When many people start their blogs, they have the misconception that they only need to build the website, add some content, and then the search engines will do the rest of the work.
The reality is that when a site is absolutely new, the search engines won’t even know about its presence.
Even though today the search engines have become way smarter than in the past when you had to submit the site URL to every search engine for your site to be indexed, nowadays, a website can be even indexed without you having to take this step.
The search engines use now some automated bots to find the new URLs. These bots are usually known as web spiders or web crawlers.
The search engines crawlers access every day millions of websites across the world. When they find new pages, they communicate these URLs to the search engines so the search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo can include these pages in their search results when someone searches for a particular keyword.
- Do I still need to submit my website to the search engines?
- Which search engines should i submit my site to?
- Add your site to Google Search Console
- Add your site to Bing Webmaster Tools
- Add your site to Yandex Webmaster
Do I still need to submit my website to the search engines?
The crawlers usually find new URLs when other websites link to your content.
If your site is new, no sites will link to your pages. Therefore, it will take more time for the search engines to find and index your site and its content if you don’t help them a bit.
When I create a new website, here’s what I always do to let the search engines know that my site exists in a corner of the World Wide Web.
The old way of submitting your site to the search engines was to access the website submission page of every search engine, fill up your site’s address in a text form and click a submit button.
Today, there’s no more need to do that. Instead, I just add my websites to the webmaster service of every search engine.
All the major search engines have developed a specialized service to enable a better communication between the search engines and the site owners.
These apps enable the site owners to see detailed statistics on how their websites perform in the search results.
You can see how many clicks your site has received from the search engines and for what terms, how many times your website has appeared in the searches, the click-through-rate, the number of backlinks, the issues encountered by the crawlers when have accessed your site, and a few other stats.
Based on this info, you can then optimize your site better for particular search terms, can change the titles of the pages to receive more clicks from SERP, etc.
Besides these useful stats, you also have a number of other options. Amongst these features, an essential one is the ability to submit an XML sitemap.
An XML sitemap is a file that contains a list of all your site’s URLs that you want to be indexed.
Instead of letting the search engines find your site’s pages from your backlinks, the XML sitemap gives the search engines a complete list with the URLs of your site.
This way, the search engines will easily discover all the pages of your site, will know when you add new content, and your site’s pages will be indexed much faster.
If your website is powered by WordPress, there are many plugins that you can use for generating an XML sitemap for your site.
I use the Yoast SEO plugin to improve my blog’s SEO. This plugin also includes a feature for generating an XML sitemap and regenerates this file automatically whenever I publish new content to my site.
Which search engines should i submit my site to?
There are many big and small search engines, but I only care about these three:
– Click here to access Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools).
Some people only add their website to Google Search Console, but I also add mine to Bing and Yandex as well, because it’s free and it doesn’t take more than two minutes.
Add your site to Google Search Console
If you don’t care about Bing and Yandex, that’s fine, but it’s mandatory to add your website to Google Search Console if you want to have a higher chance to receive traffic from Google’s search results and to have your site’s content indexed faster.
Here’s exactly how to do that:
First, go to Google Search Console.
Then, click on “Add a Property.”
In the form that shows up, enter the URL of your site including http:// or https:// and click the “Add” button.
Next, you will be asked to confirm the ownership of your site using one of the available confirmation methods.
I usually validate my sites by uploading an HTML file.
After you download the file, you’ll have to use an FTP client (see the “Installing and FTP client” section of my guide on how to Install WordPress) and upload this file to the root directory of your site.
If you prefer another confirmation method, just click on “Alternate Methods” tab.
You can quickly confirm your site’s ownership if you use the Yoast SEO plugin and choose to add a meta tag to your site. The plugin gives you an option for adding a confirmation meta tag for Google, Bing, and Yandex.
Select the “HTML Tag” from the list of alternative methods and copy the HTML verification meta tag provided by Google Search Console.
Paste that code into Yoast SEO’s Google Search Console confirmation option.
After you have placed the HTML verification file to your site’s root folder or added the HTML confirmation meta tag, click the “Verify” button.
If you’ve done everything correctly, you should then see a confirmation message saying that your site has been successfully validated.
Submit an XML Sitemap to Google
After you have added your website to Google Search Console, it’s time to submit the URL of your XML sitemap.
At this point, I will assume that your site already has an XML sitemap.
To add your sitemap to Google Search Console, go to “Crawl–>Sitemaps” menu.
Next, click the “ADD/TEST SITEMAP” button from the top-right of the page.
Enter the path (not the full URL) to your site’s XML sitemap file.
My sitemap is located at https://antreno.com/sitemap_index.xml, so I would just enter sitemap_index.xml in the text field.
Click the Submit button to submit your sitemap.
You should see the following message.
Once you click on refresh, your sitemap should appear with a pending status.
That’s all. Google will soon send its crawlers to your site and the pages will be added to the search index.
Add your site to Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing is the second search engine concerning traffic. Even though it can’t send you the amount of traffic that Google can deliver for a single search term, you still shouldn’t ignore it.
Many people just focus on Google, and they totally forget about Bing.
Bing Webmaster Tools is the alternative of Google Search Console for Bing search engine. Bing’s Webmaster Tools is very similar to what Google offers with Search Console.
This service is used by both Bing and Yahoo search. The search statistics displayed in your Bing Webmaster Tools account are gathered from these two search engines as well.
To submit your website to Bing, access Bing Webmaster Tools.
Sign in if you already have a Microsoft account, or create a new account if you don’t have one.
The process for adding and verifying your website with Bing Webmaster Tools is extremely similar to adding a site to Google Search Console.
Once you have an account and you are logged in, type the URL of your site in the text box that shows on the top-left side of the page.
You will be then asked to verify the ownership of your website using one of the available confirmation methods.
Just like when you submit your site to Google Search Console, you can confirm that you are the owner of the added site by uploading a verification file to the root directory of your website, or you can place an HTML meta tag to the HEAD area of your site.
Upload an XML file for verification
If you don’t know how to upload a file to your web host read the instructions posted in the previous section.
Place an HTML meta tag inside the HTML page HEAD area
See the instructions from “Add your site to Google Search Console” section for more information on how to add the meta tag to your site’s HTML head area.
I usually just upload the HTML file, but you can choose whichever method it’s more comfortable for you.
After you have uploaded the verification file or added the meta tag, just click the “Verify” button.
If everything is OK, your site should be confirmed and added to your Bing Webmaster Tools account.
Submit an XML Sitemap to Bing
Just as Google, Bing also allows you to submit an XML sitemap to facilitate your site’s indexation. If you haven’t entered your sitemap’s URL when you’ve added the site, then you can always do that at a later time.
To submit a new sitemap in Bing Webmaster Tools, go to “Configure My Site–>Sitemaps.”
Enter the full URL to your sitemap in the text box from the top of the page and click the “Submit” button.
After submission, your sitemap will have a “Pending” status until Bing crawls your pages.
Add your site to Yandex Webmaster
Yandex is a small Russian search engine, and even though I don’t make many hopes that I’m going to receive a lot of traffic from it, it still doesn’t hurt to add my site to its Webmaster service.
The primary reason for adding my website to Yandex Webmaster is the fact that DuckDuckGo also uses this service for its search results.
DuckDuckGo is more popular than Yandex but it’s still a small search engine compared to the industry’s giants. However, every visitor counts, especially when your website is new.
Currently, DuckDuckGo has a global rank of 338 and according to Alexa and its traffic is in an ascending trend.
First, go to Yandex Webmasters.
Click on “Log in” and go to the registration page.
After you have registered and confirmed your account, log in and click the plus (+) icon from the top-right of the page.
Next, enter the URL of your site.
Just as when you add a website to Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools, Yandex also requires you to confirm that you are the owner of the submitted site.
Again, you can choose between verifying the site ownership by uploading a file to the root folder of your site, or by adding an HTML meta tag to the HEAD area of your site.
Upload a file
If you choose this validation method, switch to the “HTML tag” tab and click on the file link to download the HTML file to your computer.
Next, upload the file to the root directory of your site. For more information on how to upload a file to your web host read the instructions posted in the first section.
Place an HTML meta tag to your site’s HEAD section
If you prefer adding an HTML tag to your site’s HEAD section, then copy the meta tag code from the “Meta tag” tab and paste it to the HEAD section of your site.
If your site is built on WordPress and you use the Yoast SEO plugin, refer to the first section of this article for more info on how to add the Yandex verification meta tag to your site.
Finally, click the “Check” button for Yandex to check if your file or tag has been placed in the right place.
If everything is OK, your site should now be added to the list of sites.
Submit an XML Sitemap to Yandex
To submit an XML sitemap to Yandex, go to “Indexing–>Sitemap files” menu.
Enter the URL of your XML sitemap and click on “Add.”
After the sitemap has been added, a “processing queue” section will appear under the form and the URL of your sitemap.
Adding my site to the Webmaster tool service of these three search engines is the first step I take after I add a few posts to my site.
When my site has been added, I submit my site’s XML sitemap to let the search engines know the location of all the pages of my site and to speed up the site indexation time.
When your site is new, it will take some time for the search engines to crawl your site and gather the required information concerning backlinks, search terms, internal links, etc.
You can later use all these statistics to optimize your site better for specific keywords, to improve the number of clicks your site receives from the search engines results, see what websites link back to your site, and so on.
Besides having all these useful stats, these specialized services also enable you to submit your pages for indexation manually, disavow spammy backlinks, set your site’s preferred version, remove URLs from the index, and other helpful operations.