With all the time that goes into a website, it’s no wonder most people want to be done with it as soon as they hit the button to launch. But to maximize your traffic and get the most out of all that hard work, you should also take a few minutes to submit your newly created or updated site to search engines.
You can submit a site to any search engine, including Yahoo and Bing, as well as to both free and paid online directories, but for the purposes of this post, we’ll focus on Google.
Won’t Google find my site on its own?
The short answer: yes. That said, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks for the search engine to crawl and index your site. (An informal HubSpot test revealed that Google took 1,375 minutes, or 22 hours, to find and crawl content after publication, but that time could be reduced to 14 minutes by submission.) And since stale content is a major Web Don’t, you want Google to start displaying your fresh, tasty new content as soon as possible.
What do I get by submitting my site?
Better traffic and search rankings. In addition to getting a brand new site in front of curious web searchers faster, re-submitting your site for indexing when you’ve made changes forces Google to index the more relevant or updated content, which improves your results.
How often should I submit or resubmit a site?
You can submit every day if you want to, but the most common (and effective) times to do it are:
- When you’re launching a new site
- When you’ve made a major addition, such as a new section, to your existing site
- When you’ve significantly updated your content
What do I need for a submission?
If you’re submitting a new site, you can simply provide the URL and let Google do the rest. If you’re updating an existing site, consider submitting a sitemap, which allows you to submit multiple updated pages at once. For re-submissions, a sitemap also helps the search engine learn how often your site is updated, which in turn tells it how often it should crawl your content. Over time, this can make indexing much more effective and increase the odds that your content will be automatically re-indexed in between formal submissions.
Anything else I should know?
You can find instructions for submitting your site to Google, as well as links to other search engines and online indexes, here. Also, be sure to check out Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), which not only allows you to submit new content for crawling, but also provides analytics. helps you monitor which queries are bringing traffic to your site, and more. Access it here or visit Google’s support page for more info.