Does Google think you exist?

Okay, you’ve build a nice site (like Rene Koolhaas did), put it on the internet after searching for a good webhosting company which offers a good package for a reasonable price. And then? Wait?! Is your website really online if Google can’t find you? Does Google think you exist?

The answer may be as simple as the question is stupid: No! Of course not! Compare it with moving into a new house, in a new street, in a new town. Does your family know where you are or the electrician company all by itself?

To make your site familiar with Google you will have to tell Google that you’re there. And that’s done by;

Sign in

1. First step to get acquainted with Google
Go to Google and sign in (the upper right).
If you don’t have an account (Gmail, Picasa), create one now!

2.  Webmaster tools
Access ‘My Products’  via Settings > Google account settings, now you’ll see a page where it says My Products. It could be that Webmaster tools is already mentioned on this page, else you can find it under ‘Try something new’ or click here.

add site

On the homepage of Webmaster tools you’ll have to add your site. Press ‘Add a site’.

After you’ve entered the URL of your website and continued Google will ask you to verify your website. This sounds much more difficult then it is. Personally I would choose to verify it by uploading an HTML file to your server. Google will supply you with a html file which you put on your website (in the webserver root directory, that’s where index.html resides).
After putting it there you can confirm it and verify it just as Google tells you to do.

Congratulations! You just told Google where your website lives and your first steps in making Google your friend are made.

Next I will be explaining the more advanced features that the Webmaster Tools offer you. A little advice (and peek to the future) on forehand:

If you bought an international domain-name that end’s with .COM or .ORG it can be wise to tell Google where your website resides. This can be done by going to ‘Site configuration’ > ‘Settings’ and select your region at ‘Target users in…’.
This may be useful for example when you run a Dutch weblog that targets to a Dutch audience instead of a Belgium.

About Esmé