After setting up your WordPress blog or website, what should you do next? In this post, I want to discuss step by step on how to submit a website to search engines, Google and Bing. Yahoo search is powered by Bing. Therefore, your site will be indexed in Yahoo once it is indexed in Bing.
I highly recommend you to install All In One SEO plugin. For more information about it, please read my post here. The reason for that is because you will need to generate a sitemap for your website. A sitemap will help search engines understand the structure of your site and know what links to follow and not to.
How to create a sitemap?
If you use All In One SEO plugin then first go to “All In One SEO / Feature Manager” and activate the XML Sitemap. Once it is activated, you will see XML Sitemap appeared under All In One SEO.
Next, you will need to go into XML Sitemap to adjust some features in there. Please watch the video below for instruction. (Watch from 3:40)
After you have your sitemap ready, next step is to get your website indexed in search engines.
How to submit a website to Google?
First, go to Google Webmasters, click on “Add a property” and type in your website address. Make sure that you add both mywebsite.com and www.mywebsite.com. The reason for this is because you don’t know which one your visitors will use so it is better to index both 2 addresses.
Next step is to verify ownership of your website. There are many ways to do it but below is how I verified mine. Choose “Alternate methods” tab and select HTML tag. Google will give you a code as follow. You just need to copy the part where I have my code replaced by…..Oh don’t click on it. I have warned you! 😀
Once you copy the code, go back to your back office and select “All In One SEO / General Settings”. Scroll down to where it says “Webmaster Verification” and paste the code in Google Webmaster Tools.
Then you will need to go back to Google Webmasters and click “Verify”.
After verifying your site ownership, you will see your site information begin to populate. Next is to set your preferred domain. Pick one of the two above as your preferred domain. Doing this will help Google find out which domain to follow and crawl. It will also affect the presentation of your URL in the search result. For more information on this matter, please read here.
Now, it is time to add sitemap to Google Webmasters. To folks who use All In One SEO plugin, you will see this message in your back office after your sitemap is generated:
It means that the plugin will submit your sitemap to search engines for you. If you are skeptical about this, you can always add your sitemap to Google by yourself. In Google Webmasters, go to “Crawl / Sitemap”, click on “Add/Test Sitemap” and type in the address of your sitemap. Usually, it is sitemap.xml but to make sure, please check for it again in your WordPress back office.
Another thing you want to look at is the Search Appearance. If you use All In One SEO, you don’t have to worry about this. However, there is a section called Sitelinks that you won’t find it in All In One SEO. They are the subheadings in the search result. (See image below) Sometimes, Google will display Sitelinks of your site
You cannot control when your sitelinks are displayed. Google will decide if the structure of your site allows Google’s algorithms to find good sitelinks of your site and if your sitelinks are useful to visitors or not. What you can control is what links you do not want to be displayed.
To manage this, click on the “i” next to Search Appearance. A new window will pop up and that’s where you can manage your sitelinks.
Above are some basic settings in Google Webmasters that you want to perform before you start writing content. Let’s move on to Bing.
How to submit your website to Bing?
Once you know how to do it for Google, it will be easy with Bing since you are familiar with all the steps now. In fact, submitting your website to Bing is even faster. You need to sign in to Bing WebMaster first. (Create an Hotmail account if you do not have one).
When you login, click on “Add”, and type in your website address and your sitemap directory.
Next step is to verify your website ownership. Bing also gives you a similar code to Google. Copy and paste it into Bing Webmaster Center section under “All In One SEO / General Settings”.
Don’t forget to go back to Bing WebMaster to click “Verify”.
Other than allowing you to submit a sitemap, Bing also gives you an option to submit individual URLs. A sitemap helps Bing to crawl your entire website and it may take Bing sometimes to do it. “Submit URLs” on the other hand is a short cut to Bing index. If you have an important content, it is very good to use this tool. Your post will get indexed instantly. There is a limit for this tool though. You are allowed to submit 50 links a month and 10 links a day.
Another feature in Bing is “Crawl control”. Here, you can set up the time your site is most busy (when it receives the most traffic). Bing will decide to crawl your site when it is less busy. If your site is new, this is not very important. For sites which have high traffic volume, this is very important since you don’t want Bing’s bot to jam up your traffic. Remember that you have a limited hosting bandwidth.
Bing also has a similar feature to Google’s Sitelinks. It is called “Deep Links”. It has the same concept as Sitelinks, you can only choose what links you don’t want to be displayed. A blocked link will be expired after 90 days which can be extended.
“Disavow Links” is another cool feature. This is to submit domains or pages that contain links to your site that appear to be spam or low quality.
There are many other features in Google and Bing Webmaster that you can study but above are some basic features which are important to your site’s health. They will help optimize your page and improve ranking for your content. You should check on Google and Bing Webmaster site often since they generate lots of helpful data reports for you to look at.
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