Generally, this comes from clients who have just got a new website and are now delving into the crazy world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
What you need to understand about Google is that, much like a person, it only knows websites exist if it has been introduced to by a person (much like your friend telling you about it) or it has found a link to this site from another website (much like you would come across links naturally to other websites).
Simply just having a website doesn’t automatically guarantee that Google knows about it. Therefore new websites generally won’t appear in searches at all to start with.
Once Google has been informed that this website exists, it will eventually start a process called ‘crawling’.
Unfortunately there is no set timeframe on when Google will start this process, however it generally happens within weeks of it first learning about this new website.
This ‘crawling’ will allow Google to ‘index’ all of the pages on your website so that will start filtering through into the search results.
The best way to do this is to use a service that Google itself provides called ‘Google Webmaster Tools’. Anyone can sign up to this or use their existing Google account. Once you are logged into this section you can proceed to the ‘Submit URL’ tool. Simply place the URL of your website in the field labelled ‘URL’, fill in the security code and you are done.
The ‘Submit URL’ tool is great, however as anyone can submit any URL, Google may be a bit more wary about crawling websites submitted this way.
Fortunately, Google provides a more advanced tool that allows you to verify that you are the owner of the website. On their Webmaster Tools blog, Google have mentioned that submitting your website this way, the URL will generally be crawled within 24 hours. To do this, follow these steps:
Go to your Webmaster tools home section and click on the ‘Add Site’ button.
In the box that pops up, type in the URL of your website and click the ‘Continue’ button.
You will now be taken to the verification section. There a number of ways that you can do this, however we recommend that you get your web developer to help you at this point.
You can either download a file that Google provides which you will need to upload to your website or insert some code that Google provides into your website.
Once you have done either of these, you can return to Google Webmaster Tools and click the ‘Verify’ button.
When the verification is complete, you will be taken to the ‘Dashboard’ for this website. From here click on
‘Fetch as Google’ under the ‘Health’ menu on the left hand side.
Click the ‘Fetch’ button. Google will now try and find your website. Once it is complete the ‘Fetch Status’ will change to ‘Success’. Now simply click the ‘Submit to index’ button and you are done!
If you wish you can submit other pages on your website by repeating step 6, but placing the page url in the box provided.
Hopefully within 24 hours Google will start crawling and indexing your website and you pages will start popping up in the Google search results. As mentioned above, Google doesn’t guarantee a timeframe for one or all of you pages to appear or even if they will appear at all, however completing the steps above will go a long way to get the process starting.
This is where your SEO world begins and getting your listing onto the first page is another kettle of fish, so I wish you well on your endeavours.