Like it or not Google is THE search engine. Don’t think of optimizing your site for Yahoo or MSN anymore. (I wonder what strategies Jerry Yang and the MSN guys are doing to stop their slide to ignominy.
According to Hitwise (www.hitwise.com), Google’s share of the market is now 64%, with Yahoo 22% and MSN at 9%. The rest is shared by the dozens of other search engines.
So, that makes Google your search engine of choice if you want your site to be seen, get visitors and make money online. I catch 82% of my search traffic from Google and only 9% from Yahoo and 3% from MSN (3 of my 5 sites get page 1 from MSN).
So how do you get your website into the Google search engine quickly? These are the steps I follow when I’m launching a new niche site:
Opps… Don’t… Don’t…Don’t submit your site to Google Add URL (www.google.com/addurl). Yes, you can also get your site indexed by using that service but you have to wait for 2 or 3 months. We’re talking here of 4 days.
1. Make a sitemap of your site. A sitemap is a file with an XML extension. It lists the links of your pages in your website. To create a sitemap, go to http://www.xml-sitemaps.com. Yes it’s free! Download the sitemap to your PC then upload it to your site’s root directory.
2. Submit the sitemap to Google and have it verified. Go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/ and log in using your Google account. If you don’t have an account, get one, it’s free. Type the full URL in the “Add Site” box and click OK. Click the “Add Sitemap” link. Select “Add General Web Sitemap” in the dropdown box. Add the full URL of your site in the box provided. Click “Add Web Sitemap” button and there you are, you have added a sitemap.
In the same Google page http://www.google.com/webmasters/ . Have your site verified.
3. Add your website URL to your Google personalized homepage. Go to http://www.google.com/ig and add the URL of your website. You should notice the following images appear on your screen:
4. Submit your website to the big web 2.0 content sites. digg.com, reddit.com, craigslist.com, netscape.com are some of the major players in the user defined content sites we call web 2.0. If you have a blog, www.pingoat.com is great place to start. Well, technorati.com is already included in pingoat’s submission. The traffic of these sites is astonishing and Google spiders crawl these sites continuously.
There you are, only 4 easy steps and you’re into Google’s index. Remember though that this technique will only tell the search engine that your website exists. Getting to page 1 or 2 of the search results is a different thing. We would need another blog post at http://www.grandstart.com/ to accomodate the techniques I use to get to page 1 of some of my sites in the search results.
Oh, by the way, after 3 days go back to Google and check, there are reports of sites being indexed in just 3 days by following the techniques I mentioned.