Lots of people talk about or sell search engine submission services, however very few talk about generating site maps and submitting these to search engines. The reality is that submitting a site map is far more likely to not only get your site indexed more quickly, but it can also have a positive effect on rankings.
Search Engine Submission
Before we explain more about site maps we’ll address a few mis-conceptions around search engine submission.
Firstly it is free, very quick and easy for anyone to do. Secondly re-submitting your site over and over again will not improve your rankings and if anything will have the opposite effect and be viewed as spamming (unfortunately there are lots of companies out there misleading people when it comes to submission services). Once your site is indexed, in order to improve your rankings you need to look at implementing on-site SEO and then off-site SEO as well depending on the amount of competition in your market. Remember re-submitting your site is not going to improve your rankings.
So what is the advantage of submitting a sitemap?
A sitemap generated for search engines is different to the type of site map you may have on your website itself which is a simplified way for users to navigate your site, although the concept is the same.
A site map in this case is an XML document which effectively tells them all the pages that your site contains and where to find them.
Now if you simply submit your site to search engines you are only submitting the overall domain, which means when they index your site they are less likely to index internal pages, so submitting a site map increases the chances of internal pages being indexed more quickly as well, which can increase your chances of ranking higher.
How do I submit a sitemap?
Well firstly you need to generate an XML sitemap ready for submission. To do this if you simply Google the phrase XML sitemap you should find a number of free tools that will allow you to do this. You simply enter your domain name and then it will look at your entire site and produce an XML sitemap. Note these free tools usually have a limit on the number of pages a sitemap can contain before they charge you, so if you have a larger site you will need to pay a small amount for the service.
Once you have your sitemap then you need to sign in to webmaster tools in Google and Bing or site explorer in yahoo. Once signed in you will be able to find the site map submission area and upload your XML sitemap from your local machine.
We’re not suggesting that you don’t submit your website to search engines separately, but only do this if your site is not already indexed.