Google is constantly working on developing new and innovative ways to allow webmasters to promote their sites and increase the rankings of their client’s sites. It seems that almost every month, Google releases a Beta version of a new application. The following is a description of three of the primary free features Google offers to webmasters to promote and list their sites. For all of the features below you will need to create an account with Google. All of these features can be maintained from one central login, allowing you to manage and maintain all your client’s sites from one location.
The starting point for learning about the features Google has to offer is located here: http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/
1. Site Submission – Most important to all site promotions is getting your site indexed by Google. To expedite this process Google allows you to submit your site to their search engine for indexing, and while they don’t guarantee to index your site, if you have legitimate, unique content on your site you will get indexed within a few weeks.
· URL: http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl
· Additional Information: https://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=34397
2. Sitemaps – If you created an account with Google when you submitted your site, you probably noticed they will allow you to submit a sitemap as well. The sitemap is not your standard sitemap the end user can see when navigating around your site. This is an XML sitemap that can only be seen by Google and other search engines (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) that use it to index the pages of your site.
There are many third party applications that will assist you in generating a Google sitemap for your site (xml-sitemaps.com). Once this is done, you must follow a few steps provided by Google to add the Sitemap to your site. You will need FTP access to your site in order to add this information. If you don’t have FTP access, contact your webmaster or hosting provider and let them know what you are trying to do. They will either complete the process for you, or provide FTP access. Net Solutions will also prepare a Google Sitemap and add it to your site for $50.00
- URL: You must create a Google account, then submit a website for inclusion, then you can add a sitemap to that account
- Additional Information: https://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=34654&query=Google+Sitemap&topic=&type
- Free XML Sitemap Generator Tools: sitemapbuilder.net & xml-sitemaps.com
3. Google Maps – Ever wonder where the listings come from at the top of Goggle’s search results that are generated on a map? For Example: Follow this link that was generated by searching Google for: Web Design Bellingham WA
- Link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=GGIH%2CGGIH%3A2007-02%2CGGIH%3Aen&q=Web+Design+Bellingham+WA
You will notice that one of the top results is a map, with three companies listed. These results are generated by submitting your site to Google Maps. Google allows you to submit your business contact information, submit your site under five categories, provide a brief description of your site, add up to ten images, and any coupons you want to offer users to bring in business.
Another feature of Google Maps is creating a Google API map; this is a nice feature when trying to provide the end user directions to your client’s business. The code is generated by Google and then you can add it to your site
Here is additional information on Google Maps
- URL: http://maps.google.com
- Additional Information about Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/support
- Google Maps API information: http://www.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/
Stay tuned next month for additional free features offered by Google!