Submit Your Website Through Google Search Console
The fastest and surest way to submit your website to Google is through a free tool called Google Search Console.
Whether you have a brand-new website or you’ve simply added a new page that you want Google to know about, Search Console will make submitting your website easy.
This post will walk you through the entire process, giving you a step-by-step walk-through that will allow you to submit your website and get your site indexed quickly and efficiently.
The best way to ensure that Google knows that your site exists and what pages it contains is to provide a sitemap. If you’re not sure if you have a sitemap on your website, this post will walk you through that step.
How Google Finds Websites and New Pages
First, it’s useful to understand how Google finds new websites and webpages and what it does with them. There are two ways that Googlebot finds new content: we tell it where it is through a sitemap or it finds the content as it follows links.
Google has a massive amount of servers that power a crawler named “Googlebot.” Googlebot crawls the web, following links from one page to another, from site to site, indexing the content on each page.
This process is usually expedited by providing a sitemap, but it is not always necessary. If your page has links pointing to it—whether from an external site or another page on your own site—Google will eventually find it.
Once the crawler finds new or changed pages, it sends all of the information it finds to Google’s index. Once it is in the index, Google analyzes the information it finds to determine what the content is about and its potential relevance to different search requests.
Create a Sitemap for Your Website
Before we get into signing up for Search Console and submitting your website, you need to create a sitemap. A sitemap is exactly what it sounds like—a map of your website’s pages. Think of it like a directory of the pages included on your site.
Creating a Sitemap Using Plugins
Given that about a third of internet websites are using WordPress, there’s a good chance that you are using it too.
There are plugins that generate XML sitemaps for WordPress, but given that most SEO plugins do the same thing, there really is no need for a dedicated plugin just to generate your sitemap. In the name of keeping your WordPress site as lean as possible, I’m going to recommend you simply use the sitemap generated by your SEO plugin.
There are a few really good SEO plugins that generate sitemaps for your website that I can recommend. Let’s get into creating your sitemap using three of the most common ones.
Yoast SEO is most common and well-known SEO plugin available for WordPress. Chances are good that you’ve already installed this on your website, but didn’t know that it generates a sitemap as well.
If you have already installed Yoast and want to check if your website has generated a sitemap, type in your url and add a /sitemap_index.xml to the end. If the plugin did generate a sitemap, you’ll see something like this:
If you don’t see it, then run Yoast’s setup wizard and you should be good to go.
This is a powerful SEO plugin that is popular with many SEOs. It too generates a sitemap, but offers a lot more options than the Yoast plugin.
Enabling the sitemap is an option with this plugin, as is creating sitemaps for different elements such as pages, categories, and author archives. You can get to it here:
Once you activate the sitemap, it will show it below the “enable XML Sitemap Generator”
Once you’re actually created a sitemap, you can submit it to Google through Search Console.
Create a Search Console Account
In order to submit your sitemap, you need to create a Search Console account.
A new feature that Search Console released in Spring 2019 allows you verify your entire domain:
Verifying the domain is much better, since you won’t run into any issues with having the www. vs the non-www submitted, but it is more technically involved. Follow the instructions and verify the domain you want to submit to Google.
Once your site is verified with Google Search Console, you can submit your sitemap.
How to Submit Your Sitemap to Google
Once you have verified your website, you can log into the Search Console for that site in the upper-lefthand corner of your screen.
Below the domain name, you’ll see a tab that says “sitemaps.” Click there and you’ll see this screen:
Enter the URL where your sitemap is located (see above section if you have a WordPress site and you don’t know how to find the URL of your sitemap).
Congrats, you’ve submitted your website to Google!
How to Submit a New Page to Google
Assuming you’ve followed the instructions in the previous sections, Google will find your new page the next time it checks your sitemap. But what if you don’t want to wait for Google to “get around” to crawling your site?
There is a way to ask Google to crawl a new page or a page that has been edited. In the top of the interface, you’ll find this bar:
Enter the url you want to Google to crawl and you’ll see this:
Whether your page is in the index or not, you’ll see text on the right side of the “URL is on Google” box that says “REQUEST INDEXING.”
Click on that button and Google will prioritize crawling your new or changed page.