How long will it take for my site to appear on Google?

Common questions by those launching a new website are: how long does it take for a new site to show up in Google’s search results? How long do I have to wait? How will Google even know to include me? Is there anything I can do to make my site appear more quickly? The answer comes in several parts. We’ll tackle them in turn.

How long for my site to appear on Google?

How long does it take for a site to be listed on Google?

Although nothing is guaranteed in the world of search engine listings, and the standard answer is that Google will include your site between a few days and a few weeks, there are steps you can take to make it more likely for your site to appear early. I’ve recently launched a site from scratch (it was not available on the internet until the moment of launch, so Google did not know about it), and it appeared in search results on the fourth day from launch. To increase your chances of this happening you should make sure you pay attention to the following steps.

Steps you can take for your site to appear more quickly on Google after launch:

1. Sign up to Google webmasters

Add your site and follow the instructions to verify it. This is the modern way of letting Google know you have a site. It is also an excellent way to find out if Google sees any problem with your site, and to communicate with Google about it if necessary.

2. Make sure you have a sitemap, and that it is submitted

A sitemap helps Google understand the structure of your site, what is important and what is new. It is essential that you have one in place, and most content management systems have an automated system to create one for you. For example, if you run your site on WordPress, you can download a free sitemap plugin. If you do not have an automated tool, follow this sitemap tutorial to create one. Once you have a sitemap, go back to Google Webmaster Tools, and submit it under the “sitemap” section.

Now you’ve taken the first formal steps for your site’s inclusion on Google, we need to look at the site itself, and ensure that once Google crawls it, it does actually make the grade. In an ideal world you would do this BEFORE SUBMISSION, but the reality is that you are probably here because you’ve already launched your site, and you are now googling yourself frantically every hour to see if google has included your site, and wondering what you can do to get it listed faster…

3. Make sure your site actually has good content, that is built well and follows good SEO principles

If your site is not contributing anything new or original to the world, then your chances of appearing quickly on Google, or appearing at all are pretty slim, and rightly so. You need to have content that is of some sort of relevance to people, and is structured properly. Read up on how to do SEO properly or check out our FREE online SEO course, which will take you through the things you absolutely need to know for your site to have good SEO rankings.

4. Get some high quality sites to link to you

A little knowledge is a bad thing, and some website owners panic when they don’t get traffic in the first few days after launch and start signing up to shady services that promise to link to them, or exchange links with them. You should not succumb to these temptations, which will have the opposite effect. Instead consider if there are ways to get good quality sites with content that is relevant to your own site’s content to link to you. These links are ‘votes of confidence’ and will tell Google that your site is worthy.

5. Have a blog on your site, and update it regularly

Your site appearing on Google is not the endgame. It is only the beginning, and over time your exposure on it will increase. If you don’t want your site to drop off for irrelevance, you need to update it regularly so that it is fresh, and a blog is one good way of making sure you keep it fresh. It is also another type of content, which is identified as such by Google, which leads us to the next point:

6. Include different type of content

Google crawls your site and treats different types of content differently. It is possible that blog content will appear at a different time on search results to when images from the site appear on Google image search. It follows that it is a good idea to have different types of content on your site: text, images, video, blog and so on.

7. Check your site’s speed

Make sure your site does not take ages to load. Slow loading sites will be marked down, and lower marks might mean late or lowly listings on Google. One good way to check your site’s speed and what is slowing it down is the Firefox YSlow plugin or the Pingdom speed test.

8. Have a social media presence

If people are talking about you on Twitter or Facebook, this may well improve your chances of appearing faster on Google. At the very least, ensure you have a Google+ page, and Twitter account linking back to your page. Watch out though for spam. You do not want to go out and comment on lots of blogs or try to artificially inflate your site’s followers in social media, as this might have the opposite effect.

9. Get SEO trained – and DON’T pay for it

Get enrolled on the free Sierra Echo Oscar SEO course, and learn how SEO really works. It takes you through a series of videos from the very basic to the more advanced, in animated videos and some dodgy characters. Click here. It’s a full course in one, and costs nothing.

These are some key steps you can take. To learn the principles of SEO and how to build good SEO content check out our FREE online SEO course.

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An introduction to SEO? In one SEO course? Go on then…

We knew we were on to a good thing when we got angry responses to our video “confessions of a black hat SEO” on YouTube.

Using animation, we exposed underhand methods of SEO consultants who use their clients’ ignorance to charge the earth. Of course they didn’t like it.

Our SEO course takes this premise further and teaches SEO – from the beginning – to website owners and those who work in digital or marketing, or those wanting an introduction to the field, giving you all the important stuff and leading to an SEO certificate you can hang on your wall.

By the end of it you will have learned:

– how the SEO market works and how to approach an SEO project,
– how to use specific techniques to build traffic
– how to build site content that search engine would love
– how to approach keywords, linking, images, video and all the crucial stuff that really matters

VERY IMPORTANTLY, our animated black hat SEO guru Barack will guide you through methods you should AVOID – the ones that get you into trouble.

And we promise no boring PowerPoints. Seriously. None.

In fact – we want you to enjoy the course, and learn in a memorable way, so there’s a lot of animation, humour, and serious stuff packaged in lighter wrapping.

So to recap: you get all the important stuff in a clear concise way.

Sign up today, and start straight away.

In part one we’ll teach you all about the Ping Pong principle, the golden rule and great ways to produce search engine friendly content.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Does Google have a conflict of interest when it comes to “time to spider”?

In the few months since I launched a new site, things have changed in the SEO market. In my most recent launch I noticed that one crucial difference is that now the time it takes Google to spider a new site has increased.

It seems to take about 4-5 days for a completely new site with some good links and content to appear in its index, and it can often take a few more weeks to get processed to the point that it starts appearing higher in search results.

What this means for new site owners is that they increasingly need to use other methods to get initial exposure for their sites, and this often means using Google AdWords.

And here’s therein lies the problem. One could argue that it is in Google’s interest to wait a little before it includes a site in its index, because until the site is included the owner is left only with the option of PR and paid inclusion. Combined with increasing costs of pay-per-click SEM, this creates a very long tail of small businesses on limited budgets needing to up their spend and wait for Google’s favour.

This isn’t helped, of course, by the long time it takes Bing to include a brand new site, and with Google’s dominant position in the market.We appear to be stuck with the initial pay-and-wait-for-Google problem.

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SEO Poetry: “The Search” by Ernest Howard Crosby

The second in our series of poems that are in some way related to the theme of search, brought to you by Online SEO Course Sierra Echo Oscar.

We’re not saying they are about SEO, but we’d like our SEO course to be about a little more than just marketing, and a lot more about the soul of SEO. Therefore, a poem about search is in order.

Our SEO superhero, Oscar reads this poem by Ernest Howard Crosby, one that is often used by fraternities and sororities in their pledges.

The Search

The full poem:

The Search, by Ernest Howard Crosby

NO one could tell me where my Soul might be.
I searched for God, but God eluded me.
I sought my Brother out, and found all three.

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The Power of Google Explained in a Cow (SEO Course excerpt)

In our online SEO training course, we explain the impact that the dominance of Google has on the fortunes of website owners. One good way of doing this is using a cow diagramme. Click to watch:

The Power of Google Explained in a Cow (SEO Course excerpt)

Our full and Free online SEO course is available through the Sierra Echo Oscar website.

SEO Video transcript:

SEO explained in a cow (online SEO course excerpt)

Imagine for a moment this cow is the search engine market.

Which of the cow’s spots do you think represents the market share of each search engine? Yes, we know that Google is the biggest, and holds the largest market share, but for example, which of the spots would be Bing, the search engine run by mammoth corporation Microsoft? Would it perhaps be the black spot near its neck?

Or which represents that giant Yahoo? Both of these companies have a worldwide presence. And what about Baidu: the world’s biggest Chinese language search engine. How does it fare?

Well? Any ideas?

Here’s your answer. Yahoo, at the start of 2012 was running at just under 6%.

Next, in the area that’s usually used to make rump stake, is Baidu, and it has a similar market share to Yahoo.

You may not have heard of Baidu, and if you haven’t, it’s worth remembering that one in five people on the planet is Chinese.

And finally, Bing from Microsoft is based in the shin area – the shin is used for making stews. Bing runs at about 4%, although we should probably mention that when you run searches on Yahoo, the results you get are actually Bing results, because of a deal the two companies made back in 2009, so from an SEO perspective you really are dealing with one Search engine, with 10% of the market.

Oh. So, hang on. Where’s Google? Have you guessed yet?

Well ladies and gents: Google is the entire cow except for the spots we’ve just highlighted and a couple more percent for minor search engines such as Ask, AOL and the Russian language engine Yandex .

Depending on which statistics you use, it covers between 80 and 90% of worldwide search traffic.

That should not come as a great surprise, I mean: where do YOU search on the web? Most likely on Google.

Of course these numbers vary across regions, so for example in the US Google runs at 60-70% with Yahoo and Bing at around 15% each.

In the UK B(represented by this mug of tea) Bing is even lower –

…but you get the picture: Google: big, everyone else: small.

So what does that mean? Well, if, like many others, you are a superhero or a business that relies heavily on Google for your exposure and income, it has a phenomenal power over your fortunes.

In other words, if one day it drops your site from its search results, you are in the kind of trouble that could potentially ruin you. This is not a fictitious scenario. Recent updates to Google’s inner workings have hit some high profile victims, and quite a few low profile ones.

This point is not meant to criticise Google, it has created a great product that we all use, but if you run a website, you need to be very mindful of this reality, and that’s why we will hit you with some home truths in part one of this course with some absolutely fundamental rules you have to follow, to ensure you do not suddenly fall into limbo.

Having said that, when you plan for the future, you should also note that, over time, Google will not be the only source of traffic, and social sites like Facebook can become as important to your campaigns, but that’s for another course.

This concludes the except from the Sierra Echo Oscar online SEO course. Use the top navigation to find out more about the course.

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Confessions of a black hat SEO

Our resident Black Hat SEO Barack talks about the dark tactics he used to deceive large corporations, and how he made millions in the process.

Barack is one of the speakers on our SEO course, and a dab hand at showing you what you should not do, and how to avoid the pitfalls of black hat SEO. He now lives in his mansion in Malibu and exclusively lectures for our online course.

In part one he will talk about some of the SEO content tactics used by those who still live in the past, and have not realised that the world has moved on. He mocks the knowledge that is still being sold to company as proper SEO strategies, and is actually a pretty bad way of trying to promote a site.

He tells you more about himself and his love of Dolly Parton on our free SEO course.

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SEO Poetry: Dorothy Parker

The first in our series of poems that are somehow related to the theme of search, Lisa reads this little cute poem by Dorothy Parker that considers how her own humanity or “normalcy” is reflected in how she views her love object:

The Searched Soul

The full poem:

The Searched Soul, Dorothy Parker

When I consider, pro and con,
What things my love is built upon —
A curly mouth; a sinewed wrist;
A questioning brow; a pretty twist
Of words as old and tried as sin;
A pointed ear; a cloven chin;
Long, tapered limbs; and slanted eyes
Not cold nor kind nor darkly wise —
When so I ponder, here apart,
What shallow boons suffice my heart,
What dust-bound trivia capture me,
I marvel at my normalcy.

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