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Submit to Search Engines
Once you have successfully built your website, it is time to submit to search engines. Submitting your website to search engines is critical to your online visibility. If you do not submit to search engines, your website might go undetected for a very long time.
Submitting your website to search engines is notifying them that you exist so that their search spiders can frequently “crawl” your site for content. This is how your webpages get individually ranked on searches conducted by your Internet surfers.
Submit to Search Engines through SitemapAn xml sitemap is what allows you to submit your website to search engines to notify them of all your webpages. This is an electronic file that outlines your website’s webpages in a format that search engines can read easily.
The xml sitemap protocol was coded to be quite flexible as it can be used on websites of any size. Moreover, it allows website owners to communicate with search engines by indicating when each webpage was last updated and how important it is in relation to other webpages within the site. This helps search engine spiders to “crawl” your website more efficiently.
You will have to create an .xml sitemap file for your website to submit to search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. You should update your site map file whenever you have added content to your website. As your website grows overtime with more webpages, you will have to keep the search engines informed to expedite the process of being found and indexed.
Creating, updating and submitting your sitemap is mostly a manual process. There are services however that offer automated updates and submission. You can search for these on Google. I personally don’t think it is necessary to pay for a service you can perform on your own with very little time.
XML Sitemaps is an excellent free resource that you can use to create and submit your sitemap in 4 simple steps.
Search Engines Like SitemapsAn xml Sitemap doesn’t affect your search rankings. Those are mainly dependent on search optimization through good website content and your Internet marketing efforts.
However, search engines know that xml Sitemap submission is a manual process and therefore not an effort by a computer robot to spread spam. Search engines like original, quality content that has a lot of human effort involved behind it.
The sooner you can inform the engines about your webpages, the better chance you have of getting indexed. Although there are no guarantees to support this claim, it is a very good practice to do so especially when you have added or deleted webpages from your website.
If you are just starting out, I recommend building at least 20-25 pages before initially submitting your sitemap file. You can then submit to search engines occasionally as you add and modify more content.
Google SitemapRead more about what Google has to say about xml Sitemaps. Then submit your website xml sitemap to Google here.
Before you do that, you will need a Google account so sign up for one first. So sign up for a free Gmail account first. Return to the link above to follow the simple step by step instructions to submit your sitemap file.
Yahoo SitemapSubmit your website xml sitemap to Yahoo here and enter your URL in the "Submit Site Feed" field.
Follow the simple step by step instructions. Yahoo has instructions on how to ping your file and quickly test your submission. Make sure you follow through the entire submission process.
MSNSubmit your website xml sitemap to MSN here.
Then ping your website by entering (copy and paste it) the following URL on your browser: http://webmaster.live.com/ping.aspx?siteMap=http://yourdomain.com/sitemapname.xml
Have SBI take your site and submit to search enginesIf you want to streamline the sitemap generation and submission process, consider using SBI has your web host. SBI has an automatic xml file creator function that automatically submits your webpages to search engines.
You only need to go through the process once and SBI ensures that it regularly submits your xml file to engines so that your site’s newer content is indexed over time. I believe SBI submits every month so that search engines do not get annoyed from over submitting.
I found this feature extremely convenient and helpful. I have never submitted my sitemap manually since I first submitted it through SBI way back when. I remember being able to submit it to all major search engines in less than 5 minutes!! There was no learning curve involved at all!
Read more about SBI here.
Handling Search Engine Submission ErrorsYou may encounter error messages after submitting your sitemap to search engines. Do not panic! Search engines are not perfect either. If you get an error message, simple redo the process. If you cannot make it work, wait a day and do it the next day. It will work eventually. It has to!
Google, Yahoo and MSN are the three big search engines. Submitting to these should be sufficient. Other smaller search engines will pick up your site over time. Many times, other search engines index your website based on existing indexes from the Big Three.
Providing you have optimized your website for search as best as you could, engines should be able to quickly index you because of your good website content and effective keyword usage.
So don’t forget to submit to search engines initially and then periodically as you update your website. This discussion mainly focuses around xml sitemaps that are meant for search engines. Consider creating an HTML sitemap for your human visitors. Coincidentally, HTML sitemaps are also highly regarded by search engines.
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