Submitting your website to search engines improves your chance to be indexed more accurately and fast. That is why manual submission is still the best practice even though search engines will probably find your site on their own.
We’ll guide you on how to submit your website to major search engines to set a solid start for your SEO efforts.
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Why do You Need to Submit Your Website to Search Engines?
Search engines like Google and Bing identify new websites by crawling the internet. It’s a process where they follow a link to a new page from a known page. However, you can still submit your website manually for search engines to discover and here’s why you should do that:
- Search engines can’t figure out everything via crawling. If you register a website on your own, you can give valuable information that search engines won’t find in other places. For example, you can precisely describe the importance of each page on your site.
- It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Google and Bing might find your page automatically but you don’t know when and how. Therefore it’s better to submit your website manually to ensure it’s indexed properly. The process is easy and fast, anyway.
- Google and Bing offer insights on how to improve your website. The search engines will inform what you can do to improve your site based on their requirements. Also, you will be alerted if there is an error on your webpage.
How to Submit Your Website to Google?
1. Find Your Sitemap.xml File
Before submitting your website to search engines, you have to locate the website’s sitemap.xml because it lists every page on your site.
It’s commonly located in the base directory of your webpage. If it isn’t, try to open your robots.txt file by typing in https://www.yoursite.com/robots.txt. It will tell you where your sitemap.xml file is, as in our example:
Or you can visit Sitemaps-XML to generate it for you by entering your website’s URL. Then, download the sitemap file and upload it to the root directory of your site.
2. Using Google Search Console
In case you haven’t added your website to your property in the Google Search Console, this is how you do that:
1. Sign in with your Google account and go to the Google Search Console.
2. On the left corner, click Add property.
3. A popup window will show up and allow you to choose the URL prefix.
4. Type in your domain name and hit Continue.
5. Download the provided HTML file and upload it to your site’s directory.
5. Once it’s uploaded, click Verify so Google knows that you’re the owner.
When you have completed the process, or you have already added your website to the property, follow these instructions:
1. Go to Google Search Console’s page and click Sitemaps.
2. Paste your sitemap.xml file URL to the column and click Submit.
Note: This is the newer version of the Google Search Console which is better for navigation and displaying the information.
That’s easy, right? Remember if you have more than one website, select your property first before clicking on Sitemaps.
How to Submit an Individual Page to Google?
With the new Google Search Console, you don’t have to actually hit the submit button to register a single page. Follow these steps to do it:
1. In Google Search Console, click URL inspection.
2. On the search column, fill it in with your specified page and press Enter.
Important: If you’re familiar with the older Google Search Console, please note that the service will be discontinued after March 28th, 2019.
Now that you submitted your website, check if it’s been indexed in the search engine. In Google, use the ‘site’ format like this example: “site:yoursite.com/your-link/”
Don’t worry if the search engine doesn’t recognize your site yet. Just wait for a couple of days and check using the same method.
How to Submit Your Website to Yahoo and Bing?
Like Google, Bing has retired its anonymous URL submission tool because the company says the service was untrustworthy.
In exchange, we have its Webmaster Tools that gives more control to owners to submit their websites to Bing.
1. Go to the Bing Webmaster Tools and click Add Your Site.
2. Complete all the columns and then click Save.
3. Bing will ask you to download its BingSiteAuth.xml file and upload it to your website to verify your ownership.
4. Done. You might have to wait a day or two before Bing starts crawling your website.
Fortunately, you don’t have to submit your website to Yahoo because Bing Index already powers it.
To check if Bing has identified your website, you can use the same ‘site’ method as in Google search.
Submitting a website to search engines is an essential start for SEO and it will also help your webpage improve over time. The steps are quite easy, so it makes sense to register your website right after you make it. We know you can do this!