Submitting Pages to the Search Engines for Optimization

By Peter Kent

Part of SEO For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You’ve probably seen “submission” services advertised for SEO, perhaps in the form of spam in your inbox, offering to submit your website to hundreds of search engines, over and over. In most cases these submission services are a total waste of time and money. Here’s how to get your website into the search engines.

  • You must have links pointing to your website. If other sites don’t care enough about yours to link to it, why should the search engines care enough to index it? The more links the better.

  • Use a sitemap tool (such as that built into your site-creation tool or an external service such as XML-Sitemaps.com) to create an XML sitemap, and put it in the root of your website. The XML sitemap is, in effect, an index of all the pages in your site.

  • In your robots.txt file, add a line pointing to your XML sitemap, like this:

    Sitemap: http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml

  • Create Google and Bing “Webmaster” accounts; you’ll use these to submit information about your site. Not only is this the preferred method for letting them know about your site, they’ll give you lots of interesting information about how they view your site:

  • “Verify” or “Authenticate” your site with Google and Bing Webmaster consoles; you’ll do that by placing a small text file in the root of your website, or a special meta-tag in your home page. Once you’ve done that, you can access the reports about your site that both Google and Bing provide.

  • Don’t forget to spend some time looking at all the information the Webmaster accounts provide you. For instance, Google shows you your “sitelinks”; the small links that sometimes appear under your listing, when it appears at the top of the search results. Google even allows you to block some of the sitelinks, if you don’t like them, and may send you important messages about your website, particularly if you’re doing something the search engine doesn’t like.

  • You may also want to submit to local directories, or directories related to your particular industry. Search Google or Bing for directories, or go to Yahoo! directory and look for web directories in each category.