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When Should I Expect to See My Website on Google?

Website Listings on Search EnginesWhenever people build new websites, they hope to find themselves on Google, Yahoo!®, and Bing™ as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, having a site on the Internet does not guarantee search engine placement, even though the engines are very good at finding new sites and indexing them.

As a new site owner, it’s easy to get impatient while you’re waiting for Google to discover the website you’ve spent your good money on. It’s also understandable to be concerned when search engine discovery seems to take so much longer than other activities on the Internet.

One of the most commonly asked questions posed by our clients is about when their website is going to show up on a search engine. The search engines themselves don’t provide an answer, and the major ones use a secret set of rules to decide whether, how, and when a site is going to be indexed. Based on current search engine speeds, on the low end it can take as little as three days to get found, while on the high end it can sometimes take as long as a month.

So let’s take a look at some of the ways you can encourage the search engines to find and index your website quickly:

  • Submit your website to the search engines. Google, Yahoo!, and Bing all have pages where you can enter your website address. They will then add your submission to a list that tells a program—known as a search engine spider—to go and look at your site. It’s important to note that a search engine won’t visit your site right away, and even after it does visit, there may still be a delay before you see your site listed.
  • Set up a webmaster tools account. With a Google Webmaster Tools account, you can share information about your website, which includes submitting a special site map with your page addresses. Although Google usually reads the site map within a day, this does not guarantee page indexing.
  • Get links to your website. Back when search engines took even more time to find sites, we advised our clients to get other websites to link to theirs. Search engines consider links from other sites as endorsements, and for some reason a “followed” link gets pages found faster than a search engine submission.
  • Make sure there’s nothing on your website that’s keeping the search engines out. Sometimes there are settings in your source code or the robots.txt file that tell search engine spiders not to read any of the pages on your website. Ask your webmaster to review those settings.

Even though search engines could theoretically index your page within a few seconds of your search engine submission, they have reasons to hold back for a few days. Most of these reasons stem from ways that unscrupulous companies have abused search engines in the past. For instance, some people have put up thousands of nearly identical websites and then made money off the advertising. Alternatively, other people have purchased blocks of domain names, put sites on them, and then “returned” them within a couple of days for a full refund.

Because of such behavior, search engines might hold back and make sure that any given website has a certain amount of credibility before it gets indexed. Even when a search engine finally does find your site and list it, it may take time before you get seen for top keywords that customers are using when they’re looking to buy what you have to offer.

So what can you do while you’re waiting for search engines to find you?

  • For new site owners, we usually recommend that you buy some paid traffic. Google, Yahoo!, and Bing can usually show an ad for your site within a few hours after signing up, which can help you generate traffic for your site right away. Even if you have a modest budget, it’s possible to buy traffic for many different keywords that people type in when they’re looking for your products or services, and you can even restrict ads to connect with people who live within a few miles of your shop.
  • If you don’t have the budget to cover paid advertising, it’s important to remain patient while you’re waiting for search engines to display your site in their listings. People who submit their sites too often, or too aggressively (such as several times a day with automated tools), may find that their site doesn’t show up at all—or even gets blacklisted.

Once you find your site on a search engine, it’s always helpful to make improvements until you achieve the rankings you want. Web.com offers a variety of services and tools for rankings enhancement, which can go a long way toward turning your new site into a profit center.


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    1. This is really good information for me. Thanks for the guidelines.

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    2. Great info. I am in the process of finalizing my website and all this info is really good.

      Thanks

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    3. I was informed by a friend that a few of the meta words for my site are misspelled. How can I get this repaired?

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      • Bill, you can make the modifications using the Site Builder tool by going to our support site and logging in with your subdomain name and secret word. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll select your site’s domain name, go to “Site Organizer” on the bottom right of the screen, and then select “Page Properties.” This is the area where you’ll be able to view and modify your site’s meta information. If you encounter any problems, please contact us at 1-800-932-4678, and we’d be happy to assist. Have a great weekend!

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    4. Yup,

      Great tip about the webmaster tools . . . if you create an account for your site in webmaster tools, Google must index your site!

      Don’t forget to submit your site to the 100s of other search engines. They may not provide the volume of traffic, though they still send you traffic—every little bit helps!

      Cheers
      Matt

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    5. Thanks, this makes sense and really gave me some ideas!!

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    6. I have had my website with Web.com for a while, and found this article to be very informative. I’m going to tap into the subject of links. I didn’t know that would help search engines to find one’s website. Thank you for this!

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    7. How about when you pay a company and after 6 weeks you’re still only found under one keyword. Should you continue their services or look elsewhere? How long should it take to get placed by a good SEO company?

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      • Doug:

        A lot of different factors go into keyword placement, including how many other people in your line of business have websites. Additionally, Google and other search engines “start the clock” based on when they find your website. In the world of SEO, artificially low rankings for a new website are referred to as the “sandbox effect,” so your site may be cached by Google, but the keywords may be further down in rankings compared to a site with more age. If websites in your industry have abused search engine ranking factors in the past, your site (by virtue of the keywords found on it) may experience more ranking obstacles than a field (usually one where there isn’t much money to be made) where SEO abuse is not as common.

        Even a site with more age and a few extra backlinks can take a while to get competitive rankings. Some of the higher-end clients managed by Web.com Search Agency generally will start to see better results around 3 months into the project and peak with more competitive results around the 6-month time period. There are over 200 separate search engine ranking factors, several of which are trade secrets, but we have seen consistently that links, content, meta titles, and easy-to-spider sites are critical for good rankings.

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    8. These were exactly the answers we were looking for. . . .

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    9. Just getting links or submitting your website on search engines might not yield an effective outcome. You need to use keywords in the meta title and meta description section of your website because search engines cannot give a website good ranking just on the number of links it has. Please add something about on-page because of late it is playing a major role in getting better exposure on search engines.

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    10. Will said on July 9, 2010

      I could’ve used this info a long time ago when setting up my site! But this is one of the clearest explanations I’ve seen—good job!

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    11. Yes, it is very informative for me. Thanks for your nice guidelines.

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    12. I agree with Deb Dulal Dey. You might have to use keywords in the meta title and meta description of the website along with getting links and submitting your website on search engines. However, setting up the webmasters tool account is an excellent suggestion—at least your site gets indexed.

      Ranking higher on search engines requires regular updating of the site, which is an ongoing process.

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    13. When Should I Expect to See My Website on Google?
      I think that’s a great question for the new website owner. It’s exciting! to think that your new website is going to be indexed on the most powerful and most popular search engine in the universe. Don’t worry. Follow the basic directions you’ll find on Google’s submission page after you have learned or consulted with an SEO company about how to submit and get indexed. Give it a couple of weeks and bingo! you’re on Google. Do a search on Google with the keyword phrase “getting indexed on Google.” Read a little bit. Learn a little bit. Apply what you’ve learned to your index page. Then submit!
      John Robbins

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    14. Great information! Many people think that by putting up a website, they’ll see results overnight! Unfortunately, that is not the case. It takes some effort and time to get a website ranked where you want it to be. For our clients, we spend a lot of time on SEO and SEM techniques to get their websites in top positioning. But we must remember . . . this is an ongoing process.

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    15. Well – I think that I first won my website back in the year 2000 and have been building it ever since – I know that every single day there are new things to learn about the entire Internet – the website world and what attracts and interests different people and as I learn I certainly hope to get closer and closer to getting things “right” but living in New York City – right outside of Manhattan I have of course become used to a world where everything – and I mean EVERYTHING is constantly changing including but not limited to my idea(s) as what to do about and how to market and get people to go to view my website with the many different things that I have been placing on it. The whole experience is so wonderful – to be able to create and grow my own world – together with Web.com *(formerly Website Pros). Thank you for all of your wonderful help – suggestions and patience in getting my dreams to come true!!!

      Walter :-)

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    16. Google indexing is still confusing for me. I have set up the Webmaster Tools and submitted a sitemap.

      As the site has grown, more links are in the sitemap, but for some reason Google only indexes about a 1/4 of the links in the sitemap. Why is that?

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      • Thanks for your question, Edward.

        Google has a variety of reasons for only indexing a portion of the sitemap. On some sites, pages may be substantially similar to each other, or to other pages on the Internet, so Google will list the ones that it thinks are sufficiently relevant. On other sites, it will still consider the overall link popularity of the site pages, so you can get the pages better indexed by using breadcrumb navigation or adding them to an HTML-style sitemap.

        One advantage with XML sitemaps is that they tell search engines about pages they might not otherwise find, so even if Google only chooses to index a portion of them, this may still be more than it would have listed otherwise.

        Another item that has impacted listings is the Google Mayday Update, which has de-emphasized pages that are believed to have less quality.

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    17. I have used Google AdWords and had very good results for my clients. After I signed up, my clients’ ads instantly came up. When you use AdWords, you have to be careful choosing the right headline along with copy. On top of this, I recommend that my clients do some online advertisements to promote their business. I created some banners for my clients, and they are getting calls. I also did some research on the best spot for placing those banners. But also, your site needs to have the right look for your targeted audience.

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    18. Great advice. I agree completely with what you are saying. All the best.

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