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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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#801 2009-12-07 08:03:18 Reginald Randolph


I'm really enjoying this course. Thank you soooo much for the work you put together here.

Problem: I use Firefox; when I type in '' (my site name, without single quote, I get the following message: "Firefox doesn't know how to open this address, because the protocol (site) isn't associated with any program".

When I use IE, the response is "webpage cannot be displayed".

Please advise


#302 2009-04-06 08:37:46 Dan Richmond

<b>@Andrew Collins</b>

Hey Andrew,

I'm glad you're enjoying the book. To get your website recrawled by Yahoo! and MSN bots you may want to submit a sitemap to these search engines. Check out <a href="">this chapter of SEO in Practice</a> for details and feel free to ask if anything is unclear.

#277 2009-04-03 15:02:09 Investigator Jobs

Im fairly new to this. Im going through the course trying to figure things out. Its all very interesting to me. I love it.

One Thing I know for sure on getting indexed fast is...
I have a few sites that I have put on the net during my learning experience... and all of them have indexed on Google by the next day (except for 1) - But Nothing showing up on MSN or Yahoo.

I have never submitted a site through an SE. What I did was I just placed an advertisement with a link on a few free classified sites (and I did this the wrong way, I should have added "proper anchor text" - I just added the url) and my pages were indexed in Google.

Now... I hope to learn how to get them indexed by Yahoo and MSN and MOST IMPORTANTLY I HOPE TO LEARN HOW TO get the new changes I have made to my pages (from what I have learned on this training) to show up on Google because the changes I have made so far are not showing up??? - its still my old description and title????


#269 2009-04-03 10:22:41 Dan Richmond

<b>@Donna Goodman</b>

Firstly, I do agree with you about using webmaster tools.

And secondly, thanks for providing a brilliant example of how to get a high-PR link to help get your website indexed sooner. I urge all readers to pay attention to this technique!

A very useful comment indeed.

#255 2009-04-02 14:27:04 Donna Goodman

Hi Dan,

I would like to comment on Dan's point about submitting to the SE's.

I have registered all four of my sites with the Google Web master tools, Yahoo, and MSN. When you do this they give you a special code to put either in your meta tags or on the home page to your site. They then verify that you are in fact the true owner of your site. The benefits of this are substantial in my mind. First of all they know your site is legitimate and has a real person as an owner. Second they give you the ability to submit a new site map anytime you want, and they usually crawl your site within the hour if you do. I think that is huge. So I like the idea of submitting your site to as many search engines as is possible.

Next I would like to comment on another tactic I learned about getting a new site indexed fairly quickly, as submitting a new site to the SE's doesn't guarantee that it will be indexed.

It is very easy to find some very popular blogs and forums that are PR6, 7, 8 and one 9 that will allow you to post on their forum or blog with a link to your site in your sig. The higher the PR the more often they get indexed and some of them get indexed every five or six minutes. If you have a link in a new post on one of them then the link is followed and usually indexed within 24 hours. I have done this several times on new pages that I have added with fairly regular success.

So I am interested in your thoughts on this one, this is a great SEO guide and I am enjoying it very much. Thanks.


#61 2008-08-09 19:24:51 Gerben Bouwhuis


"The less google knows about your spamming activities, the better you rank" :-).

google spents a lot of time calculating the linkpopularity and linkpoints to domains, but especially to specific url's and seems to be increasing the power of the anchor test.

I've managed to get a number 1 ranking in only 4 hours by implementing 1 backlink with the specific anchor text needed...

As a lot of people always mention, google isn't rocket science, it's all about being natural.

#53 2008-08-08 03:28:17 Dan Richmond

<i>From my experience: The less Google knows about you the better the Serps!</i>

You don't mean it in the context of simply making sure that your pages are properly indexed, do you? It won't harm you if all your important pages are indexed by googles.

But if we talk about giving Google too much info due to using Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools and Google AdWords, then sure it may have a converse effect. But that's a totally different story and I'll dwell upon this in some advanced section much later.

BTW, what's the experience you're taking about? Could you share this? (You can post here or use the contact form at the page's top to send me a message) TIA

#47 2008-08-08 02:56:02 Dan Richmond

Hi everyone,

<i>For example, get a link on a PR 4 or higher site and your site will be indexed automatically within days.</i>
I'm talking about a fat inbound link on the next page - check it if you wish:) And here's why I pay so much attention to submitting a site to search engines: firstly, for a newly-born site it's pretty hard to get a PR4 link (at least for free), and secondly, submit to 3 search engines only takes a couple of minutes and is free.

<i>Good places to get inbound links for the purposes of crawling? Yahoo's paid directory is pretty good - </i>

Thanks Jeremy, this will all get discussed in due time. Look at the greyed out table contents for chapter 5. Link-building tips're coming soon:) And you surely can contribute if you wish. If you'd like to discuss some things, you can post it here or send me messages via the contact form.

#43 2008-08-08 02:32:38 Jeremy Chatfield

IME, I've never had to submit a site to anything other than tier 3 SE's. A new site can be quite easily linked to places that will result in a crawl from all the major SE's within a week, if not a day. That should be a lot better fro the site and its ranking than submission. After all, it will already have some inbound links.

Good places to get inbound links for the purposes of crawling? Yahoo's paid directory is pretty good - but most affiliate type sites are unlikely to make it. Relevant, on-topic postings to discussion forums, with a signature that includes the URL for material disclosure, attribution purposes. Google Groups gets crawled quite often...

#41 2008-08-07 19:06:04 Stefano AGBAGLA

I think having good back link (pr4) will help in fact.
But the most important in my opinion is to start slowly with a related site.

#3259 2012-06-23 16:16:15 Martin Spasskellner

thats where I agree, it is not easy to find a PR 4, google doesnt bother if PR 4 or less, indeed it takes a bit longer to be indexed, but there are also googles webmastertools for indexing nowadays.

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