Getting Your Web Site Listed in the Google Index

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Reader Question: I have submitted my site to the major search engines including Google and DMOZ (Open Directory Project). I’m not getting much traffic to my site and believe this is largely because the site can’t be found on Google. We’ve used the proper meta tags, meta-description and header bar, even the home page body is keyword rich. I’ve been busy getting links to the site from other relevant sites.

The strange thing is that if you search on the exact URL, Google has no information, yet if you type “italian villas uk” with the quotation marks, the site is listed. Is the site in the Google database or not? Any light you can shed on the situation would be appreciated.

Answer: I received this reader question months ago. Due to the volume of reader questions, I can’t always answer questions right away. So I thank the reader for his patience.

Link development and Google

The most important search engine marketing strategy that you can do for Google is to get high-quality links to your site. The quickest, most legitimate way to do this is to use the directories.

Some of my search engine marketing colleagues disagree with me on this topic, but I think paying Yahoo $299 per year just for a link is worth its weight in gold. Likewise, if your Web site is a business, then paying $99 per year for a link from Business.com is also worth its weight in gold. And if you find these two links do not give you a return on investment? Just do not renew the annual fee.

But I want everyone to see the big picture. Look at a directory category. Look at the keywords in and around the anchor text. The Google spider looks at keywords in and around anchor text. If Googlebot detects that the number and quality of links to your site contain your most important keywords, those links will help your site.

(For readers new to SEO Corner, anchor text is just another way of saying a hypertext link. A more technical definition is words placed inside of an anchor tag. )

Directory listings serve a dual purpose. First, people do search directories for products and services. I have to read and analyze site statistics on a regular basis, and there are some industries where the Yahoo directory has displayed consistently in the top 5 referring URLs for years.

Second, the keywords used in a directory carries weight in Google. Therefore, hiring a professional search engine expert to write tailored descriptions for each major directory, and each major category (assuming your site has enough content for multiple categories) is extremely important. Reason? Except for LookSmart, it is very difficult to get a directory listing modified.

Our reader was on the right track. Getting links to his site had the desired impact. The question was sent to me a few months ago, and I easily found his site in Google.

Meta tags and Google

I keep a list of search engine “myths” that I wish would just go away. And meta-tag myths are at the top of my list. Meta-tag content is RARELY used to determine relevancy in Google.

Sometimes, meta-tag content is displayed in the search results. However, just because information is displayed in search results does not mean that the information is used to determine relevancy.

Is your site listed?

I am glad the reader brought up this question because it highlighted an important concept. A site cannot rank at all in Google unless it is actually in the Google index.

Many people confuse being “in” a search engine with being “ranked” in a search engine. A Web page can be “in” a search engine without ranking well. A Web page cannot “rank” in a search engine unless it is “in” the search engine index.

Even though this concept might seem obvious to many readers, it is not so obvious to others.

For example, in the URL Submit and Trusted Feed programs offered at other search engines, the guarantee that is offered is that a Web page will be “in” the search engine indices. They do not guarantee that a page will rank. I work with reputable Trusted Feed companies, and many subscribers do not grasp this concept.

My quick-and-dirty way of detecting if a site is “in” the Google index is to perform an inurl search. All you have to do is type in the following, substituting your domain name for companyname.com:


If you notice that your site appears in some searches but not others, Google does have multiple servers. The entire index might be updated in one server and not the other. I would not be concerned if this ever happens to your site. In time, your site will be added.

Though I have to admit, no one likes to be told to wait, do they?

Take care,
Shari Thurow
Webmaster/Marketing Director

Shari Thurow is Marketing Director at Grantastic Designs, Inc., a full-service search engine marketing, web and graphic design firm. This article is excerpted from her book, Search Engine Visibility (http://www.searchenginesbook.com) published in January 2003 by New Riders Publishing Co. Shari can be reached at shari@grantasticdesigns.com.

Shari Thurow Answers SEO Questions: Click Here For Free Answers

Getting Your Web Site Listed in the Google Index
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  • http://travel-guide2india.blogspot.com Dr. Sandeep @ Famous places in India

    I have heard from many resources that sitemaps help your site to be indexed faster in the google.I have submitted the sitemap of my blog (using my feed as my sitemap) and my bllog was indexed in 3 days.

    I have also heard that verifying your site through google webmaster  tool and placing tracing code of analytics help your site in indexing faster. Is it true?

  • http://web-designer-s.com/a/web-design/ web site design articles

    Maybe page of DMOZ  where link to your web site is placed is not indexed in Google.

    Maybe you should try to get links from some other web sites, forums, blogs or other resources.


  • http://www.seethrureviews.com/Rocket-Spanish-Download-Reviews.html Rocket Spanish Reviews

    I find that if you are having a hard time getting your site indexed you should

    a) submit a xml sitemap to google webmasters tool
    b) write one ezine article than links to the page you are trying to get indexed
    c) submit your site to Digg, google crawls Digg fairly frequently and your site will get indexed

  • http://www.biofirlife.com/ Guest

    thanks for the information

  • http://vancouver-limousine-service.com JR kavanagh

    I have heard that not submitting your website to any search engines actually will increase your web ranking in the long run, (besides dmoz)

  • http://uddhaar.com/ Guest

    good information, really informative,

  • http://mksdgo.homelinux.com/dat/dgboot.php marcos

    hello some pages listed in google

  • http://wwwreliablehosting.com Reliable Hosting

    It might seem obvious and most of you probably know this, but I’ve been using Google Webmaster Tools’ YouTube site recently:

    While Google certainly – and with good reason – won’t share its tricks, the advice there is pretty straight-forward.

    As with any info regarding this topic:
    Be very careful who you trust – you could hurt your website without even knowing.


  • http://inspirerealestate.com Mitchell

    I get the fact that searching in google with or without “s are totally different, but doesn’t it make sense that if you are at least indexed, you should rank at least somewhere?

    Thank you so much for talking about this, there is SO LITTLE information about this online!

  • http://www.zco.com/ zco corporation

    Good question.Definitely somebody who is able to type something on a textbox and has no questions about it… Google has been working hard on energy efficiency and making its business environmentally sustainable.

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