The three major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) have built tools to help you understand how they see your website. These tools are called the Webmaster tools.
- They allow you to tune your website and give you guidance on doing so.
- They are good for troubleshooting your site with the search engines and fixing any problems you find is a sure-fire way to improve your results. (I have even uncovered serious problems with customer’s sites where the search engine spider actually gives up when trying to index their site.)
These tools are at the following locations:
You will need a free account for each to login and once you have an account and go through the relatively simple steps to register your site, you will need to prove to the search engine that you own and control the site. To do this they will ask you to upload an html file or add a meta tag to the home page. Do whichever is easier for you. (If you are using a content management system like WordPress or Joomla there are plugins that make this very easy.)
Once you they have verified your site let it run for a week or so and check back in. If you are a regular poster or have a lot of change on your site, you will probably see the search engine is crawling your site regularly. Writing a daily blog post is a very effective way to get the engines to pay attention to you. The more you feed them, the more data they will give back to you.
You can also check the webmaster tools for crawl errors and fix these as any issues here can have a bad effect. If you’ve used Webmaster tools to your advantage why note share your experience for other readers to benefit from.