Search engine spidering has changed recently. No matter how hard you work, achieving a top ranking in Google just takes time. Here is how to not waste time and get the job done!
Assuming you already have our "Steps to Starting A Web Site", we will not rehash that stuff. Organization is key. Keep your website organized and clean. Meaning clean html and keywords and no extra junk or html pages in your public_html folder (you can create a separate folder for that stuff) that might be seen by search engines as a part of your site. All links must be working and your website should be fully functional.
Before gong any further, please read this entire web page: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35291&ctx=sibling
This is a MUST read. Do not pay for website submission! Here is an excerpt from that page:
"No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or through the Google Sitemaps program."
Make sure you have your keywords correct! When creating your head tags, look at what that particular page is about. Lets say you own a site that is www.candlesbysam.com (I made it up) It has the usual pages, a welcome page, a products for sale page, a links page, an about us page, and contact us page and a how we make our candles page. I will show you and example of keywords that will work for the "how we make our candles" page.
<meta name="Keywords" content="candles by sam, candles, candles for sale, how to make candles, candle wicks, candle wax, candle molds, wholesale candles, soy candles, candle making instructions, how to make candles, candle help, san diego, san diego california, " />
You can probably come up with some more keywords, but you get the idea.
Anyway, we are not here to teach you how to build a website. This is about ranking.
Let's say you have your website basics done. The basic design is done, the main pages have been created and head tags are ready.
You need a sitemap! Go to the website below and create your free xml sitemap and save it to where ever you keep your website on your computer. The one to save is sitemap.xml not a condensed, text or html version.
Create XML sitemaps online free for Google and Yahoo.
Create a new sitemap every time you change your website by adding pages, links, removing links or just about any changes or even if it has just been awhile. As soon as you create a new sitemap, upload it! Keep it current.
You need a Google account for your website(s). Might as well get a Gmail account since it can virtually manage all your website emails from one place, not to mention documents, pictures, calendars,etc. (I personally check over 10 website emails and 3 personal ones all from my one Gmail account. I know where the emails came from and I can send emails through my url's!) One account covers them ALL. And the same account can be used for AdWords and AdSense too. Click link below after you have your new Google account (free).
This is important because it is also your Google Webmaster account to submit urls, update sitemaps, etc. You also control your Google Analytics account (like a visitor counter with much more information) if you use it.
Google Site submission and maintenance.
Follow the instructions. You first must add a website (or as many as you want). Ie: http://www.candlesbysam.com Then you verify the site by creating a html page named by Google and then upload to your public_html folder. That is then verified by Google. Then click on the sitemap tab and add a sitemap. The url will be: website/sitemap.xml (ie:http://www.candlesbysam.com/sitemap.xml)
Click to submit your sitemap and it will say "pending". Check back every day or so to verify that Google downloaded your sitemap and that Google is not seeing any errors. Once this is done, in the future when you update or change your website (or even if it has just been awhile), create a new xml sitemap, upload it, and resubmit it through your Google webmaster account.
Two more things. Make sure you ADD YOUR URL. Even though you have verified your site and submitted your sitemap, you still need to add your url to the search engine. Got here to do that: www.google.com/addurl/ The other thing is Google local. If you have a brick and mortar business, this is IMPERATIVE! If your business is internet based, don't worry about it. Go here to add your business to Google Local www.google.com/local/add
Don't forget to get in on Google Local!
Next you do almost the exact same thing with Yahoo. If you have a Yahoo email account, then you don't need to sign up for anything. Just go to:
and log in. It works almost exactly the same as Google does. Same add a website. Yahoo will create a html file for you to save to your computer (where you save your website) and then upload to you public_html file. It also uses the same XML sitemap and you submit in the same way also. This also needs regular maintenance just like Google. (Resubmitting your sitemap when you make changes, check for mistakes Yahoo might find, etc.)
When you have this done, at the bottom of the page there is a "submit your site" link. Use it!
Do the same thing with BING that you did with Google and Yahoo.
If you have more than one url / website: Create a page on every website that is not linked to the actual web page, and has list of all your urls and links to them. This becomes a part of your sitemap and Google/Yahoo sees more external links to your site(s) which can help with ranking. (This idea has been discussed [the external link part] amongst webmasters and it is questioned as to whether or not this is still a factor with Google and Yahoo. My experience says YES, so I do it.) I have more tricks up my sleeve, but I can't give away ALL my secrets. lol