Search engines like Google and Altavista run non-stop programs that scour the web for pages to index and catalog. These programs are affectionately referred to as “spiders” (because they “crawl the web”) or “bots”, for robots.
Getting these spiders to see your site correctly is a multi-faceted endeavor.
A new web site will not be crawled until the various spider programs see it for the first time, which could take some time. However, there are various ways to speed up the process.
First, get your site mentioned or listed in places where spiders already crawl frequently. This will also give them a proper context of what your site is all about. Writing articles that contain links to your site is valuable, perhaps as a press release or in an industry publication or other blog. Manually entering information into a link directory or the search engine itself is useful.
Secondly, you can manually enter information about your web site on the various search engines. This takes time, but is easy and doesn’t cost extra money. Don’t be too tempted to use an automated submission program because it could actually penalize you if done improperly.
Thirdly, make it easy for the spider to understand you when it sees you for the first time. Make sure your site has the proper meta tags in place not only on the home page, but on all the other pages on your site as well. Include a standardized site map that lists the URL’s for all of your pages.
Fourthly, depending on available budget, you can purchase link listings on all the large search engines. On Google, this is called Google AdWords and it lets you target your designated keywords or search phrases, placing your ad text alongside other search results. Of course, if your target visitors don’t normally search for sites like yours, then this will do little for you.
In my experience, every web site is a little different and has a different twist on what we might call a balanced approach. The best results are always realized after treating each site as a completely unique entity and then designing a unique game plan.