Befriend the Google Giant

Friends at Google 

friends at google, help with google searchSearch engine optimization is super important to business, so who wouldn’t want to befriend Google? Those of us looking to keep up with algorithm updates and wish get on Google’s good side actually have a plethora of resources and tools to tap into.

For example ad agencies have one-on-one access to real  Google employees who can help with visibility and performance. (The phrase “agency” can be a one-lady show or a large advertising group.) It’s true… free support from Google! Also, Google provides a ton of information online through forums, blogs, newsletters, training, insights and more.

With all the support and guidance offered by Google, they are like a friend and mentor…there to ensure you are successful using their products.

Google Tools & Resources

Google My Business:  This is where your business can manage your online presence across Google Search & Google Maps
Google Education at Google Partners: One-on-one for Google advice, and this is not a paid service or a privileged service.

Google Partners, (now Google Ads), Academy on Livestreams: Ask questions and share experiences with Google experts & other professionals.

Academy for Ads for Google’s e-learning: Google’s e-learning courses, exams and certifications.

Think with Google: Provides market insights & trends for just about anything.

Google Webmaster Tools & Analytics: Webmaster tools allow one to evaluate & maintain the performance of a website regarding search results. To see how users/visitors interact with your website, use Google Analytics.

Google Accounts & GSuite Learning Center: This refers to a variety of application tools to support & connect your business either by individual sign-in or administered through an organization.

Google Blogs: Again, these are all free! Check out Googles Blog, as well as the Webmaster Central Blog &  the Google Research Blog.

More About Google Products

A business is only as good as their employees. Google has the people to move the machine behind their brand. For the rest of us who are looking for support, guidance, and resources for SEO… Google has it for our taking. Literally, “we all have friends at Google!”

The Google Brand

Google operations are quite impressive both internally and externally.  Don’t be intimidated by the giant brand. Although Google has the most recognized search engine, and is the tech giant in the world, it’s actually pretty relatable, even to the smallest of businesses. For the sake of your revenue growth, it’s worthwhile to get to know Google better.

Google Teams

A company with such a powerful brand is no surprise, very selective about its employees. Teams are structured and motivated to run super efficiently. I’ve read that the most productive teams at Google get the importance of collaboration so much that it’s actually like an unwritten social code.

Google receives over 2,000,000 applications each year and only those good enough for Google are hired. As of March 2018, Google consists of over 85,000 employees of various expertise levels and salaries ranging from $30k to $350k annually.

Clearly, there are super strategic and effective teams within Google. Each member of a team has a clear understanding of corporate goals, as well as a clear vision, accountability, and pride regarding their personal goals. Without clear goals, and a plan of attack, a team of people are likely to step on each other’s toes, spin wheels, and duplicate work without a combined purpose.

Google has a strict code of conduct, non-disclosure agreements and all kinds of rules to keep employees honest. The approach is team goals over individual agendas. Googles got it right regarding how to produce high-quality results; a model that all businesses should mirror.

XML Sitemap & Indexing

local seo, milwaukee area seo, local seo consultant milwaukee, local seo help near me, help with local seoHelp Spiders Find Your Site

One of the most basic and easiest things you can do to improve SEO is to ensure that web spiders can easily find and crawl your website.  If used correctly, a sitemap serves as a tool to organize and clearly define the pages within your website.  A sitemap can easily be created using Google Search Console, your content management system, (CMS), or a variety of other sitemap generator tools.

What is a sitemap?

A website sitemap is a file; a list of pages intended to be found by web spiders, search engine bots, and/or users.  A good sitemap will provide a clear understanding of your website structure; organizing pages by hierarchy or content type.  It provides important meta-data for each page. There are multiple sitemap types. For the Google search engine, you’re going to be using XML files. Sitemaps can also be pointed at through robots.txt codes and could potentially use other formats, depending upon the search engine you are looking at. When submitting XML sitemaps to search engines, follow the instructions provided by each one. Also consider creating more than one sitemap for your site using variations specifically for images, videos, news, mobile, etc.

Will a Sitemap Get Pages Indexed?

There is no guarantee. A sitemap significantly improves your chances of being indexed by major search engines. If you submit sitemaps, you’re making it easy to be found. All businesses want to be found! However, search engines still need to determine if the quality of your pages are worthy enough to connect to specific search queries.  Ultimately, submitting a sitemap is important for SEO, but it’s not going to make a search engine like Google prefer your site over another just because you have a sitemap pointer.

Submitting Sitemaps to Search Engines

Once you’re happy with the sitemaps you have created, they must be submitted manually to search engines.  (You’ll need to update & maintenance sitemaps manually as well.)  For any search engine, you must be verify the website first, and have appropriate user permissions to submit a sitemap. Be sure your sitemap is in the correct file format and actually exists on your web server before attempting to verify it.

Below I share one version of how to submit sitemaps to:  Google, Bing , Yahoo! And Ask.com.

How to Add Sitemap to Google

  1. Go to webmaster tools, or what is now referred to as “Google Search Console
  2. Find & select “sitemaps” in dashboard options
  3. Select “add/test sitemap”
  4. Paste your sitemap code in appropriate file format
  5. Test , Submit, & ensure it has been saved

How to Add Sitemap to Bing

  1. Go to Bing Webmaster Tools
  2. Locate the sitemap widget from user dashboard
  3. Select “add a sitemap”
  4. Paste your sitemap code in appropriate format
  5. Test , Submit, & ensure it has been saved

How  to Add Sitemap to Yahoo!

Yahoo! Site explorer is no longer valid.  Use Bing Webmaster Tools as shown above to ensure your sitemap is uploaded to Yahoo!.

How to Add Sitemap to Ask.com

Unfortunately Ask.com no longer allows the submittal of sitemaps. The best way to reference your sitemap location for Ask.com is to use robots.txt to reference it.

How to Find XML Sitemaps on Your Website

To see the XML sitemaps currently associated with your website, simply type in your website URL with the XML index extension, such as: https://www.allaboutmybusiness.com/sitemap_index.xml

For validation of your XML sitemap submittals, refer to the dashboards on Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools or other free sitemap validator tools which are widely available online.  Be sure to check and update your sitemaps regularly, especially as new content as added to your website.

NOTE: If you can’t find a page that you think should be on your sitemap, ensure that page isn’t blocked by robots.txt

Help with Website Sitemaps

If you need additional assistance to create, upload, maintenance, or verify the success of your sitemap submittal, contact The Leaning Tree Digital directly for more information.