You did it.
You bought a domain, set up a web host, and made your blog design all nice and shiny.
You’ve even written a few posts.
Except…why are there no visitors (beyond your friends, family and those you have told on social media)?
After all, you did follow all the customary steps. It’s been over a week. Scratch that, it’s been two weeks!
Why isn’t Google showing my blog and posts in search results?
Is something wrong?
Odds are there is nothing wrong. It just takes time, sometimes, for Google to include your blog in its search results.
And while manually submitting your URL to Google or adding your blog’s sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools can sometimes expedite the process, the reality is you don’t really have to do anything in order for Google to find you.
Google’s automated system regularly “crawls” the web looking for content to add to its index.
It may just take some time before it gets to you.
However, if you are the proactive sort of individual, you can ask Google to crawl your blog and submit it to its index.
Ask Google to crawl and index your blog
1. Sign into Google Webmaster Tools
You did create a Google Webmaster Tools account, right?
If no, you can sign up here. It’s free and easy.
2. Click the link to your website
If you have multiple websites you’ve added to Google Webmaster Tools, click the one you want Google to crawl.
Odds are you just have one website. Click it.
3. Fetch as Google
On the left-hand side of the Site Dashboard, you will see a list of options.
Click the “Crawl” option.
One of the expanded options beneath “Crawl” will be “Fetch as Google.”
Click “Fetch as Google.”
4. Leave default settings and Fetch
In the next screen, you will see your URL with a text box right beside it.
Leave this box blank. *
To the right of the text box is a drop-down menu.
Make sure “Web” is selected.
Click the “Fetch” button.
5. Confirm status, submit to index
It may take a few minutes to fetch, but once it’s complete your “Fetch Status” will be displayed.
You should see the word “Success.”
Next to “Success” is a “Submit to Index” button.
6. Choose submission method
After clicking the “Submit to Index” button, a prompt will appear.
You are given two choices: Crawling only the URL you entered, or crawling this URL and all its links.
In these steps, our goal was to crawl and index your entire website. So, choose the second option.
That’s it. You’re done!
*Asking Google to index new content
Similarly, when you have written new content you can ask Google to crawl and index it using the same steps above.
The only differences are in Steps 4 and 6.
In Step 4, instead of leaving the text box blank, you should enter the URL of your new content.
So, for example, let’s say I wanted Google to crawl and index this blog post.
Its full URL is: http://beabetterblogger.com/how-to-ask-google-to-crawl-and-index-your-blog/
So, in the text box in Step 4 I would enter: how-to-ask-google-to-crawl-and-index-your-blog/
In Step 6, since I wouldn’t be asking Google to crawl and index my entire website, I would choose the “Crawl only this URL” option.
Google allows you to submit content like this up to 500 times a month.
Don’t worry. In time, Google will discover your website.
In time, your content will grow and the number of people linking to your great content will grow, too.
And once those things begin to happen, you won’t have to wait for Google to present your new content to the world. It will be out there minutes after you click “Publish.”
In the interim, use these steps. And try not to be discouraged!
(Adapted) Flickr Creative Commons Image via Carlos Luna.