Freshen Up Your Site
Does Google notice your site? Or does it seem like you’re completely ignored?
Well, there’s one way to tell: look at Google’s index of your site.
- Do a site search for your domain. (e.g. www.amazon.com)
- Under the search bar, select “Show options…”
- In the sidebar that appears, select a date range from the second group (“Past 24 hours”, “Past Week”)
- In the filtered results, you can see when the page was most recently indexed in the grey text before the description
Has your site been indexed in the past day? Week? Month? Since you launched? If the answer is no, then you have a problem. Here are five ways to get Google to notice you.
Start a Blog
One of the most important things you can do to get search engines to notice you is to actively put new content up on your site. The easiest way to do this is through a blog. Ideally, you want to post as often as possible, but, in reality, you may only be able to post as often as necessary. If Google indexes your site monthly, start posting weekly. Once the engines notice that you’re regularly adding content, they will be coming back for more.
Distribute Your Content via Social Media
Okay, you’ve got a blog and you’ve got great content on your site, now what? Get it in front of people! Don’t wait for them to come to you, go to them. Using social media as a distribution network is a great idea. Find a few social media sites that fit what you’re trying to accomplish (Twitter and Facebook being the most popular). Create an account/profile/fan page on said site and start churning out the content.
Incorporate Social Media Into Your Site
Now that you're using social media sites to push your content out, start pulling their content in. For example, if you use Twitter, set up a Twitter feed on your home page. This ensures that engines see slightly different content each time they visit your site.
Add an XML Sitemap (or Two)
Sure, the engines may be indexing your new content, but what about your old stuff? If you haven’t already, you need to incorporate XML sitemaps. An XML sitemap is essentially the roadmap to your site that you provide engines. The rundown:
- Create the XML sitemap. If you’re not sure how to create one, use a sitemap generator.
- Submit your sitemap to the engines. Google and MSN both give you the ability to easily upload an XML sitemap through their webmaster tools. After uploading, you can also check the status to ensure they received the sitemap.
- Identify the sitemap in robots.txt. If you don’t have a Webmaster Tools or Webmaster Central account, you can add a line in the robots.txt file to specify the path of your sitemap.
If you have a large site and are really feeling ambitious, create multiple XML sitemaps. If you have a site with tons of blog posts, make one sitemap strictly for the blog and one for the rest of the site. If you’re an e-commerce site, create a separate XML sitemap for your products. Have a lot of products? Maybe a sitemap per category would do the trick.
You want to get noticed right? Well, search engines are not going to notice you unless you actually do something. Making changes to the site alerts the spiders that your site is different and needs to be reindexed the next time they crawl it.
Remeber, the idea is to get Google to crawl your site as often and deeply as possible.
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