Step 8: How to Submit a Website to Search Engines
Once you've done the on-page work to optimize your website and you are satisfied with the results, it's time to invite the search engines! In this SEO tutorial step, you'll learn how to send the search engine spiders an invitation to come crawling by submitting your site to Google and Bing.
Why Submit a Site Manually?
It's optional to submit a site manually, because search engine spiders discover most web pages automatically by following links. So even if you do not submit your site to Google, Bing and Yahoo directly, the search engines will most likely find it. It's more important to make sure the spiders can find all the pages within your site once they arrive (which is why future tutorial lessons explain creating an XML Sitemap as well as technical SEO tips to keep your site running fast). Still, there are times when manually submitting your content to a search engine can help.
Directly submitting your site to search engines is a good idea in certain cases:
- Brand new site: If you are launching a new website or subdomain, submitting it directly might get the site crawled and indexed sooner.
- Updated page: If you substantially change a page, submit the URL rather than waiting for the search engine spiders’ next scheduled visit (which could take up to six weeks, depending on the site).
- Incomplete indexing: If you have web pages that for some reason have never made it into the search engine index, you can submit the specific page URLs. (TIP: To see if a web page exists in the index, do an exact match search: copy a long text snippet from your page and search for it within quotation marks. If the results include your page, it's indexed.)
Before you submit a site, it's a good time to check on its "crawl-ability." Use the free Check Server Page tool below to detect any redirects (a 301 is OK, but other types are not recommended) and any technical issues that may prevent your site from appearing in search results.
SEO Tools – Check Server Page
How to Submit a Site to Google
Follow these instructions to submit a site to Google — either a single page or the content of your whole website — for index consideration.
- On the Google Search Console home page, click the website you want to submit. (You need to set up Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, for your website.)
- From the GWT Dashboard, choose Fetch as Google from the Crawl menu.
- Type the URL of the web page you want Google to crawl (or leave blank to crawl the home page).
- With Web selected in the drop-down, click Fetch.
- When you see the status Success, click Submit to Index.
- Choose to submit either the single URL or the URL plus all pages linked from it, and click OK.
How to Submit a Site to Bing (and Yahoo)
When you submit your site to Bing, you also submit the site to Yahoo automatically, since Bing feeds Yahoo’s web search index. Read on for how to submit a site to Bing.
If you have a Bing Webmaster Tools account set up, you can use its Submit URLs feature in the Configure My Site section to submit your site to Bing. If not, follow this procedure:
- Open the Submit Your Site to Bing form.
- Type in the URL of your website’s homepage or the specific page you want crawled.
- Enter the CAPTCHA text you see displayed, and then click Submit.
NOTE: When you submit a site to Google or Bing, there is no guarantee it will be indexed. But manual submission should bring the search engine spiders to your new content faster and give you the best chance to have your web pages indexed quickly.
Now that you know how to submit your site to Google, Bing and Yahoo, should you ever want to, we'll move on to creating XML Sitemaps — an all-important and simple way to make sure the search engines can find your pages for indexing.