Last updated: 30 November 2018
Google crawl the net on a regular basis, visiting each web page and indexing it, or reindexing it, however if you've had a new website designed or made major changes to your existing one, then this can take weeks to occur naturally.
How can you speed up this process?
Firstly, create a Google account (if you've already got a gmail account, that'll be fine). There are then 4 options you can pursue.
Option 1 - Submit URL to Google (One page at a time)
Google used to let you submit any URL (web address) one page at a time, regardless of whether you owned the website or not at https://www.google.com/addurl/. This option no longer exists and to submit a URL you must now first either prove that you own the website, or use an indirect method (scroll down to Option 4 if you want to index a page without an account).
To use this method, you must now follow the steps below:
- Visit https://search.google.com/search-console and login.
- Follow the instructions to add a new website. Make sure to put https:// at the start if you have a secure website and use www if you want the www version of the site to appear in the search results.
If you already have a site registered and want to add a second, click the drop-down arrow, then select "Add Property".
- At the top of the screen there's an option to "Inspect any URL in ..."
- Copy and paste your URL here, press Enter and wait a moment.
- You will receive one of 2 messages:
- "URL is not on Google".
- "URL is on Google" (e.g. where you have changed a page, but want to reindex it).
Either way, after "Page changed?" press "REQUEST INDEXING"
Normally Google will index new pages within one or a few hours.
This method is relatively simple, however requires you to submit one URL at a time, which unless you have a very small site could take a while.
Option 2 - Fetch as Google
Option 2 allows you to ask Google to reindex a page AND every page linked to from that page, therefore is considerably faster. It also means that Google recrawl the pages, refreshing their cache of them, whereas Option 1 is only to submit pages that aren't already in Google's cache.
In order to Fetch as Google, you need to create a Webmaster Tools account, which lets you do all kinds of things - see Using Google Webmaster Tools.
- Login to your Webmaster Tools account at https://www.google.com/webmasters/ and click the site you want to reindex.
- Click the Crawl menu on the left, then click 'Fetch as Google'
- Either press 'Fetch' to reindex the home page and every page linked to from it, or enter the URL of an internal page, then press 'Fetch'.
- Your URL will appear under the original form, press 'Submit to Index'
- Tick "I'm not a robot" and "Crawl this URL and its direct links", then press Go.
- If your submission was successful, you'll see a message saying "URL and linked pages submitted to index". Normally Google will reindex all the pages in around 12 - 36 hours.
Option 3 - Submit a sitemap to Google
A site map is a file containing a list of all the pages on your website. The main systems, like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are CMS, which have tools that allow you to create a site map quite easily. If you use one of these CMS, we recommend the following modules:
|CMS||Module / Addon|
|Drupal 8||Simple XML sitemap module|
|Drupal 7||XML sitemap module|
|WordPress||Google XML Sitemaps addon|
In order to create a sitemap, first determine which pages of your site you would like Google to index, as well as the canonical version for each page. You will then need to create the sitemap itself either manually or by using a specific tool. If you're the only one who logs in to your site, you may wish to remove the login page from the sitemap.
At this point, you can test your sitemap to see if the pages are indexed using the tool provided by Google. You can then submit your sitemap to Google via the Search Console. All of Google's relevant tools are accessible with a simple Google Account, which you will already have if you have a Gmail account, Google analytics, etc.
Note that sitemaps cannot be more than 50 Mb per site and not have more than 50,000 links per site. If you ever had a larger file or more URLs, then you will have to divide it into several files that you must submit to Google multiple times, or create a single index file, which in turn redirects to the different components of the sitemap. For more information, follow the instructions here - Submit a sitemap to Google.
Option 4 - Build quality links to your page
If you don't own a website, then it's no longer possible to submit a page to Google. If it's a high traffic website with regular new content, Google is likely to start showing a new page in its search results within a few hours or days anyway, however if the waiting option doesn't appeal to you, one other thing you can do to speed up the process is to build links to the new page. A good starting point is to Tweet about it, or share it on your LinkedIn or other social media profile.
Presumably you're not just looking for a page to appear in the search results, but also to appear near the top of them. If you have more high quality links going to your site, particularly from other relevant blogs, news sites, etc. then your domain's authority will increase and this means that the Google bot will crawl your site on a more regular basis, so they will notice changes sooner and index new pages more quickly.
Options 1 to 3 are all about indexing a web page (getting it included in Google's search results). Building quality links also helps to rank well. In addition to links, other ways to rank well are to:
- Include 1 or 2 important keywords once in the Meta Title, Meta Description, URL and h1 title of the page you want to rank for.
- Write Metatags that entice people to click to visit your page (this improves the click through rate, which will mean your site will gradually rise in the rankings).
- Create a site with an attractive design and valuable content (the longer people remain on the site, the better it will rank with Google too).
- Write in-depth, engaging content.
For more information on how to rank well with Google, check out our website ranking infographic.
How to get indexed by Bing?
- Visit https://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster/
- Create your account (you can confirm your identity via a Google account, Facebook, or email address)
- Under "Add a site" enter your site's home page address and click "Add"
- Enter more information about yourself and your site (many of the fields are optional)
- Prove you own the site by choosing one of the verification methods shown and following the instructions there.