SEO indexing is the idea of getting a new site indexed, or included within Google as quickly as possible. However, there are companies who prey on people not in the know, and sell seo indexing as a much bigger service. In reality getting your site indexed is something you can do yourself, if you have a spare 15 minutes. Worse still, some companies are changing hundreds of pounds for seo indexing – it makes my eyes water.
SEO indexing – The (very simple) Process
To get your new site indexed you’ll need to do a couple of things:
- Create a sitemap (or big list of your webpages) at XML Sitemaps, name it sitemap.xml and upload to your web server
- View the list of ping URLs – or list of website addresses you can visit directly to notify search engines about your website – see SEO Ping URLs E.g. for Google, visit http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/ping?sitemap=http:%3A//www.YOURWEBSITE.co.uk/sitemap.xml
- If you get time, create a Google Webmaster Account and add your site there too – not essential to get your indexed, but very useful in the long run
However, you can ignore the above and get your site indexed even easier. In short, get a backlink from a site already included within Google. So if you have a friend who has a website, ask them to link back to you. In all honestly, if you site is simple and is doesn’t have a huge complicated nested structure, you probably won’t need a sitemap at all - a simple backlink will do. Or even easier, simply mention the site within twitter. I experimented the latter using a new ecommerce site with ~300 pages. The single mention of the web address in a tweet got the site fully indexed with 2 days. You can speed things up even further if you get mentioned on a very popular or authoritative site.
That’s it in a nutshell – some questionable companies are charging £500 for this! For an easy life, I’m not going to mention the company name here.
I’ll go through some of the items included on the list of “seo indexing services” that are typically offered:
- Yahoo.co.uk submission (1-2 minutes)
- Submit to Google.co.uk (1-2 minutes)
- Create robots.txt – you don’t need a robots.txt file to get your site indexed in Google or any other search engine
- Create sitemap (couple of minutes at most using XML Sitemaps
- Submission to bing (1-2 minutes, Bing is MIcrosoft’s own search engine)
- Upload sitemap to the latter 3 sites (bit of overlap here, but still, no more than 5 or 6 minutes for all 3)
- Verify sitemap in the latter 3 sites. This is a common phrase a lot of the sites I looked at made. I’m not sure if this means checking the correctness of the actual generated sitemap (which you won’t need to do if using that online generator) or checking a few days later if your site is included within say, Google (go to Google and search for site:www.YOURSITE.co.uk to check) – 5 minutes work at most.
Repeat Submissions – “The Ultimate Con”
There are companies out there who charge hundreds of pounds for this service AND charge for the service on a yearly basis. Yes – there is a further charge again the following year. You simply do not need this. If you site is relatively small you don’t need this at all – maybe get the odd backlink from twitter or facebook to keep Google interested. Or even easier, go to the official Google Add URL site – that allows you submit your site within in seconds. Additionally, after a year it’s a very plausable assumption to make that you will have naturally built up a few backlinks and Google will automatically revisiting your site.
An Example – web-design-talk.co.uk
To illustrate how easy it is to get new content included, yourself, I’ll use this very blog as example. Whenever I publish a new entry on this site I do the following:
- Ping my XML Sitemap with Google (see above how to do this)
- Post a link to the post from Twitter
- Submit the post to digg
- Mention the post on my status updates profile on the web designer forum
This all takes roughly 5 minutes and gets my site included in Google within a couple of hours – sometimes faster.
Whenever you see an SEO or Web Company offering something as shady as “SEO Indexing” take a big step back and question it. As them why is it needed regularly, why does it cost so much and why a site will backlinks will not suffice – basically, ask questions about specifically thr steps they will be taking. It’s one of those grey areas of SEO that companies are only to happy to aggresively market. Worse still, it is aimed highly at people not in the know and therefore marketed to them. E.g. when the sales person asks if you would like your site to be included in Google the customer will instinctively say yes. It’s highly questionable in my opinion and should be questioned. If you’re ever unsure, ask on a forum.