How to Submit Your Website to Search Engines (And Why You Don’t Always Need To)

Ranking your website becomes mission impossible if search engines don’t actually know it exists. But do we really need to submit our websites to search engines in 2021?

Let’s make one thing clear: You don’t have to submit your website to Google or other search engines manually, but you may want to in order to speed up the indexing process. You can do this by contacting SEO agency or by following steps you can find online.

Why, you ask?

Most search engines, including Google, don’t usually rely on manual submissions. Instead, they use the method of crawling to find and index new pages and websites. This process is even faster if other pages have linked to your website, as it’s easier for the crawlers to discover it.

When it comes to newly-published content, you definitely don’t need to go through the process again and manually submit URLs, especially if your website has already been crawled and indexed.

In other words, search engines, under optimum conditions, should find your website and web pages by themselves, but there are steps you can take to make your new URL appear in the search engine index faster.

How long does the indexing process take?

While we can’t provide a specific time frame, one thing is for sure— indexing takes a lot less time than it used to.

Some analysis shows that Google takes around 23 hours to crawl a new web page that hasn’t been submitted manually. On the other hand, that time drops to just 14 minutes if submitted through a sitemap.

When it comes to an entirely new website, the indexing process may take a bit longer. Plus, it vastly depends on other factors such as external linking, the keywords and key phrases used, site user-friendliness, etc.

Reasons To Submit Your Website To Search Engines

1: As A Precaution

Since this guarantees a quick indexing of your website, why not try it out to be safe?

2: More Informative

Website submission helps search engines update themselves based on the changes you’ve made to your content.

3: Allows for Website Improvement

When you submit your website, you automatically get many free search engine tools you can use to make changes and improve your website.

This brings us to…

Different Ways To Submit Your Website To Search Engines

Since both Bing and Google ended up discontinuing their submission tools for URLs back in 2018, it has gotten a bit trickier to submit manually, but not impossible. Currently, the only way to do so would be to use a sitemap that you can find at one of these URLs:

yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml
yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml

For sites like Yahoo and DuckDuckGo, you don’t need a website submission.

In the event where you can’t find the sitemap at these URLs, go on to the robots.txt file at yourwebsite.com/robots.txt. This is where most of the websites store their sitemaps. If you still haven’t successfully located your sitemap, it means you need to create one.

Submitting Your Website to Google

The easiest way to submit an URL to Google would be through your Google Search Console. Copy your sitemap URL, then navigate to ‘Sitemaps’ which is located in the left menu in your GSC, paste your sitemap URL and click ‘submit.’ If you have more than one sitemap, then you need to keep repeating the process.

Just a heads up— to submit a sitemap successfully, you will first need to add and verify your website in your Google Search Console.

Submitting Your Website To Bing

Quite similar to submitting your website to Google, to submit to Bing you need to log into your Bing Webmaster Tools and then click on ‘Sitemap’ located in the left-hand menu. Next, simply paste your sitemap URL and click ‘Submit sitemap.’ For more than one sitemap, repeat the procedure.

Submitting Your Website To Yahoo

The rule of thumb is that the Index of Bing powers Yahoo. This implies that you automatically submit your website to the Yahoo search engine if you submit to Bing.

Submitting Your Website DuckDuckGo

Yet again, not much you can do here. DuckDuckGo doesn’t allow submissions of websites. They continuously discover and have been indexing over four hundred different sources. These include Wikipedia, DuckDuckBot, and Bing, among others.

Submitting Your Website To Baidu

The need to submit your website on Baidu comes up if your target demographic is in China. While the procedure is far too complex for the purposes of this post, the only thing you need to know is that Baidu accepts site submission through a Baidu Webmaster Tools account and only in Chinese.

How To Check Your Website’s Indexing Status

Most of the available guides similar to this one suggest that searching Google for site:yourwebsite.com will do the trick. However, this is only an indicator, and chances are it won’t really reveal if your website has been indexed or not. The best way to check whether your website is part of a search engine’s index is by using the tools that most search engines provide themselves.

To check your website status on Google, click on the Coverage Report in the Google Search Console. Then, click on ‘Valid,’’ after which you can hit any of the lists under ‘Details’ to see which URLs have been indexed. To check for individual pages from your website, use the URL Inspection Tool. This is also a great way to see any errors or warnings about your website that Google has discovered while crawling the site.

If you are using Bing, the easiest way to check for indexing status is through Site Explorer. After that, you can filter your searches for URLs that are indexed. Then you will be able to explore each individual page of your website that has been indexed.

Fixing Indexing Issues On Most Search Engines

If you don’t find your web page indexed, the first question you should ask yourself is ‘why.’ There is no hope of fixing the issues unless you actually understand what has gone wrong. The simplest way to do this would be to paste the URL of interest into Google’s Inspection Tool.

The most common issues that are usually found are:

1: Blocked by a ‘noindex’ Tag

The website is blocking search engines from indexing pages due to a ‘noindex’ meta tag. Sometimes web developers forget to remove the ‘noindex’ tag they used while building a website. You should remove this tag if you want the website submission to work and have your pages crawled and indexed.

2: Blocked by Robots.txt

The Robots.txt file instructs search engines where to go on the website— which pages to skip and which ones to crawl. If Google is blocked in robots.txt, you will have to remove the block to have your website or web pages crawled and indexed.

3: Web Page Redirects

Since Google won’t usually index any page that is redirected, simply remove the redirect.

The Takeaway

Submitting your websites to search engines manually isn’t really a necessity anymore. There’s a good chance search engines like Google and Bing will find your content sooner rather than later. With that said, there’s nothing wrong with speeding up the process, especially if your URL has recently been updated or changed.

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