New Customer: "I can't find my website on Google, Bing or Yahoo. I think something is wrong."
Easysite: "When did you setup your website?"
New Customer: "A couple days ago."

We have the above conversation with new customers all the time. We all know how important and valuable Google as well other search engines have become to our everyday lives. The problem is they have become so popular that some people actually confuse Google with the Internet. Let's clear this up... Google is not the Internet. Google is simply a website that is used to find other websites.

New Customer: "So when is my website going to be online?"

If you can access see your website, it's online. We know they really mean, "When will I be able to find my website using Google and other search engines?" The simple answer is that Google as well as other search engines can take weeks or even months to list a new website and decide its placement in the results pages.

New Customer: "So what can I do to get on search engines and get good placement?"

That's what the rest of this help section is all about...

Before you invite friends over for dinner, you'll probably want to do a few things. You might make sure you have some furniture and some food. You might want to prepare a meal, maybe clean your place and think of some things to talk about. The same is true for search engines. Before you invite them over to check out your site, you'll want to make sure your site is organized and that it has some content. You'll also want to make sure that search engines can easily understand your site and that your site has something to say or talk about with the search engine. If you're not prepared, don't invite the search engine over for dinner. Take the time to get your site ready.

Here are some things you can do to get your site ready:

  1. Turn off pages that you're not currently using. If you have pages that are blank the search engine is going to think, "Hey, what kind of site is this? Is this a trick? I don't think people will enjoy looking at blank pages. I'm outta here."
  2. Have good content about the subjects you'd like to be indexed for. If all your posts are about your new car or the funny things your cat does in the morning -- that's what your site will show up for on the search engines. In the same way, if you talk about your business, the specific area of business that you specialize in, the latest news in your area of business and the community that your business is located in -- that's what will show up on search engines.
  3. Keep your content fresh and up to date. Ever had a friend that tells the same old jokes and the same old stories every time you see him? Well, websites can be the same way. If the newest piece of information on your site is five years old, you're site is not going to be very interesting to search engines.
  4. Use a domain name with your site. Search engines give more weight to a real domain name than they do a forward-slash or sub-domain site.
  5. Use the "SEO Info" links under the Site Admin > Pages tab to fill out the underlying information about your website. These "Search Engine Optimization" fields aren't really seen by your site visitors, but search engine crawlers pay a lot of attention to them. Think of these fields as clues or a guide to the search engine that's trying to make sense of your site. Read the help text under each field and try to be as specific as possible with your entries.

A Word of Warning: There are thieves, liars and then there are SEO Consultants. (SEO means search engine optimization.) We would all like a shortcut to be the top website on search engine results pages for our particular area of business. Please don't fall for the scam out there that promises top placement on search engines when you hire "Michael" and his crack search engine consulting team in India. They will gladly take your money and deliver nothing in return. Honest SEO consultants are very few and far between. If you find one, they will tell you to do all the things we listed above.

When your site is ready, use this links to submit your site to search engines. (Note: Doing this is completely optional. Search engines have their own ways of finding your website without you having to do anything. They're really good at it. So again, to be clear, manually submitting your website to search engines is completely optional and not necessary.)