How the Pros do it: Getting your blog indexed in Google

Yes, there is a way the pros do it. Thats what keeps them on top. These are smashing tips because they have got my blogs indexed in less than 2 hours multiple times in the past. The difference – I am not a pro.

Before I proceed, I assume your blog has at least a couple posts for the Search Engines to devour. If not, go ahead and fire up your creativity and pen down an article or two.

Lets proceed.

Google Webmaster Account: Google Webmaster Central is every Blogmaster’s traffic arsenal, if utilized properly. This in reality is your first step to getting indexed in Google as well as going forward, a good ranking in the same. In layman’s term, Google Webmaster Account is a simple set of tools created by Google to help Webmasters and bloggers optimize their sites for better Search engine crawling experience.

Here is what you have to do. Go to:

http://www.google.com/webmasters/

Create an account there or use your existing Gmail account. It will work perfectly. Once you are logged in, this is how the overview looks like:

 

You can see the list of sites I have added already. It is pretty simple. You can see the header called Dashboard. Right below it is the box where you type the URL of your blog or site and click “Add Site”. Here is a bigger picture.

 

Google will add your site to their crawl database and provide you certain information in the next page. Here is the info I got:

 

It is telling me that the blog I submitted was crawled last on December 12th. It is also telling me that some of the pages from my blog have already been indexed. Of course, if your blog is new, it will be different.

Next, you have to verify to Google that your blog belongs to, of course you. In the overview image above, you can see a rectangular box with a message –

Verify your site. By verifying your site you can access comprehensive statistics and crawl errors about the pages in your site”

Click on the link Verify your site. You will be given 2 options for verification. You can either add a meta tag to your blog’s index page or upload an html file with a name provided by Google. Once done, a Google bot will crawl your blog and look for the file you uploaded or the meta tag you added. Upon confirmation, you will received a verified status in your account.

Next, you have to add a Sitemap of your blog to your Webmaster account. WordPress has a popular Sitemap Plugin called Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator. You can get it here. Upload the Plugin to your WordPress Plugin folder, go to admin panel -> Plugins and activate the Plugin. It will create the Sitemap automatically. By default, your Sitemap URL will be –

http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml

So, once you have setup the Sitemap Plugin, add the above URL to your Google Webmaster account. On the left of your account, you can find a link called Sitemap. Click on it. In the next page, click “Add a Sitemap”. You have a choice of 4 types of Sitemaps to submit. Choose General Web Sitemap from the drop down. The page will expand offering you the option to add your Sitemap. Add your Sitemap URL and click “Add General Web Sitemap”. You are done. Google will show a pending notice and will activate it after it has verified, a process that completes in about an hour after submission.

We have won half the battle so far. Another half and we have conquered our space in the Search Engine Land. Yay! Yay!

Essential SEO for your blog and posts: This is the next step. You need to optimize your blog with very good title and description so that when the Search Engines that you released from your Webmaster account come, they can recognize the potential in your blog and hopefully offer it to the visitors. Your blog will get indexed even otherwise, but will not come up in Search queries because you haven’t briefed your SE guests what your blog is all about.

You can’t afford to do that can you? Nope, you cannot.

You have 2 options here. You can download your index file and add a meta description and title and a few keywords and then repeat the process for all the subsequent posts and pages you create, or, if you are smart like me, you use a WordPress Plugin called All in One SEO. I have written a separate post about it, which you can find here as well as the link to the Plugin.

Pinging Social Bookmarking Site: Since the advent of Social Marketing, Social bookmarking sites like Technorati, Ice Rocket and many others have become extremely popular in syndicating blog contents in their database with a public display option. These are Social Bookmarks. Unlike your private browser bookmarks, these are available for public viewing, which means, these are accessible to the Search Engines who crawl these Social sites several times in a day, which simply means you are creating another outlet for Search Engines to access your content.

How to set this up? I have explained in another article that you can read here. Read it, and set it up the right way.

Social Marketing: Some believe this medium has just gained popularity and some others believe we are closing another bubble burst. Whatever be the opinion, this medium can be very helpful in not only getting your content out to the world, but also in building backlinks and getting your blog contents indexed.

Social Marketing sites are highly visited by everyday people to read news and all sorts of odd information and so they have a very high placement in Search Engines. Google Bot and other Search engine robots roam freely in these sites all the time, indexing whatever content they come across, unless they smell spam. So, your best bet is to submit your posts to several of these sites so one of them can deliver them to Search Engine robots. Again, I have written a How to article here. Read it. Implement it.

 

Miscellaneous: Create a robots.txt file in the root directory where your blog is installed. Robots.txt is an important file that Search bots crawl when they visit your blog or site. This is a text file in which you can type in certain commands that the bots will follow. In case, you do not want the bots to index a certain post, you can inform them through robots.txt. In addition to that, the Sitemap Plugin uses Robots.txt file to inform the bots about the Sitemap. So, create this file and do not forget to give it write permission, so the Sitemap Plugin can input info.

 

Once you have done the above, wait for the Search Engines to come to your blog and hopefully pick your content and index them. From hereon, it is a game of patience.

 

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