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With Google claiming a significant percentage of the search market, businesses need to utilize the search engine to reach out to their current and prospective customers on a large scale. For Google to drive traffic and revenue to your site, you need to learn how to submit URLs to Google.
There are various ways through which you can submit URLs to Google. But do you actually need to submit URLs to Google for indexing? Isn’t it the other way around?
Well, Google’s finite resources might not be omnipotent on the web. It’s natural for the search engine to miss a few updates here and there.
Why is it Important to Have a Page Indexed?
Unless your web pages are indexed on Google, it won’t be visible in the search results. So, even if you update your site regularly with new blog posts and articles when there’s no indexing, people won’t be able to find your content even if it matches their search query.
This means no improvement in traffic, and as a result, there will be a decreased site visibility.
How to Determine Whether Google Indexes a Webpage?
To check whether Google indexes a URL, you have to use Google itself. To check a particular URL, you have to type allinurl: and add the desired link without the https://. If your webpage is already indexed, you’ll see it below in the search results.
If you have several web pages that are similar to each other, then you can find some unique words or sentences within each webpage and conduct a Google search using those words or phrases within quotation marks.
In the absence of unique search terms or phrases, you can add a modifier to the above process by adding site:yourdomainname.com after the word or phrase in quotation marks. Another way to discover indexed pages is through Google Analytics.
You can go to Acquisition>All Traffic> Source/Medium report and select Google/organic result. Then set the secondary dimension to landing pages and export the report generated. This report will show you the landing pages that have received organic traffic.
If you see that your intended URL is getting organic traffic, then you can rest assured that it has been indexed by Google already.
How to Submit URL in Google?
In Google Search Console, you can submit URLs in two different ways. Let us check the two options below:
Request a Crawl
Businesses can manually request Google to crawl and index a single URL. This option is useful when you publish a new page or update an existing one and want it to be on the web as early as possible.
However, you should still take time to update and resubmit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console.
Upload a Sitemap
A sitemap is the most prevalent way to add multiple URLs to Google. This is because a sitemap compiles all the URLs in your site into a single XML file. Generally, your sitemap will feature the most important pages of your website like the contact page, service page or About Us page. For a large website, it’s always advisable to create multiple sitemaps instead of one.
Since a sitemap can compile all URLs on your site, it’s one of the fastest ways to submit URLs to Google. All you need to do is to upload your sitemaps to Google Search Console and Google will crawl and index your site from there.
How to Submit Multiple URLs to Google With Sitemaps?
In Google Search Console, you can submit your URLs to Google in three steps:
- Login to your Google Search Console account. From the sidebar menu in the left-hand side of the dashboard, choose your website. In case you have multiple URLs, you can select the one you want to deal with. For those who don’t have a Search Console account yet, they have to create an account and then add and verify their site. One successful activation of the account, the users can start submitting their site links for indexing.
- Once you choose the site, the next thing you may want to do is to access the Sitemaps report in Google Search Console. This can be found in the sidebar menu, under the “Index” option. Once you click on the “Sitemap” option beneath “Index”, Google Search Console will load the report. The Sitemaps report will show your submitted sitemaps, plus specific information for each sitemap such as sitemap type, submission date, status and number of discovered URLs. Once you submit the first sitemap, the above data becomes invaluable.
- In your Sitemap report, you can add a new sitemap to add multiple URLs that you can submit to Google in a single go. To do this, you need to copy the URL of your sitemap, paste the URL in the field which says “Enter Sitemap URL” and click on “Submit”.
However, this process doesn’t guarantee that your site will be indexed instantly. It will take Google a couple of days to a few weeks to review and index the sites from your sitemaps. You can check the Sitemaps report to confirm the same and review how many URLs have been indexed.
Google Search Console is a useful SEO tool that can be utilized for activities other than submitting sitemaps. It can be used to see if a site is mobile-friendly, analyze keywords that drive traffic to your website, reviews the internal and external links on your site and much more.
All these factors, when combined, can help to build a robust SEO strategy that can help your website grow.
How to Submit a Single URL to Google With a Crawl Request?
For new URLs or updated URLs, you can follow these steps to submit a single URL to Google.
- Open Search Console, log in to your account and select the website that contains the URL that you’re about to upload.
- Next, you’d have to access the “URL inspection report”. You can find the same at the top of the sidebar menu, below “Overview” and “Performance”. There’s also a shortcut way to access this report via the search bar in GSC. You have to paste the URL in the search bar, post which a popup will show saying “Retrieving data from Google index” and then the report will load.
- If the URL is already crawled and indexed by Google, the report will state that the URL is already on Google. A new-page will, however, generate a report saying that the URL is not on Google, which confirms that you have to take the next step, i.e., Requesting URL indexing.
- When your report loads, you have to first double-check your webpage and its content using the “Test Live URL” option. Then you need to submit the page to Google through the “Request indexing” option. Again, you have to give a few days to a few weeks to Google to index your site. Once indexed, you can start tracking its performance on the GSC.
RIP Google URL Submit Tool! No More Bulk URL Submission to Google
Earlier, Google offered the “Submit a URL” option for all its users to enable faster indexing of websites and URLs to its search index.
The “Submit URL” option was widely used by blog managers, webmasters, and outsourced SEO experts, to push pages of client websites for faster indexing.
It was easy as webmasters could save the time spent asking clients their search console details to submit URLs through the “Fetch as Google” option.
However, Google’s URL submit tool is now dead! The confirmation about the same, came on Wednesday after the search engine giant pulled the plug on one of its widely used services.
Why has Google killed the URL submit tool?
SEO experts, who were using this tool for submitting backlinks and for faster indexing, will face the heat as they are currently left with no other option other than waiting for their links to be crawled by Google naturally.
The submission of URLs was possible even for users who didn’t have to sign in. It is possible that Google detected webmasters using the service for adding bulk URLs for indexing, which could have prompted them to discontinue it.
“We’ve had to drop the public submission feature, but we continue to welcome your submissions using the usual tool in the Search Console and through sitemaps directly,” announced Google, through its official twitter Google Webmaster account.
The Submit URL option was added to Google search back in 2008 and later added it to its Classic Webmaster Account in 2012; with a few minor design changes. Since then, the feature was part of Google Webmasters and later the Search Console.
The removal of the ‘submit URL feature’ from the Google search console has globally come to effect.
The page now displays a message that reads, “To submit a URL to the Google index, either submit a sitemap or use our new URL Inspection tool.”
“Cling on to Fetch as Google and Sitemap”, says Google:
With the elimination of Google’s free URL submission tool, webmasters will now have to use the “Fetch as the Google” option in the Search Console, to make indexing faster.
This latest move of the search engine giant has once again stressed the importance of having sitemaps.
“Want to let us know about new or updated pages quickly? Use Search Console’s Fetch & Submit for individual pages, or have your CMS tell us directly with a sitemap file or feed,” Google tweeted.
What has John Mueller said about the URL submit tool?
Over the last few months, webmasters have been noticing Google being fussy to index URLs that were submitted through the public URL submission tool.
With this announcement that was made on Wednesday, it seems like the strategic move to kill off the tool, that has allowed users to submit URLs without signing in to search console, was well thought out.
Earlier, John Mueller, the Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst – Google, had said that the URL submit tool need not be used if your content is well written with added value, during one of his webmaster sessions. He also identified a few scenarios wherein the tool might become handy for webmasters.
“…The one time I would recommend using the submit URL tool is when you have, like, real issues on your website that you urgently need to fix and you will urgently need to have Google reflect that in the search results.
So, for example, you removed something private that you actually published. That would be a good candidate for this tool. Maybe, you had this wrong phone number in your title in your search results and people were calling up someone else accidentally. That would be something that you’d want to get re-indexed and want it processed, as quickly as possible.”
While it is a good practice to submit URLs to Google for indexing, it doesn’t guarantee that your webpage will rank in the search engine. Crawling and indexing websites are a part of SEO. To ensure that your site ranks well on Google, you have to consider other essential factors like site speed, quality of content and keywords used. By implementing the right SEO strategies, your content will have a greater potential to rank on Google.