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2.1 Do Search Engines know about you, and do they know enough?

To put it simple, let's check if Search Engines know about your site and will tell the visitors about it if someone's looking for your offer.

Normally, Search Engines will send a robot (also called bot, spider, or crawler) to look around the Web, to see what's new and what's going on in general. Moreover, the spider will look through web pages and evaluate how good and useful they are. But crawlers only come to the places they know about.

So if you launched a site and, say, Yahoo! doesn't know about it, you can wait for weeks and months and any longer. The spider will hardly visit you.

Unless you make an invitation. And soon I'll tell you how this invitation for Search Engines is done.

In 2003, I met a client in Belgium I'm still working with. Cyr is now the big boss of several flower delivery services in Belgium and Netherlands, and he just launched one in Germany. Sure, SEO is #1 in his business weapons arsenal.

But the story starts with how I found him. I went to see my cousin who studied psychology in Brussels, and Cyr turned to be his roommate. He just launched an online flowers delivery store (great idea for a student, I guess!) and was wondering why it didn't work. Well, I made a simple check. He had a nice site, well-designed and correctly written. But just knew nothing about him!

We agreed on a favorable fee for an SEO campaign, and I began from submitting his website to Search Engines — and he started getting orders in about two weeks!

So, let's see what Search Engines know about your site Go to the web page of the Search Engine that is important to you and type in the following query site:your_domain_name. For example, type

DO IT NOW! Check if Search Engines see and display your website, and if the number of pages they show is correct.

Now let's see how it's done and what results it can bring. 4 situations are possible.

  • a) No results are found.

  • b) Some pages of the site are listed by the Search Engine, but they make up even less than 50% of the pages the site really has.

  • c) What the Search Engine shows is approximately the real amount of pages the site has.

  • d) What you see is too much, over 150% of how many pages the site really has.

Now, let me be fair: a) b) or d) is a red flag.
If you got no results at all, too few or too many, this means you have a problem.

Here's the good news, though. The problem can be solved, and I'll tell you how. But first, let's see where it really lays. There can be two basic problems that cause your trouble.

Problem 1: Your site hasn't been submitted to Search Engines yet.

Note! This problem is quite uncommon, and it can only be a reason for a): getting no results for the website at all.

Try to remember: did you submit your site to Search Engines, or maybe someone did that for you? Or, did you get a link to your site from some rather respected web page?
If your answer to both questions is "no", you'll need to correct the mistake. But it's simple and I guess it won't take more than 5 minutes to do. Search Engines' robots will then crawl your website the next time they're out and about, and you'll become visible.


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#1574 2010-09-27 09:54:59 John Tarala

I checked Google to see if my site was indexed. It was not. I did some research and found it was banned by Google. I just purchased the URL a few weeks ago. It was apparently banned before I purchased it. How can I remove the ban?

Dan, the information you share is phenomenal. Thank you.

#1575 2010-09-28 05:20:12 Dan Richmond

You can try and ask Google to reconsider your site, they might do it:

Just describe the situation in your e-mail and stress the fact that you are not doing anything against Google's guidelines.

#1437 2010-08-27 18:32:09 Haskel Fleisher

Why is d) a problem- What you see is too much, over 150% of how many pages the site really has.
What does it tell us is happening if there are extra pages indexed?
I always thought google indexed more pages than I had because they indexed cache pages as well as current ones?
This is actually the situation on my site
I have a sitemap,good hosting,friendly url's.
However I don't have robot x ,I do have a couple of redirect links and no major javascript issues.
Could any of this be causing that?

#1444 2010-08-31 07:20:51 Dan Richmond

The problem is that most of these pages will be duplicates of existing pages with different URLs. In that case the duplicate content issue arises, you should specify your canonical pages:

If you run your domain through WebSite Auditor you will see the list of all of your URLs and any possible duplicate content issues.

#1308 2010-06-10 19:26:04 Thomas Wright

too bad doesn't resolve to anything =( I was hoping it was real. =P

#1302 2010-06-09 06:42:36 Mark Lazenby

Hi Dan,

Excellent material. Thank You.

Re too many pages in search engines cache.

I use Wordpress for my site building and the category tags all lead back to the relevant post so if I have 10 tags on a post then I have the identical page listed 10 times.

Also as a newbie I have made a lot of alterations to my webpages and the old pages are still shown cached in google as well as the newer alterations.

Could either of these things be a problem for me?



#1445 2010-08-31 07:41:59 Dan Richmond

As far as I know Wordpress should automatically put a "rel=canonical" on these pages ( )

There's also an SEO for Wordpress plugin that should do it if Wordpress doesn't do it automatically, you can research that.

#1295 2010-05-29 04:52:55 tradmic zunjing

good ,I love your artical very much ,I can lern more from you vebsite.

#1042 2010-03-08 14:24:54 Ken Kopelman

Great Course and great software.
The course is down-to-earth, and common sense, and the software has the best interface / usability I've seen so far -
and I'd just about given up on finding a SEO suite I could live with.
(A few minor complaints / suggestions, but maybe they will be addressed later...)

One thing I am having trouble reconciling (wrapping my brain around)-
I've been using tools like MicroNicheFinder (excellent), but it suggests using extremely easy / high OCI words.
And it rates the high KEI words in RankTracker as "too hard" to go after. (Fortunately a couple of them I am already doing OK with, so I guess I'm the competition? ;-)

Thoughts on how hard high KEI words are to go after?


#1047 2010-03-11 09:26:38 Dan Richmond


I guess you realize that OCI and KEI are pretty different. Moreover, KEI does not estimate of how hard it is to compete for a word. It's "how worthy it is to compete" both in terms of competition and potential traffic.
As for OCI, it's not really showing how hard it is to compete. It only allows estimating potential profit if you rank top.
Therefore it's pretty hard to compare both values, and it is obvious that high OCI and hight KEI words won't be the same.

#922 2010-01-05 06:03:13 Dan Richmond

@Paul Watchorn

PageRank is as important as before, but it's not displayed correctly to the public, so the PageRank value you can see in the toolbar or check with any kind of tools is not 100% trustworthy and should be used as a pretty relevant factor. For example, if you see that site A has a PR of 2 and site B has a PR of 8, B definitely has more power coming through backlinks. But if A has a PR of 1 and B has a PR of 2, I'd just consider them equal.

#893 2009-12-30 04:12:43 Paul Watchorn

I read last year that Google was doing away with pagerank, and I did notice that at one point google itself was showing 'page unranked'. It seems to have come back again, so is page rank still important?

By the way, I still don't understand this 'sand box' or what to do about it:(

#886 2009-12-28 11:34:31 Dan Richmond

@Tim Inglis

Google displays the title of your webpage. So you see "Open Edge Web Design: Home page" in Google for the portfolio page because it has the title (please check your code):
Open Edge Web Design: Home page

Right now I'm using the
command in Google and I see that it's indexed 41 pages from your website.

#884 2009-12-28 10:41:08 Dan Richmond

@Jim Johnstone

If a website's URLs are getting generated dynamically, quite often one page will be available at several different URLs, and they are indexed by Googles.
Problem: duplicate content
1. rewriting your CMS template, so that the same URLs are generated for the same page from different locations
2. restricting robots' access to the unnecessary URLs with robot.txt

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