RapidWeaver FAQ - How to show up on Google







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How can I get my RapidWeaver created website to show up on Google? And what about Meta-Tags? (Also works for websites not made with RapidWeaver)


If your website appears on Google it’s also most-likely to appear automatically in other search engines as well. Also note that Google has 70% market-share which means that 70% of the searches on the web are made through Google. That’s why I’m going to describe only how to get your website indexed on Google here and am not covering other search engines.

Chapter 1: Applications
Chapter 2: Manually going through the process step by step
Chapter 3: What is a robots file? What is it good for? How is it made?
Chapter 4: About search engine optimization (SEO)
Chapter 5: About meta-tags
Chapter 6: About Google and domain masking



Chapter 1: Applications


Rage Sitemap Automator (29.99$) is an application made by Rage. It will produce your sitemap, upload it and verify it with Google, Yahoo and Ask.com. It is really fast and the good thing about it is that you can use it for non-RapidWeaver created websites too (WordPress Blogs, PhpBB Forums, Dreamweaver, or whatever). So it’s certainly worth the money. It’s also recommend if you have multiple websites. To get Rage Sitemap Automator click here.

If you don’t want to pay for that then go through the following steps...


Chapter 2: Manually going through the process step by step


1) Submit your URL going to
addurl

2) Register
here to register to the Google Webmaster Tools.

3) Now create a sitemap
http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
-Put your base URL (www.yourdomain.com) where it says Starting URL
-Click on start

4) Download the un-compressed XML Sitemap

5) Open it in Safari or any other browser or full text editor (TextWrangler, Notepad) to see if almost all your pages are included, if they aren’t something went wrong. If you’re on a Mac and it doesn’t open with Safari right-click on it (ctrl+click) and choose “Open with” and select “Safari”.

6) If it’s ok. Upload that file to the root (main location) on your server (
What is the root of a server/website?)
Entering: http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml in your browser should bring up this file. If it doesn’t come up in the browser then something went wrong and you will have to find out what. You probably placed it into the wrong location.

7) Once you uploaded that file go to the Google Webmaster Tools you registered to in Step 2. In the Dashboard if it isn’t already already on the list you need to add your base URL. To do that hit “Add site”
, type your domain in the appearing box
http://yourdomain.com



and hit “Continue”.

8 ) Google will ask you to verify that it really is your website.

Under “Choose verification method” select “Upload an HTML file”:



Download the HTML file by hitting “this HTML verification file” and you will get a file called google8824XXXXXX.html or similar.

Put it in the main location (root) on your server (same location where the sitemap.xml file is)
Entering: www.yourdomain.com/google8824XXXXXX.html in your browser should bring up this file. If it doesn’t come up in the browser then something went wrong and you will have to find out what.

Once you created and uploaded the file hit “Verify” and you will see a message appearing at the top of the window



and get redirected to the Dashboard.

Now go to “Site configuration” and “Sitemaps”



and hit
.

9) If you uploaded your sitemap to the root of your server you will just have to type in “sitemap.xml” (or the name of the file if you renamed it)



and click on “Submit Sitemap”.

Again a message will appear at the top of the window



and your sitemap will be on the list:



10) That’s it. However you will have to wait about two weeks before you see your site indexed by google. To see if your website is indexed in google go to google, in the search box type site:’your url’ (see example here ) note that it changes whether you include or not the www. I find most of my pages indexed without because I first registered it that way.

From time to time replace the old sitemap with a new one
- Make a new sitemap
- Upload it to your Server
- Go to your Google Webmaster Tools account
- Click on the URL of your site
- Go to Sitemaps, Check the box near the sitemap file name and hit “Resubmit selected” and you’re done.


Chapter 3: What is a robots file? What is it good for? How is it made?


A robots.txt file is used to tell search engines (such as Google or Yahoo) which pages or folder you don't want to be indexed by them. There are many reasons why you would want to avoid some pages from being indexed. Either because a page or an entire site is just for testing purpose and not to be seen by everybody or because it contains private informations about you and your family and you don't want it to be searchable and so on.

I made a file filled with some sample informations. You can download that file by
clicking here.

When you open it in TextWrangler or any other text editor application you will see the following page:



Disallow: /test/ means that search engines will not index the whole /test/ folder which is on my server and its entire content.
Disallow: /sample/Sample.html means that search engines will not index the Sample.html page which is contained in the /sample/folder. However all other pages in the /sample/ folder will be indexed.
Disallow: example.html means that they will not index the example.html page which is in the root of the server.

You have to upload the robots.txt file to the root of your server so that it is reachable under
http://yourdomain.com/robots.txt


Chapter 4: About search engine optimization (SEO)


Use synonyms in your content. Write your content so that it fits as good as possible everything a 'googler' could search for.

To know what Googlers are searching for visit this page:
Google insights for search.
As an example if you have a website with music lyrics write “lyrics” in the searchbox. Scroll down and you will see which lyrics are the most-searched ones at the moment. You can also select an area. The lyrics searched for in the UK usually are different from the ones searched in the USA. These are the keywords you have to integrate in your content.

In the end it’s all about three things: Content, Content and Content

Chapter 5: About meta-tags


Some time ago you could "feed" search engines with words (keywords) by putting them in the meta tags (more precisely meta description tags). Nowadays search engines ignore those tags (probably due to spamming) and only look at the content. To me meta description tags are useless.

On this
Google Webmaster Help page Google states that

"This tag provides a short description of the page. In some situations this description is used as a part of the snippet shown in the search results."

Under the title tag looking at
my website on Google the actual content of the pages displays. If you don't add meta tags to your pages Google takes the whole content of the page. Depending on what the potential-vistors search for the description (snippet of the content of my pages) changes dynamically. If the relevant part is at the bottom of the page it shows the bottom of the page if it's at the top it shows the top. Meta description tags aren't so dynamical. In addition to that if one puts a sentence in the meta description tags it would just show that sentence. Whereas if the content is taken it contains a lot of sentences, meaning many keywords.
 
On the previously linked Google Webmaster Help page clicking on More informations talking about meta tags they state:

"they won't impact your ranking within search results"

which is the main reason why people want to add them: a higher ranking. Doesn’t work, sorry.

I read that Yahoo makes more use of the tags than Google does. But it's a fact that more than 70% of the searches on the web are made with Google (who's using Yahoo?). Also remember that if a website gets indexed by Google it most probably will be indexed by Yahoo and other search engines too.

I never did any Meta Tags and it seems to me that my site works fine without Meta Tags on Google... Google includes Page Title and Page Content.

Bottom line: I see no need to include Meta Description Tags.

Of course that’s my point of view. But people reading this: You're free to decide on your own... It's up to you...

Chapter 6: About Google and domain masking


Using WebForward with cloaking/masking may make the sites appear in google without content because it generates an iFrame embedding the content but the page itself doesn’t have any. If you want your sites to appear in Google under your personal domain you have to have it forwarded as CNAME. Look at the Personal domains FAQ for further informations.


This FAQ is also discussed in my RapidWeaverFAQ.org E-Book (sample)

RapidWeaverFAQ.org - Tutorials, Tips & Tricks is made with RapidWeaver and for RapidWeaver.
It's an EBookStoreToday.com company. It's presented by Cédric Giger and hosted by HostGator.com

Thank you for visiting and supporting my website,
- Cédric -


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