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 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.