Google Webmaster Tools: How to Add a URL
Google provides the necessary webmaster tools to get the job done.
Webmaster Tools Makes Managing Your Websites Easy as 1-2-3
The American culture is definitely an impatient society. All you have to do is look at the proliferation of fast-food restaurants, self-serve checkout lanes, microwave meals, and movies on-demand to understand that the ideal, "patience is a virtue," is fast becoming antiquated. If we can't wait more than one-minute for a hamburger, how then are we to wait days or longer for Google to find our newly minted or updated website?
Google Webmaster Tools is a bit like the fast, self-serve checkout lane in the local grocery store -- you might get your site crawled and indexed quicker, with the added bonus of feeling like you're a little bit in control.
Additionally, Webmaster Tools, a must for any website owner interested in gathering key information from the top search engine, is a one-stop shop for managing anywhere from one to multiple websites. Sure, it contains tools for the webmasters with more technical know-how, but it also provides easy-enough-to-understand data and tools that even the novice webmaster will find helpful.
This article will focus on how to submit your website to Google and how to submit newly updated pages (URLs) so that Google is aware of the changes sooner.
But first ... Is Webmaster Tools necessary for Google to find my site and updated pages?
In a word, no. Google bots already do a good job of crawling the web and adding new or newly updated content to their index if they think it is relevant. But by submitting a site or the URL of an updated page via Webmaster Tools, your site and/or page should get crawled to faster. Oftentimes, speed can have a direct impact on the bottom line.
Say for example, your company website sells widget A. Widget A receives no special prominence on your e-commerce website as it is one of thousands of items you sell. To your surprise, widget A is featured on Oprah's Favorite Things holiday special. At lightening speed you put widget A in the spotlight on your home page and you even update your website's description to include a mention of widget A.
The only problem: Google has your old pages indexed. In order to get Google to hopefully react more quickly and index your new pages and text focusing on widget A you can submit the URLs of your updated pages using Google Webmaster Tools. In theory, this could impact your bottom line.
Submitted updated article to Google with Webmaster Tools.
Example of Webmaster Tools Making a Difference:
Recently I published the article: Lego Friends, The New, Girl-Themed Lego Set! on HubPages. The topic of the article is mainly about Lego's new Lego set marketed to young girls, with mention of a possible controversy over the toy in the final paragraph.
Since HubPages has a lot of clout with Google and my subdomain http://ktrapp.hubpages.com ranks fairly well with Google, my article managed to get indexed by the Google bots in less than 24 hours and on the first page of results.
I happened to notice through stats on HubPages, as well as Google Analytics, that my page was getting hits based on search terms about the brewing Lego for girls controversy, the bit I mentioned at the end of my article.
Based on the search queries, and the most likely temporary "hotness" of this story, I reacted quickly and updated my article's opening paragraph and summary (meta description) so as to capitalize on this unexpected traffic a little more.
In order for Google to recognize my updates more quickly, I submitted the URL of my updated page via Webmaster Tools. Now, I don't know how quickly Google would have re-crawled my revised page otherwise, but I do know that after submitting it through Webmaster Tools, my updated paragraph and description were indexed within hours. The article moved up a spot in Google's results and perhaps I got more traffic.
Webmaster Tools Dashboard
How to add a site or URL using Webmaster Tools
With an understanding of why submitting an URL via Webmaster Tools can make a difference, the next step is to learn where and how to accomplish this task.
Note: Wisely, Google places limits on the number of URLs that can be submitted. The purpose is not to submit pages with minor changes or typographical errors. The purpose is to submit new websites, new pages, or pages with significant changes that could affect how your page comes up in search engine results.
Be sure to watch the video below after reading steps 1-11.
Step 1: Go to www.google.com/webmasters/tools
Step 2: If you do not have a Google account, create one. If you have a Google account, sign in.
Step 3: Add your site to manage using the big red "add a site" button. If you have more than one website, add them each separately. If you are the owner of a HubPages account you would add your subdomain like: ktrapp.hubpages.com
Step 4: Google needs you to verify that you are the site owner. There are several methods to choose from. For HubPage owners that don't have access to the web server, use this method:
- click on the "alternate method" tab
- select "Use your Google Analytics account"
- click verify
- follow the directions
Step 5: Now that you have verified that you are the site owner, your site will appear in the list and you can click on the site's URL.
Step 6: Click on "Diagnostics" in the dashboard
Step 7: Click on "Fetch as Googlebot"
Step 8: Enter your URL and click "Fetch"
- If you want to update the home page just leave the text box blank and click "fetch."
- If you want to update a significantly changed single page, then enter the remaining URL. For example, for my Lego article that I wanted Google to find quickly, I entered: hub/lego-friends-for-girls. (Google already knows about the http://ktrapp.hubpages.com/ portion of the URL.) Then click "fetch."
Step 9: Wait a moment for the fetch status to say "success" and then click "submit site to index."
Step 10: You have two choices: submit only a single URL to the index or the URL and all the pages it links to. The latter should only be done for site-wide significant updates. For HubPage writers, selecting "URL" is appropriate.
Step 11: Wait. You've done your best to bump your site up to the front of the line. Now all you can do is wait for Google to index your site in the first place, or index your updated page(s).
An Easy to Follow Video on Submitting URLs to Google
Additional SEO Help for HubPages
Keep in mind, submitting your site to Google and having it indexed sooner than later, is meaningless if the website or article will be buried in millions of search results. For organic search traffic, it is imperative to get listed on the first page of Google results. Understanding and implementing solid search engine optimization techniques is practically the only way to accomplish this goal. Be sure to read the articles below to get a better understanding of SEO and HubPages.
- 10 SEO Tips for Backlinks
Increase your website traffic by following these off-page search engine optimization - seo tips for backlinks.
- Video SEO: Jump to the Top of Google Results!
Video SEO should be part of every search marketing strategy. Video search results often rank high, making it easier to get to the top of Google.
Other SEO Hubs by KTrapp
- Google SEO: Simple as Black and White
Learn Google SEO best practices and avoid losing website traffic to Google updates like Panda or Penguin.
- Google SEO: Content Above the Fold
Page layout, including internet ads and content above-the-fold matters when it comes to Google SEO. Learn how to avoid being penalized by Google's page layout algorithm.
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