Register Your Site With Google Webmaster Tools

I’ve have more websites than the average person: 15 at the last count. It seems that whenever I have a new idea for internet marketing, I create a new website. You’d think that means I’m making tons of money, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet.

When I first started doing this, I would diligently register my website with Google Webmaster Tools. This is a free tool that Google has. It shows you stats such as the last time your website was crawled and if there are any crawl errors (this is important to know).

But then I started getting lazy. This step got omitted more and more. I decided it didn’t really matter.

But now I’ve changed my mind and I think it’s important.

The main reason for this change of heart came about when I created one particular new website. Google crawled my site pretty quickly and my home page was indexed within days.

But weeks went by without the other content pages showing up. When I typed in site: and my site in Google, it showed that only the home page, privacy policy, and contact us pages were there.

I patiently waited for Google to find the rest of my pages. I had a site map, both for the visitor and an xml version for bots. But after a few more weeks-nothing.

So finally I registered the site with the Google webmaster tool. And I discovered something very interesting.

Google was, in fact, crawling my site on a regular basis. But my site was generating crawl errors!

The crawl errors page of the tool led me to discover a problem in my htaccess file. It turns out I was accidentally hiding all of my pages from the Google bot except for the home page, privacy, and contact us.

I had copied the htaccess from another site that needed the code in it. But for my new website, it had an adverse effect.

So after that experience, I’ll always register my website with the webmaster tool.

Now I’m not sure that registering the site map makes a difference as far as getting indexed goes.

On another new website, I noticed only one page on one of my new websites got indexed. So I made sure I registered the site map with the webmaster tool, hoping that would help Google find the rest of my pages.

But a few days later, it didn’t seem to make a difference. The additional pages still were not indexed.

Regardless, the tool is still very valuable. For instance, you can find out when Google last crawled your site, how many pages are indexed, and if there are any crawl errors.

It also tells you some basic analytics information such as which are the top keywords that were used to find your site, and also a list of external sites that link to yours.

As far as which pages are indexed, that’s an area that the tool is lacking, in my opinion. It tells you how many pages are indexed, but not which ones.

But overall, the webmaster tool gives you some very helpful analytics. More importantly, it alerts you quickly to crawl errors that may be preventing your site from being indexed.