How to Teach Google to Index your Website

Google Search Console (aka. Google Webmasters)  is a set of tools to teach Google to index your website.

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First, I need to sign in Google Search Console and add my site (my property)

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The site will be verified by my domain name provider (in this case, godaddy.com) to make sure that I am indeed the site owner.

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If you run into any trouble to verify the site with godaddy, you need to add a TXT record in godaddy:

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After the successful verification, I can start to access various tools in Google Search Console.  But in order to actually use most of these tools, I need to wait for Google Search Console to process my website and make the diagnostic and other data available.  It could take several hours.

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For example, Google Search Console suggested that I should add a sitemap to my web site.  A site map is particular important to new site that has few external links to it.   Googlebot and other web crawlers crawl the web by following links from one page to another. Without a sitemap, Google might not discover your pages if no other sites link to them.   I therefore installed Google XML Sitemaps plugin for my wordpress website.   It automatically generates an XML-based sitemap http://scottge.net/sitemap.xml.   I then submitted to Google Search Console.

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Fetch as Google is another useful tool in Google Search Console.  Using Fetch as Google, you can understand how Googlebot sees your web pages when it crawls the site.

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Additionally, the Google Data Highlighter tool enables you to literally teach Google the data structure of your webpages, so that Google can extract correct Title, Author, Date published, Image, Category, Rating and Votes information.

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Overall, Google Search Console provides a set of must-have tools if you are serious about search engine optimization for your website.

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