You’ve decided that this year is THE year you’ll be launching your own blog.
You’ve put together some seriously compelling content, a sexy design, and you’ve had some great feedback. It’s 2018 and you are feeling ready to share this big bad boy with the world.
Now, you’d expect your content to be instantaneously showing on Google, right?
Googlebot is a handy tool that Google uses to look for URLs and updates to existing pages, and it also flags any broken links.
Google looks at information on your page such as title tags, meta description, alt tags, and once the crawling process is completed, all of the results are fed into Google’s index. Any new sites or updated content will be listed on there.
As a result of Google’s crawling, you may never need to submit your website as it will be discovered automatically.
However, with hundreds of websites being pushed every hour, your blog may take longer to be published – apparently, the average time it takes is one whole day.
Want to check if your blog is listed in Google? Just begin your search with “Site:blogname.com” If no content is indexed yet for a site, Google will let you know that your search did not match any results.
If no content is found, you can either submit your website or create a sitemap that can be submitted to Google. If you have a brand new blog, you should first verify you own the site within Google Search Console and then submit it here.
Have you just launched your new blog? To make sure you are fully up to speed, do not forget to check out our seven-day blogging challenge ‘Zero to Hero‘.
Have you ever tried Googling your own blog?
Or any of the topics/recipes/yoga postures you posted about? Can you see your website come up in search results and is it ranking high up there? Do try if you haven’t, and don’t panic if googling “gluten-free pancakes” doesn’t come up with your original recipe at the very top!
We want first-time readers to stumble upon our blogs whilst randomly browsing on web, and naturally we wish to be a top hit for anything remotely health-related.
Did you know that before you trend on Google, you need to let Google (and other search engines) know you exist, and unless you do so you might not be showing in search results?
The fact that Google has to learn things, just like we humans do, may come as a big surprise – I kind of assumed it knows it all automatically.
Not so fast. Google has to come find your website, index it, and only then can you hope to compete with BBC Good Food gluten-free pancakes recipe. Hence it’s crucial that you let Google know about your existence so you don’t miss out on all these searches that will bring new readers to your website.
Let the Googlebot find you
So how is Google going to find your amazing blog amongst the endless ocean of other websites? Imagine a cute little Googlebot that travels around the virtual world adding all the new web pages he can possibly find on to Google index. How do you make sure that Googlebot doesn’t crawl past your amazing blog?
Well, first what is the Googlebot?
The Googlebot is simply the search software that Google sends out to collect information about all the web pages and documents to add to Google’s searchable index. The Googlebot crawls from website to website, finding new and updated information and reporting it back to Google.
Indexing is the processing of the information gathered by the Google from its crawling activities. Once documents are processed, they are added to Google’s searchable index.
How do I attract Google to index my website?
I am not sure your charms will be of help here, but here is one certain way to get onto Google index, and that is to create a sitemap which will help the little bot to navigate. Sitemap is an XML document that lists each page on your website. It tells search engines when new pages have been added and how often to check back for changes on specific pages. For example, you might want a search engine to come back and check your homepage daily for new yummy recipes or new yoga postures – I am sure your new little bot friend won’t be able to resist!
The geeky stuff
If your website is built on WordPress, you can simply install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin and have it automatically create and update your sitemap for you as well as submit it to search engines – easy like nana ice cream!
You can also submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.
If you don’t already have one create a free Google Account, then sign up for Webmaster Tools.
Add your new site to Webmaster Tools, then go to Optimization > Sitemaps and add the link to your website’s sitemap to Webmaster Tools to notify Google about it and the pages you have already published. For extra credit, create an account with Bing and submit your sitemap to them via their Webmaster Tools.
For extra-reassurance you can submit your website URL to Google manually: sign into your Google Account and go to the Submit URL option in Webmaster Tools. For yet better night’s sleep and extra credit, submit your site to Bing.
Once your website or blog is indexed, you should start seeing more traffic from Google search. Next step however is a much more complicated and time-consuming one, and that works manually on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) of your blog.
This is a huge topic which we’ll surely cover in many more posts and courses to come. For now don’t forget to install Google Analytics so you can track the progress.