I have been helping a number of sites with brand new domains lately.  Before I take the job I usually caveat it with the old “if you don’t get links it ain’t going to work” mantra, but often the audacity of hope overpowers the reality of Google.

I have been having some issues with one site  in particular – the site had no problem getting indexed, but Google will only index a relatively small amount of the site’s pages. I pinged a number of very skilled SEOs to ask if they had any ideas beyond “get links”.  I was surprised at how many of them did not have anything to add (or else did not want to reveal their tricks).

To underscore the importance of getting links, I had three different clients launch new domains of similar scale.  Two of them got a lot of links when they launched – one via appearing on some top morning radio shows and getting links from their sites and both getting promoted in all of the tech pr sites like TechCrunch, VentureBeat, etc.  The radio show guys got I think about 4,000 search engine referrals on day one and now a year later are doing about 3,000,000 visits/mnth.  The other got 300K referrals in the first month.  The third site attempted to get links by doing manual linkbuilding and they are limping along at very low traffic, even though their site has killer on-page optimization, if I do say so myself.

While there is indeed no substitute for getting links, here are a number of to-do’s that I have picked up over the years that can make a difference, in no particular order:

1.    Navigate to the page with a Google toolbar enabled browser.

2.    Email the site to a friend using gmail.

3.    Mention the url using the http protocol and www on message boards w/o a link (http://www.blah.com/).  Try not to be spammy.

4.    Perform site: and link: requests to each of the engines but especially msft and yahoo.

5.    Navigate to the site on any of the cheap internet connections including comcast, aol, time warner, + brighthouse, netzero, etc… as those logs are used to find new sites.

6.    Make toolbar requests to compete.com , alexa.com & quantcast.com.

7.    Fetch site profile data from API’s (site:, link:, inurl:) google,, yahoo and alexa.

8.    Navigate to the site profile page on aboutus.org (and/or create a profile page there)

9.    Create a wikipedia entry for the site.

10.    Do a site profile search in each of the various Yahoo and Google search services (local, images, news, video, youtube, blogs)

11.    Search technorati, icerocket, blogpulse for the site.

12.    Submit (aka buy links to) your top pages on well-indexed directories such as Yahoo Directory and Best of the Web.

13.    Get links from bloggers who typically write about competitive sites:

14.    Issue press releases via major press release distribution services (PRNewswire, PRWeb, etc.)

15.    Submit links to top 50 pages from as many social bookmarking sites as possible:
a.    http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-bookmarking
b.    http://www.blogmarketingtactics.com/social-bookmarking/social-bookmarking-top-links.html
c.    http://www.searchenginejournal.com/125-social-bookmarking-sites-importance-of-user-generated-tags-votes-and-links/6066/

16.    Buy some Google Ads to your pages (this forces Google to crawl these pages to assess your quality score)

17.    Make the top 50 pages the priority on your xml sitemap.  Maybe make these and the home page the only pages in your xml sitemap.

18.   If your site has pages with generic data that is common to other sites (e.g. business contact info), then you should figure out ways to add unique text to each page such as a new review of the business.

18.  Oh yeah and submit your domains to all of the search engines via their submit URL pages:

Google Submit URL

Yahoo Submit URL

MSN Submit URL

Live.com Submit URL

Anyone else have any other tips?

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51 Response Comments

  • Stever  March 2, 2009 at 10:46 am

    If there is a blog onboard the site, publishing a post and sending out a ping to the usual ping services can do it.

    Seen this on some wordpress sites I’ve set up for small businesses. While we are still working on the content pages we hold off on obtaining any links (pre-launch mode), but it still ends up in index after they publish their first blog post. Though this could be due to me viewing the site while i’m logged into my iGoog account and Goog tool bar active in Firefox.

  • Pittsburgh Internet Marketing  March 2, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Yes — doing a keyword analysis and having appropriate title tags does make a big difference if you are not in a competitive market, or if you are in a local market.

    Also — submit a site to DMOZ.org

    Also — creating content on your site, and updating your content.

    Also — using social media, networks like linkedin, facebook, twitter, etc. all give a website more cred.

    Also– changing the url tags to be keyword friendly, and not all http://www.blah.com/*(&%%$fir

    Hmm…I should write my own post on this.

  • John Cronin  March 2, 2009 at 11:19 am

    If the site has a blog then registering the feed with feedburner (now google owned of course) seems to have an impact.

    Also register your site with the webmaster tools at google/yahoo/msn. You’d probably want to that regardless.

    I’m not convinced about mentioning a new site in twitter as they no-follow outbounds. Hasn’t seemed to work for me anyways.

  • John Cronin  March 2, 2009 at 11:22 am

    ooops forgot to mention. I’m not the only one who does tip #2 then !

    And I also subscribe to my own blog feeds in google reader.

  • James Svoboda  March 2, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Creating a Blogger or WordPress account for the site and creating posts that link to new online profiles that in turn link back to the site will help by creating a link trail back to the site.

    You can also submit the URL’s for online profiles directly to the engines.

  • Craig Mullins  March 2, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Very seldom do I ever have trouble getting a site indexed (and ranking) in less then 15 minutes anymore…

    Are you sure the URL hasn’t been registered before and is banned?

  • Gab Goldenberg  March 2, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Straight up just searching works, imho.

  • Gab Goldenberg  March 2, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    IE, in the main index, no need to do it in the vertical ones like local, news etc.

  • Andrew Shotland  March 3, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Just to clarify, what I was shooting for was not just to get indexed, but to get “super-indexed” – meaning that a site with a large amount of pages will have little trouble getting the majority of those pages crawled and indexed in a brief amount of time.

  • Craig  March 3, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I’d love to here any secrets ya have. I created a site in January with 100k urls & (almost) no back links.

    Just by submitting a google sitemap 90k are indexed as of today. The content is Unique, along with the title, keyword & description tags.

    I created another site with about 500k URLs in January & (almost) no back backlinks. Today 765 are indexed according to Google webmaster tools. That site has mostly dup content, but unique title, desc., & keyword tags.

  • Max  March 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Why would this help?

    9. Create a wikipedia entry for the site.

    Links are set to “nofollow” so it would maybe add to brand/site recognition.. but that’s it?

  • Gab Goldenberg  March 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Interesting clarification Andrew.

    @Max – The goal isn’t ranking, it’s just getting crawled. Sometimes that’s all you want/need, because the pages serve another purpose. Ex.: A/B testing a ranking factor.

  • Terry Power  March 3, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I’m going to try a few of your ideas as Ijust registered a new site. Thanks for the tips.

  • Dave  March 4, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Great post. I’m having some trouble getting some pages indexed by Yahoo. They are frequently cached by Google and even have Page Rank, but when I enter one of the URLs into Yahoo Site Explorer it says these pages have not yet been indexed. The only thing I can think of is that every page I’m having an issue with contains parenthesized words in their URL. Any ideas??

  • Andrew Shotland  March 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Not sure about the parentheses in URLs but that does sound a bit wacky.

    I’d focus on the content and make sure that you have some unique content, or at least content that looks unique, on every page you want to get crawled. And get links of course 🙂

  • Craig  March 4, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    @dave I have a site with parenthesis in URL – they get indexed…

  • Liz Camps  March 11, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Bookmark your site using Google Bookmarks (this is a corollary to the advice about using Google Toolbar).

    Have 50 friends from 50 different computers and Google logins Google-Bookmark 50 different pages of your site over a reasonably long period of time in various geos (too sudden/geoclustered and you’ll get caught in G’s spam trap).

    Bonus: Use relevant keyphrases in the category labels. It helps if the 50 bookmarks have related, but not exactly matching, labels.

  • Andrew Shotland  March 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Nice ones Liz! Nice to see you here btw.

  • Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach  March 13, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Great collection of tips, thanks! I’ve always found that simply having a blog is enough for quick indexing, but I do like your other suggestions. I’d also add to include your site in local directories as well like http://www.insiderpages.com .

    Data points, Barbara

  • Micah Bongberg  March 15, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I’m just getting the hang of this SEO thing and finding that Google’s maps and local results offer a great chance to rank high. Does anyone have any suggestions for easily (and inexpensively) adding our locations to Google’s local results? Do we have prove that we have business addresses at these locations?


  • Jeremy  March 18, 2009 at 11:52 am

    The great thing about these SEO lists is that someone always has one or two I haven’t tried before….I love it. If companies understood how important SEO really was they would drop what they are doing right now and get in touch with an SEO pro.

  • Andrew Shotland  March 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    It takes a village to raise your rankings Jeremy

  • Bob  March 23, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks for all the great tips! And sorry if this is a noob question but in Craig’s post above he mentions creating ONE site with 100k URL’s. How is that possible? Isn’t the domain name of the site considered to be that site’s URL or is each page considered to be a separate URL?

  • Andrew Shotland  March 23, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Each page is a separate URL Bob. Don’t worry about being a Noob. If there were no Noobs there would never be any NonNoobs.

  • Jim  May 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks – great advice – I’m a new subscriber, need all the advice I can get that works and appreciate the help!

  • Dan Nolan  June 15, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    This is great, I started a new site a little over a week ago and it was reviewed by google and they downloaded my sitemap but I can’t seem to get indexed. This forum has given me a great to do list. So far I have submitted to the search engines, posted on aboutus, digg, a few site related forums, and hope to be indexed soon. Wish me luck ,. Thanks for the great ideas.

  • The SEO Playbook  July 5, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Since Google rules the roost I have found that anything Google will get you popularity quickly(i.e. Adwords, custom search, etc.). Over the years I have created what I call the SEO Playbook – After optimizing your on site content, yes I still believe in the fundamentals, submit your sitemap.xml and urllist.txt files and verify them with Google. (Tip – add your sitemap.xml to the last line of your robots.txt file as well) Add your business to Google Maps – be thorough in your listing adding pics and vids and make sure you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines. This is a solid start. I hope these tips help you Andrew.

  • West Coast Vinyl  September 13, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Pinging a known web page with your link can get you indexed quickly, like Mixx.com

  • sticker printing  October 21, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for the resource list, but from now on i giving much preference to the blog commenting as it is giving much quick glance to Google to index pages much in a quicker time as compare to social medias and other websites. Thanks

  • cyn  November 7, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I agree with Sticker Printing that blog commenting is more interesting.

  • Joaquim Félix  January 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    These are very good advices and tips on how to obtain an exhaustive and solid indexation of your site.
    I have been using some of these tips, but others where new to me and I will give it a go for sure.
    Someone mentioned that blog commenting is very useful. I have been doing some comments on several blogs (not only seo and web development, but also database development ) and, apart from the fact that I’m not getting much results when it comes to back links, it as been a great source of information and knowledge where one can read others opinions and experiences, and trade thoughts with each other.

  • rob_smsthejob  January 14, 2010 at 6:24 am

    couldn’t get listed until I created an adwords account and deposited $20 and bingo very next day. Most powerful thing I did to get onto the list now working on crawling ever so slowly up that list.

    Thanks for the education Guys and Gals.

  • Richard May  January 14, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Many thanks. This is very useful information to jump start your website.

  • Chris Reilly  January 18, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Great stuff as usual.

    I will add this: if you buy the URL from GoDaddy, it will get indexed as soon as you put content on it. I’m not sure about other registrars, but I’m 99% confident that Google gets data from GoDaddy about new domain registrations- some non-scientific testing has shown me that this works quite handily.

  • David Gregory  January 20, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I usually just put a link on one of our blogs that gets re-indexed within an hour after each new post. I put a link that says “Here is a new site we are working on” or something like that and the new site usually gets indexed with 72 hours. We get other links in the meantime and then remove that link after a couple of weeks. I have been doing that for about 4 years and it works like a champ.

  • Marius Cotiga  January 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Really great tips guys. I’m new in the website promoter business and I need all the help I can get. Thanks!

  • Nick Gregan  February 8, 2010 at 2:14 am

    I came across this site from SEOBook.com and am thrilled to have discovered it. I’m really interested in the local search market primarily but ranking well on Google is a must. Great tips, I’ve already implemented most of them but am going back to ensure they’re all done. Over the last few weeks my main site has slipped down from ranking 2 or 3 to 15 which is a major concern. And I don’t know why?
    Boy it’s a crazy game sometimes… ..but it is so satisfying when you get up those rankings. I’m just about to launch a new site so will be following the list . Thnks

  • Diseño web  February 11, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Wow this information is very important. Thanks for sharing!

    Gracias por compartir esta información, me parece genial y trataré de utilizarla para algunos proyectos.

    Saludos desde Guatemala!

  • Shubham  February 19, 2010 at 2:54 am

    thanks for the tip..! Wikipedia page is not easy to create …they consider it as an autography.!

  • Daniel  February 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Great tips and advices. Thanks a lot!

  • Kay  March 2, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing all the good info. I’m really new at this. We have about 21 pages to our website. Google has only indexed 11. We still are not showing up in their search results. It’s frustrating!

  • Utah carpenter  April 29, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I have found the best way to be found and rank high is with a blog. you can set it up to ping every time you update your content. Google loves new content and your blog gives you many keywords to optimize.

  • SarahGrainger  May 17, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Hi All,

    I’d second what several people have already said – It’s great to get a few heads together from different industries/backgrounds/countries etc and discuss what works and what doesn’t.

    One thing I’ve always found when tryign to get a new site listed is using Gumtree.com and Craigslist.org – both of which you can add a listing on for free.

    From my experience, the sites I mention are listed within hours.

    Instincts tell me it’s because they’re very active sites that are crawled every few minutes.

  • All sports online  June 16, 2010 at 3:43 am

    thanks for the tips andrew. i have been facing problems getting my site indexed. will surely use your tips and let you know..if you have any other suggestons, please do mention in a blog post. will look forward to it..

  • Craig  June 16, 2010 at 8:34 am

    For $19.99 i will get your site indexed. Please send your credit card to… 🙂

  • gadget news  August 10, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    do you still suggest directory submission as one good method to get your site indexed fast in google. ??

  • Mike Desilva  August 17, 2010 at 7:55 am

    It’s amazing that some companies will charge up to $300 dollars for this service.

    starcomsystems.net is a prime example.

  • TechBlogger  September 9, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Sometimes my blog’s latest posts are not being indexed in google for hours. Some times google skips some blog posts and indexes the last post published. Any ieda about what is the reason for this irregular pattern of search indexing?

  • Craig Mullins  September 9, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Any you have your site set to send XML-RPC pings? http://codex.wordpress.org/Update_Services

    Ever since caffeine all my blog posts are instantly indexed…

    @Andrew – Why no pics of your commentators 🙂

  • john  July 2, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Nice list.. I made some improvements, taking into consideration your tips.