Here's how to submit your website to Google in 2021

If you want search engine users to be able to find your website, it needs to be indexed.

But how do you submit your website to Google in 2021? And do you even have to?

In this guide, you will learn how to:

How to Submit Your Website to Google

There are two ways to submit your website to Google. You can either submit an updated sitemap in the Google Search Console or the sitemap Url via the Google ping service. Both options are completely free and only take a second.

Find your sitemap

Your sitemap is required for both submission methods Url. How you find or create this depends on your website platform.

If you are using WordPress, install a free one SEO Plugin like Yoast, Rank Math or The SEO Frame. All three create sitemaps for you. It will be here: yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml

If you're using Wix, Squarespace, or ShopifyYou can find your sitemap here: yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml.

If you are using another platform or CMSIt probably creates a sitemap for you. The most likely locations for this are:

yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml

yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml

yourwebsite.com/sitemap1.xml

If it doesn't, check that the location is listed at yourwebsite.com/robots.txt.

If you don't use a platform or CMSyou have to manually create a sitemap. However, it's worth checking the URLs above first as you may already have one.

Submit your sitemap

You have two options here.

Option 1. Submit your sitemap in the Google Search Console

  1. Sign in to the Google Search Console
  2. Go to the right property
  3. Click on "Sitemaps" in the left menu
  4. Insert your sitemap Url
  5. Click on "Submit".

This is arguably the best method as Google Search Console will alert you of sitemap errors in the future. It also provides insights into the health of your website, including reasons why certain pages might not be indexed.

Option 2. Submit your sitemap by pinging Google

Google operates a "ping" service that allows you to request a new crawl of your sitemap. Just type this into your browser and replace the end part with your sitemap Url::

http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=

For example, if your sitemap is at yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml, navigate to:

http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=https://yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml

You should then see the "Sitemap Notification Received" page.

Google says you should only use this service with new or updated sitemaps. Do not send or ping unchanged sitemaps multiple times.

How to Submit URLs to Google

In general, there is no need to submit every new page to Google. As long as the new URLs are in a sitemap that you've already submitted to Google, they will eventually be discovered. However, there are two ways you can potentially speed up this process.

Option 1. Ping Google

Make sure the new pages are in your sitemap, then use the instructions in the previous section to ping Google and ask them to check your sitemap again. This is not strictly necessary if you are using WordPress with Yoast, Rank Math, or The SEO Framework, as these plugins all automatically ping to Google.

Option 2. Use google Url Inspection tool

It is possible to add urls to google even if they are not in your sitemap (although it should be) Url Inspection tool in the Google Search Console.

  1. Sign in to the Google Search Console
  2. Go to the right property
  3. Click "Url Inspection ”in the left menu
  4. Paste into the Url Your new page
  5. Press the Enter key
  6. Click Request Indexing.

If you only have a new page or two, it can't hurt. Some people believe it will speed up indexing. If you want to send a lot of new pages to Google, don't use this process. It's inefficient and you'll be there all day. Use the first option instead.

Do I have to submit my website to Google?

Kind of a thing.

Typically, Google may find and index valuable pages even if you don't submit them. However, there are still benefits to submitting your website to Google.

Before we talk about these benefits, let's discuss how Google finds and indexes content.

How Google finds and indexes your content

Google finds and indexes content in four main steps.

Side note.

These are a bit simplified as Google is a complex animal.

Step 1. Explore

At Discovery, Google learns that your website is there. Google finds most websites and pages from sitemaps or backlinks from well-known sites.

Step 2. Crawl

When crawling, a computer program (spider) called Googlebot visits and downloads your pages.

Step 3. Process

During processing, important information is extracted from the crawled pages and prepared for indexing.

Step 4. Index

Indexing is the process of adding processed information from crawled pages to a large database called a search index. This is essentially a digital library of trillions of web pages that Google pulls search results from.

Recommended literature: How do search engines work and why should you care?

Why Google Sending Matters

Each of the four steps above is done in the order shown. It's a journey. Submitting your website to Google may help you speed up the first part of the process: the discovery.

As with any trip, the sooner you get there, the faster you can get to your destination. In this case: indexing.

However, there are a few other reasons why submitting a sitemap is important.

1. It tells Google which pages are important

Sitemaps don't always include every page on your website. They only list important pages and exclude unimportant or duplicate pages. This helps combat problems such as indexing the wrong version of a page due to duplicate content issues.

2. It informs Google about new pages

Lots CMSAdd new pages to your sitemap and automatically ping Google. This saves time as each new page has to be sent manually.

3. It informs Google about orphaned pages

Orphan pages are pages with no internal links from other pages on your website. Google can only crawl these pages if they have backlinks from known pages on other websites. Sending a sitemap partially solves this problem because orphaned pages are usually contained in sitemaps – at least those of a CMS.

How long does it take for Google to index content?

According to Google, crawling can take a few days to a few weeks. (Keep in mind that crawling is almost always a requirement for indexing.)

In my experience, unless you have a large website, it rarely takes more than a week or two.

But don't worry if it takes a little longer. it's perfectly normal

Why isn't Google indexing my website?

Google doesn't always index all of the URLs you submit. While there are many reasons this can happen, here are some of the most common:

1. You have blocked crawling

Robots.txt is a text file that tells Google which URLs can and cannot be crawled.

For example, this robots.txt file prevents Google from crawling all pages on the website:

User agent: Googlebot
Do not allow: /

Google sometimes indexes URLs even when they cannot be crawled. However, this is quite rare. Preventing the crawl also prevents Google from getting a lot of information about the page in question. Hence, Google is unlikely to rank even if it is indexed.

This is another reason to sign up and submit your website through the Google Search Console. It actually shows you whether pages are being excluded from indexing due to crawl blocks in the cover Report.

How to get there:

  1. Sign in to the Google Search Console
  2. Choose the right property
  3. Click on "Cover" in the left menu

From here, just toggle the Excluded tab and look for these three problems:

2. You haven't indexed important pages

If your page contains a Meta-Robots-Tag or an X-Robots-Header with the content attribute "noindex", Google will not index it.

If Google has already crawled your website, you can search for pages that were excluded due to not being indexed on the website cover Report. Just toggle the Errors and Excluded tabs and look for these two problems:

  • Submitted Url marked with "noindex"
  • Excluded by the "noindex" tag

If Google hasn't crawled your website yet, or if you just want to keep an eye out for unwanted "noindex tags" in the future, log into Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT) and do a free website crawl with Site Audit. This will check your website for more than 100 times SEO Problems including unindexed pages.

3. You have pages of little value

Google is unlikely to index pages that aren't of much value to searchers. In a 2018 tweet, Google's John Mueller suggested that your website and content should be "awesome and inspiring" in order for them to be indexed.

We never index all known URLs, that's pretty normal. I would focus on making the website great and inspiring then things usually go better.

– 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) January 3, 2018

Once you've ruled out technical issues that would prevent indexing, you should ask yourself whether this page is really valuable. If the answer is no, it is likely not being indexed.

If you think the page has little value and you are concerned that there are other similar pages, do a free website crawl using Site Audit in Ahrefs Webmaster Tools. This indicates two problems often associated with low-value content:

  1. Pages with a low number of words
  2. Pages that exist exactly or almost twice

You can see the number of URLs with a low number of words in the All problems Report.

Although content doesn't have to be tedious to be valuable, pages with a very low word count are often not that valuable to search engine users. It is therefore worth checking these pages manually and making them more useful if necessary.

You can see pages that are exactly or nearly duplicated Double content Report:

Here's a good example of two low-value pages that have almost duplicate:

These are blank category pages on an ecommerce site. Since neither contains products, they are not helpful for searchers. They should either be removed or improved.

Recommended literature: 10 ways to get Google to index your website

Final thoughts

Even if your website is indexed on Google, it doesn't necessarily mean you will be ranked on Google's first page for your target keywords. Indexing means that you are in the running and not winning.

That's where SEO come inside. SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to increase traffic from a search engine's organic results. In this case: Google.

If you want to know more about it SEORead our beginner's guide too SEO.

If you want to submit your website to other search enginesRead our complete guide to submitting to search engines.

Any questions? Ping me on Twitter.

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