This is the first blog of a series of articles that will help readers to show up their brand on Google; the main goal here is to rank higher on search results and to optimize their website according to Google’ standards. On this post, we will focus on how to be found on Google.
When you finish creating a website for your business you will get excited about it and most likely start sharing it with everyone! You might want to share your website link on social media and send it via email to all of your contacts. And then what? Well, you want people who don’t know about you & your business to start visiting your new digital space; hence, you want to be found; and of course that you want this to happen quickly. Here are some tips from Google on how to start appearing in search results.
Before reading, here’s a glossary
Before we get started on some tips to be found through search, let’s start with what some definitions:
You can say that Google crawling equals ‘website discovering’. When crawling, Google looks for new or updated web pages by following links or by reading sitemaps. First Google crawls web pages and then it indexes them.
Crawler is an automated software that crawls (fetches) pages from the web and indexes them.
Googlebot is the generic name of Google’s crawler. Googlebot crawls the world wide web all the time.
Indexing is when Google makes a copy of your page in a format that’s useful to the ranking algorithm. They turn your webpage into something more useable and storing it in their database. The index entry for each page describes the content and location (URL) of that page. Google does this indexing process several times during the day.
Retrieval is the part where the engine says “give me everything relevant to this query.” This is the part where the text and images of your website get to use.
Ranking is where they order the search results based on a number of factors Google has into consideration. Such factors are affected by your website characteristics. Here is the list of factors for 2018 just in case you want to know more about this.
How to be found on Google?
The question is: how do you ensure this happens as quickly as possible? Here are the basics of how website content is crawled and indexed, plus some great ways to get the Googlebot to your website or blog to index your content sooner rather than later.
Inclusion in Google’s search results is free and easy; you don’t even need to submit your site to Google. Google is a fully automated search engine that uses Googlebot to explore the web constantly, looking for sites to add to their index. Just to let you know, the majority of sites listed in their results aren’t manually submitted for inclusion, but found and added automatically with Googlebot.
Here are a few basic questions to ask yourself about your website when you get started.
- Is my website showing up on Google?
- Do I serve high-quality content to users?
- Is my local business showing up on Google?
- Is my content fast and easy to access on all devices?
- Is my website secure?
Google offers webmaster guidelines for building a Google-friendly website. And following such guidelines should help make your site appear in search results.
Another great tool is Google Search Console. This helps you submit your content to Google and monitor how you’re doing in Google Search. If you want, Search Console can even send you alerts on critical issues that Google encounters with your site.
Are you on Google?
Here are 2 possibilities, that your site is already on Google or not. But before doing anything, you need to know if your site is in Google’s index. To know this, let’s do a site: search for your site’s home URL. If you see results, you’re in the index. For example, a search for “site:saucomedia.com” returns these results. Try it yourself.
What to do if your site isn’t on Google
Although Google crawls billions of pages, perhaps some of them are missed. Some of the common reasons for this to happen are:
- Your site isn’t well connected through multiple links from other sites on the web.
- Your website is brand new and Google hasn’t crawled it yet.
- The design of the site makes it difficult for Google to crawl its content effectively
- Google received an error when trying to crawl your site
If your site is not appearing when doing a site:yourwebsite.com search, then you need to do 2 things:
Help Google find your content
The first step to getting your site on Google is to be sure that Google can find it. The best way to do that is to submit a sitemap. A sitemap is a file on your site that tells search engines about new or changed pages on your site. Google also finds pages through links from other pages. Encourage people to discover your site through link building (an SEO technique) or by promoting your business online. We will talk about more SEO techniques in the upcoming posts.
After Google knows that your site exists
How to be found on Google? We already solved this for you!
Once Googlebot knows your site exists, and what’s on it, it’s time to analyze. That analysis ends with a ranking: a list of pages on the internet that best match a certain search phrase. We will be covering this and more about search engine optimization on the next article.