One of the most frequent questions received by WebSpawner Customer Service is:
Getting your website listed in search engines is probably the single most important step you can take to promote your website and increase the chances of receiving substantial visitor traffic. Building a website without getting it listed in search engines is kind of like having an unlisted phone number; it makes it extremely difficult for others to find you unless you directly provide them with the URL address for your website.
Getting listed in search engines is a process and does not occur immediately. For your website to appear in search engines the following things need to occur:
- The search engines must first be alerted to the existence of your website. This typically occurs by submitting a request for inclusion of your website to each search engine. It may occur automatically over time if your site is found by a search engine spider after it crawled a link on another website to your site… but submitting it directly speeds up the entire process.
- After each search engine receives the request for inclusion, it goes through a process of determining the relevancy of your website, which includes sending out a “spider” (an automated program that acts like a viewer) to visit your website and “crawl” its contents, which are analyzed using the search engine’s relevancy algorithms. Each search engine uses different algorithms to establish a relevancy score, and the algorithms do change over time, with relevancy scores varying as a result.
- Once the search engine has determined the relevancy of your website it will then make a determination of whether or not to list your website in its search index. As each search engine is an independent business entity there is no way to force a search engine to include any particular listing; each engine retains the ultimate authority over the decision to list a website in its index (or to not list it).
- On an ongoing basis, the search engine spider will review your site to make any necessary adjustments to how it rates the relevancy of your site against other similar sites already in its index. If the relevancy of your site drops too far your site may be removed from their index.
The process of getting into the search engines can take from a few days to several weeks (sometimes even a couple of months) depending on the search engine, how many submissions they have waiting before yours, and the rate at which they process those submissions.
You can visit each search engine and follow its instructions to submit your website yourself if you wish. Or, WebSpawner does offer a service in which we will handle the rapid submission of your requests for inclusion to more than 100 search engines and directories for a one-time fee. For more information and pricing along with a secure online order form, click the orange Promote Your Site tab in the Members Menu of your account, then click the Search Engine Registration link.
It is important before submitting your website to search engines to increase the overall content available on your website. Without a considerable amount of content there will be little for the search engine spiders to evaluate. The more prepared your website is for the spiders’ visits, the more likely it is that your website will be listed in the search engines’ indexes. Search engine spiders can read the text on your website, so the more unique and relevant information you can provide in text format, the better.
For more information on content and how it relates to search engine relevancy scores, see Improving your website’s positioning in search engine results.