“I just Googled my name and my site didn’t appear!”
This question came two days after this client’s site was launched. Before I responded I did some further research into how indexing is being employed these days. In particular what timelines the big players (Google, Bing and Yahoo!) follow for new sites and new content.
What I discovered is:
- Search engines work on their own timeline:
- They work by their own rules:
- They index (include in their results) what they want to:
And why not? They are masters of their own content, same as you, CNN, and us.
“Okay. That’s all well and good, but I’ve just launched a new website and I want it to be indexed. I want the new site to appear in their results. How can I speed that up?”
Hiring a competent SEO expert is well worth the money. If their advice is taken seriously results can be achieved. Choose wisely. Work with someone who has a solid record and who can provide references. Also, they should be able to provide you with benchmarking throughout the entire process enabling you to validate your decision.
Next – hire a thorough web developer. This person or company will deploy your site to current standards and have a method for taking advantage of several search engine recognition processes (sitemap submission, Google places, etc.).
One simple plan may be to target the biggest one of them all — Google. Earlier this year Google set-up a sting operation to validate their concerns that Bing was ‘borrowing’ search results. I suggest this as a shortcut. The shortcut is “if you’re in Google you’re in all the other search engines”. Secondly, the economics of a single campaign versus paying for several campaigns might save you money. I don’t suggest this as the best plan especially if you are in a time sensitive situation.
Ultimately the course of action begins with taking the advice of your developer, an expert who will give set in motion the very best strategic plan. The basis of this plan and the information provided should be derived from experience (expert/experience – get it?). This person is a full-time professional who has your goals in the forefront. A significant portion of this advice might include, but is not limited to:
- Use text. Pictures are worth a thousand words but current indexing technology cannot read those words (yet). Take the advice of the site designer. They’ll know the best combination of both.
- For the time being avoid Flash. This is sure to change as the technology becomes more ‘engine’ friendly.
- Keep your content current. (“No one reads the same newspaper more than once”, is a favourite comment of mine.) Search engines are hungry for updates.
- If you have hired an outside contractor to promote your site keep on top of them.
- Prepare your site for mobile computing. The market is huge and ready for your website to be easy to read and navigate on their mobile devices. So many new clients just waiting to be introduced to you!
That’s it for now. Thanks for joining us and reading this far.