How to Find Out if Your Site is Listed on Search Engines (Part 1)
Online marketing can be tiring! That’s where UpCity comes in. As a trusted advocate for small businesses, we’re here to navigate you through the piles of confusing and suspicious offers. UpCity will lead you in the right direction by providing easy insights and simple solutions for your business marketing plan. Each member receives an in-depth, personalized action plan to help optimize their site, and our team is here to help you along the way. That’s why we’ve decided to launch this exciting new weekly blog series!
Each week, we’re featuring an in-depth look at one of the recommended tasks built into the UpCity software for our clients. These strategies individually contribute to your online presence and increase your chances of bringing free traffic to your site. Subscribe to the UpCity Daily Tips Newsletter for daily recommendations on how to bring customers to your site.
As soon as your website is live on the Internet, you will want to make sure it’s listed in the indexes of the main search engines. Adding your website on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, is easy to do and essential to get your site crawled and ranked.
Through the indexing process, the search engines find out exactly what your website is all about – the products, services, and content that your business offers to users. Although it’s not guaranteed that a site will automatically be placed in the search results, it is much less likely to be findable without this important first step in your SEO process. The strategy sounds very basic, but a large percentage of businesses ignore this crucial step or don’t even know it exists, and then lose out on free traffic.
The behind-the-scenes indexing processes for Bing and Google are quite complex and take into consideration a number of factors – more on that later on. Yahoo! and Bing share the same search results and are both powered by Microsoft’s Bing powerful search engine. For your website to be ranked in a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing, your website first needs to be understandable and found in their massive database of websites. There are two simple methods to get the site indexed: Wait for the site to be found or manually submit the site.
To check if your website is currently indexed in Google, perform a quick search for the site by entering one of the following URL algorithms in your search bar: “site:enteryoursite.com” or “site:www.enteryoursite.com.” Make sure you do not add a space between “site:” and the “domain.” View the example below for water.com that displayed 122 results. If you are seeing a list of results, this means that the website is in fact indexed. Another tactic to view a site’s index status is to utilize your free Google Webmaster Tools software.
Why Wasn’t Your Site Indexed?
Although the big three search engines (with Bing and Yahoo! now combined) crawl billions of pages to populate their search databases, it’s inevitable that some sites will not be found. One or more of the following reasons may be affecting a website if it is not currently indexed:
- There are not many other websites that link to the website.
- The site is new and launched or updated after the engine’s last round of crawling the Internet.
- The design is difficult for the search engine to effectively crawl and database the content. (more on this subject later).
- No links are pointing to the site itself.
- The site was unavailable or an error occurred when the engine attempted to crawl it.
- More on Common Indexation Issues.
Ready, Set, Get Indexed!
If the search engine isn’t able to find your business, we recommend taking action right away. No matter how great your website content is, unfortunately no one will be able to view the quality content if it’s not crawlable by the engines! If the website is not currently indexed, there are a few free and tangible resolutions to help get indexed quicker by Bing and Google:
- Click to manually submit your site to Google and complete the simple submission form. It’s a two step process of entering your URL and then verifying you’re a real person by entering a short phrase that you’re given. You’re not guaranteed that the website will be added right away or even at all, but at least it gives you a chance to make sure Google’s crawler will review the submission.
- With the merge of Yahoo! to Bing, they formed Bing WebMaster Tools. Click to manually submit your site to Bing and complete the easy submission form. Similar to Google, Bing’s submission process consists of two fast steps.
- Wait for the website to be crawled again because thousands of crawls occur each time. Worse case scenario, we’ve heard it taking several months.
- Don’t give up. You should continue to monitor the status closely, and hopefully the site will be recognized and indexed in the near future.
- Your UpCity curriculum provides a number of relevant site optimization tasks to help you solve this important issue if it still persists (critical tasks include adding meta tags, site speed, keywords, page content etc). We will also provide further instructions regarding how to address your search engine indexing in future blog posts.
UpCity members, follow this pathway to complete this task in your UpCity account: Optimize Your Presence > Establish Your Presence > Website 101: The Basics
Looking for more SEO assistance for your business? Find great SEO partners in our Top Local Agency Marketplace!