indexing the website. (Typically, they make just index the homepage.) Just make sure this box is unchecked!
For all other websites, a quick way to check if you’ve got a robots.txt file blocking your site is to go to [yourwebsite.com]/robots.txt. What you want to pay attention to is what is being disallowed. If you see this, your website is blocked by the search engines:
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Submit your website.
Both Google and Bing no longer allow you to submit websites directly to them. Instead, you’ll have to submit via Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
Link, link, and link some more.
Since search engines use links as a value metric between websites, it only stands to reason that links from reputable (and similar) websites at launch are another great way to get found faster. If you aren’t able to get links from well-known sites, don’t worry; there are ways you can add these links yourself!
Incoming links from other websites and blogs.
It’s helpful to know someone in the industry here; that way, when your website goes live, you can ask them to do the grand favor of linking to your website. Or, if you blog elsewhere, it’s a great opportunity to talk up your new website.
When something newsworthy occurs – like the launch of your new website – it’s time to publish a press release. That release is then published to thousands of news outlets. (One of our favorite services is PRweb.)
Now we’re getting to the easy ones. Once your social media sites are set up, it’s imperative to include your website. You won’t get any value from it, but you will certainly get search engines to take notice!
Check your progress.
After taking the first three steps, check to make sure that your website is indexing by using the site:[website.com] command.
These results will show you exactly what the search engines theoretically will show searchers. You can use this command on both Google and Bing.