Google Webmaster Tools

If you have a website, you know that it can sometimes be hard for all your pages to get listed in the search engines. Usually your first page is listed within a month or two, and then it may take six months to a year to get the rest of the site crawled.

Every search engine has different ways of searching and categorization, so it almost takes an expert to optimize your site for all search engines. However, you can make it much easier for the big ones to get to content on your site. By the big ones, I am referring to Google (of course), Yahoo, Microsoft, and A9 (Amazon’s Search Engine).

Google Webmaster ToolkitIf you could only choose one of these to focus on, it would have to be the search engine behemouth, Google.

Believe it or not, Google wants to index your site. They want to know as much about your site as you do. By doing so, Google can become a promotion tool for your site. After all, promotion of our sites is what we want, otherwise why put all your website out in public in the first place?

With a new tool from Google, getting search engines to “see” your site has never been easier. Just go to www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/. It is easy to get setup. I think that anyone could handle it. If you have wordpress, you can have it dynamically update your sitemap using the Google Sitemap Generator Plugin for WordPress. If you have some other content management system, try to search “Google Sitemap Generator for CMS X” where “CMS X” is your content management system. There are even php and perl scripts you can run on your server if you have that kind of access.

The sitemap will basically give google a very good idea of which pages to index. It is a little like a tour of your website for search engine spiders. They may choose to explore elsewhere (unless you use a robots.txt file), but they will for sure find the pages on your sitemap.

Congratulations, you should now be well on your way to a better searched site!

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