A common question that is often asked after a new website launch is how long until I start seeing myself in Google? Understand that the actual indexing of your site is solely up to Google’s discretion. Most Google crawls of a new website tend to happen anywhere from 4 days to 4 weeks, according to many experts in the industry.
One way to see what pages of your site are already indexed by Google is to initiate a Google search and type in site:yourdomain.com — replacing your domain.com with your website URL of course. This will pull up a list of pages on your website that Google has already indexed into their catalog.
Getting a New Site Indexed
What exactly is site indexing? What indexing means is having Google and other search engines showing your site in their catalog. There is no set time for search engines to index your site initially and the time can vary widely. There are, after all, literally millions of web pages online, and hundreds of thousands, if not more, added daily, that they have to cull through. So, being patient and waiting your turn is not an unrealistic request. But, there are some things you can do to help move it along.
Knowing how Google and other search engines find new website content is important in planning a good strategy for faster indexing. As they crawl the web, they are looking for links inside pages to be added to a list of other pages to be crawled. This is why a good internal linking structure is important in your website.
Get some back links pointing to your new site.
Back links mean external links that are coming from other websites and are pointing back to your site. Most new sites, of course, aren’t going to have that yet. You can help things along by aggressively promoting your site on other outside websites.
- If you are a member of an association or trade organization, ask if they will put a link on their site to your site.
- Answer questions on forums and be sure to include a link back to your site. However, be careful with this, as you don’t want to appear “spammy.” Make sure that what you are posting is useful information or you are helping someone out and not just a blatant advertisement for your company.
- Announce your new website on other websites you may already own.
- Ask others in your industry to promote your new website and make sure there is an actual link pointing people from those sites to your site.
There is so much more involved in a good back-linking strategy, but that should get you started.
Promote your new site on social media.
Make sure you update all of your company’s, your personal, and your employees, who list where they work, social media profiles with the new site URL. Doing this will get you some quick back links. Don’t forget all of your profiles including Twitter profiles, Facebook pages, Instagram profiles, Google+ profiles or pages, LinkedIn profiles, Pinterest profiles, and YouTube channels.
Make sure your pages are crawlable.
Search engines need to be able to reach your pages to crawl and index them. During indexing, the search bots process the words and where those words are on the page. Information such as title tags and ALT attributes are also analyzed during indexing. This is why it’s important that your web developer uses best practices in putting the proper structural SEO in place when they build your site. Once the search bots have crawled the pages, if they are determined to be of quality content, they will be indexed.
Many web developers will disable the search indexing of a site while they are building it. Sometimes they forget to turn this feature back on. Make sure that they have enabled that indexing again once the site goes live, to be sure that search engines can reach it.
Make sure you have an XML sitemap in place.
A site map is an XML listing all of the pages of your site that tells search engines when you have added new pages or content. And, I’m not talking about a sitemap page that is readable by humans that many websites have on their sites.
I am referring to an XML document that is specifically meant to work with search engines to alert them of any changes to your website. It also tells them how often to check back for changes on specific pages. As an example, you might want a search engine to come back and check your homepage daily for new products, news items, and other new content.
Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console.
Either you or your website developer should have an account setup for your site in Google Search Console. Search Console allows you to monitor the aspects of your indexing including when your site last was crawled, any indexing errors, and any security issues you should be away of that could be hurting the visibility of your site online.
All of my website builds include sitemap creation and submission to Google’s Search Console to help my clients get their new websites indexed a bit faster. I have been able to get most of my clients’ sites indexed within 24-48 hours of creating a Search Console account and submitting a sitemap for indexing.
Again, there are never any guarantees as to how fast your site will get indexed, but every bit of help you give the search bots along the way is good.
Install Google Analytics for your site.
Along with Google Search Console, either your website developer or you need to be sure that you have Google Analytics installed on your site. Analytics measures the stats about your site visitors, the time they spend on your site, what pages they have looked at, where they are from, and a lot of other useful information. Although it is not as integral to the indexing process as Google Search Console is, it is a must have for all websites. Even if you aren’t using that data currently, there may be a time when you will find you need it in the future and it’s so nice to have it in place already, collecting and aggregating your information for you.
Create offsite content.
Not only will creating offsite content help your indexing, but it will also help your SEO. Link build by writing guest blog posts for others in your industry and include a link back to your site from their site in your article. You want these sites that you are posting on to be quality sites however, and preferably sites within your niche market, so that you don’t look “spammy” to the search engines.
Share your site URL on all of your promotional materials.
Don’t forget the offline methods of driving traffic to your site, so Google can see that it is active. Promoting your site in all of your email signatures, brochures, business cards, marketing materials, advertising, etc., is an excellent way to pull in traffic to the site.
SEO vs. Site Indexing
But, I think what some people mean by “seeing themselves” in Google is by seeing themselves on page one of Google for a particular search term. What they are speaking mainly about here is their SEO, not necessarily indexing.
Concerning where you fall in SERPs (search engine ranking placement), understand the SEO is a long-term game. There is no short cut to becoming number one, or even being on page one.
In a video that Google themselves released about how to hire an SEO, they even said “in most cases, SEO’s need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.”
Anyone who puts a site up and expects to be number one, especially in a very competitive market, is fooling themselves. Certainly, if you are in a niche market, with low competition, the chances are much better.
In a study done by Ahrefs, a data-driven marketing company, the average top 10 ranking page is over two years old. Those in position 1 are, on average, at least three years old. They go on to state that only 5.7% of all newly published pages will get to Google top 10 stats within a year.
SEO is a long and complicated subject that requires a lot of man-hours and time to do correctly. It also takes time to see results from that work. So, I am going to leave that for other articles.
In most cases, SEO’s need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.