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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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#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

#864 2009-12-23 12:06:23 Jim Johnstone

Great course, finally managing to get a handle on SEO (been trying long enough). Just a question in your remarks about what the SE's see. I have approx. 250 pages on my site but google comes back with nearly 400. I see you mention that this is a red flag, but you don't seem to explain why this is so and any solutions.

#856 2009-12-21 10:36:30 Dan Richmond

Could we know your website's URL?

#849 2009-12-15 08:34:12 Jimi San

I'm happy to learn from some of you how easy it is to get indexed with Google. But as for my case, it's the opposite. I've Google Webmaster's tools, sitemap, link-building exercise but managed to be indexed by Bing and Yahoo but not Google. Just couldn't understand why Google simply ignore my website. My guess is....most probably "sandboxed". Why??? How the hell am I going to get out of this "sandbox"???

#841 2009-12-13 23:09:27 Tim Inglis

Thanks for that Ken. I'll give that a shot mate.

#837 2009-12-13 19:39:15 Ken Taylor

@Tim Inglis

Hey Tim, I think you have a "timing" issue. What I mean is that you may have recently changed or updated your website. The reason is I got a whole different story. I see three of your pages: Home page (From your main page); Contact; Home page (From your portfolio page). I could be wrong.

Actually, I came here to post this comment: If you want to know when the last time Google indexed your pages, after you do [], click on any "Cached" link. You'll get a new window with the time and date Google last indexed your page along with letting you know that the current page may have changed.

I'm sure Dan has more insight.

#832 2009-12-12 09:39:55 Tim Inglis

Hi all. I'm loving this book. Using the demo version of the software, but we'll be purchasing the full version (hopefully before Christmas) and looking forward to getting stuck into some SEO.

I'm just curious about the listings for a site in the search engine results. I did a search for my site ( in Google. The top link says, "Open Edge Web Design: Home Page" and the URL at the bottom of the link is First question, does this mean that I only have the one page indexed? Second question, why does it say "Home Page" up the top with the URL for the Portfolio page? Third question, this is the only link from the website, all the other links are from forum questions and signatures, does this mean that I have done the wrong thing somewhere?

Thanks in advance for any responses, and keep up the great work Dan.

All the best,


#826 2009-12-10 06:44:22 Reginald Randolph

Dan and Ken,

Looks like I also need a course in using a search box as opposed to the browser window (^o^).


#816 2009-12-09 08:06:31 Dan Richmond

@Reginald Randolph and Ken Taylor

Thanks, Ken! That's right - Randolph, you need to enter this command in Google, not in the browser's site address box.

#804 2009-12-07 20:49:11 Ken Taylor

@Reginald Randolph: Hi Reggie, I'm using Firefox too. It looks like you accidentally typed '' into the URL browser window. You need to type '' into the "Search" window at the top of the Firefox window.

Here, I took the liberaty of doing it for you. Your good to go.
Here's what it looks like:

In summary: any time you want to check to see if your site is indexed...type "" (with or without quotes doesn't matter) into the "search" box of your browser or in Google search.

About this lesson:
I played with Google's Webmaster Tools. Worked fine for me, got my site indexed fairly quick. It may have helped that I already had a couple of backlinks from a PR6.

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