For every new website owner, the question will be the same: "How do I get my website to appear on Google?"
It's a fair question -- sometimes it seems like Google's search-engine-results-pages (SERPs) are updated by magic. In most cases they are, but only after the website's URL has been submitted for a process that is called "Indexing"
Indexing is the process of crawling, storing and ranking your website in search engine results. After you have submitted your URL for index, Google will continually look at (or crawl) your website and update their index to keep their search results fresh, accurate and up-to-date.
The process of indexing a new website with Google has been made extremely simple, thanks to Google Search Console. I've created a short video that takes you through the exact steps you need to follow to get up and running with Search Console.
What Is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (or GSC) is a free service created by Google that provides webmasters with the tools they need to properly manage their search presence. Using GSC, you are given the ability to monitor, manage and analyze your website's performance on Google.
If you have a website, you NEED to start using Google Search Console. Simply open an account, verify your site and submit your sitemap for crawling.
How To Verify Your Website
After you've created your GSC account, you will need to verify your site ownership. Google provides several methods of verifying your website, including;
- Adding an HTML tag to the <head> of your site,
- Using Google Analytics,
- Using Google Tag Manager,
- Uploading an HTML file
If you are already using a service like Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager, site ownership is verified immediately. If you use one of the alternate methods, it may take a bit more work. After you've verified your site, you'll be taken to the Search Console Dashboard.
How To Submit Your URL For Crawling
To submit your website for crawling, click on "Crawl" > "Sitemaps". In the top-right corner, click on "Add/Test Sitemap". Simply enter your sitemap's URL and submit the sitemap for crawling.
Next, you are going to click on "Crawl" > "Fetch As Google". Your domain name will be listed along with an empty box. Click on "Fetch And Render". The URL will appear simply as "/". Now, click on "Request Indexing".
A modal will pop up. Click on the capture and select "Crawl this URL and its direct links". This means that the crawler will crawl that page and every URL (link) that follows. This process is called "page-to-page crawling".
And voila! You have finished submitting your website!
Google Search Console is an incredibly powerful tool for webmasters, SEOs and digital marketers. If you are interested in SEO and organic search rankings, GSC is a must-have.