Get your site found on the web: search engine submissions

On 09/12/2010

In SEO - search engines

Search engine submissionsLast time we chatted about how to how to make a website people will find, we looked at how search engines work. Building a new website – no matter how good it looks or what it contains – doesn’t mean people will find it. Whether you’re making a free website for your family and friends, or an online store to finance your future, it’s important to do a little work on ensuring it figures prominently in search engine results.

Today, we’ll look at how to take the first steps towards improving your site’s visibility on the web, and at one of the most important factors in search engine ranking algorithms.

Adding your site to search engines

To help others find your site on the web, one of the first things to do is to let search engines know your site exists. Although search engines routinely trawl the Internet to update their databases with new sites, pages and content, this process isn’t instantaneous; the fact that you have a website doesn’t mean you’ll instantly appear in search engine results, even if you search for it using the address (URL) of your website.

You can wait for search engines to “discover” your website (and if you do nothing, they’ll find it eventually), but this process can take days or even weeks. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for search engines to discover your site by themselves. To speed things along, you can submit your website manually to search engines. To do so, just click the following links to submit your site to Google and to Yahoo and Bing.

Google is by far the most-used search engine in most countries, but there are many others. To help as many people as possible find your site, try to submit it to as many different search engines as possible.

What are backlinks?

Search engines have an uncanny knack of finding new websites, even if it takes them a while. One of the ways search engines discover sites is by “stumbling” across links pointing to them from other websites they visit. These links are called backlinks, and creating them is an important part of improving your site’s visibility on the web for search engines and for potential visitors.

Backlinks are simply a way of navigating the web. They’re the links (called hypertext links) that you click on one web page or site to get to another one. Backlinks are also a very important part of the way search engine algorithms decide how to rank a page for a matching key word.

After you’ve submitted your website to search engines, they can take a while to analyze your site and its content before adding it to their database. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. When your site does finally appear on a search engine, you’ll need to get to work on improving its position in search engine results pages for relevant search terms. One of the ways you can do this is by building backlinks to your website from other sites. You can start doing this from the moment you begin to create a website, and we’ll look at some of the important things to remember when backlink building – and how to do it right – in the next post.