When you launch a website, you want everyone to see it—and not just your family members, best friends, and significant other. You could be showcasing your services, selling the best product in the world, or have the coolest website design ever, but it all accounts for nothing if no one knows your website even exists. So, how do you do it?

These days, when the Internet has become more ubiquitous than ever, the goal should be to get your website to show up on Google, the most widely used online search engine in the world. So, what factors come into play to answer the age-old question “How long does it take for a website to show up in Google, or Bing results?”

Crawling and Indexing

The most important thing to do en route to making your site discoverable on Google is to make sure that it can be accessed by Googlebot. Also referred to as a “spider,” Googlebot is Google’s web crawling bot, meaning that the search engine relies on this software to fetch, or “crawl,” web pages. Googlebot then adds the documents it has collected to the Google index. When someone types a word or phrase in the search box, Google pulls all web pages pertaining to the search term from this index.

Sitemap

However, Googlebot should be able to find your website, and there are ways to do this. One of the more popular methods is to create a sitemap, which is an XML document that lists each page on your website (for example, here is our XML Sitemap). The document is stored on your site’s server, so it stays at a place where spiders can always check for any updates or additions. Also, submitting your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools can quicken the process of Google discovering your website, since the search engine would be directly notified of the presence of your website.

Hyperlinks

Also, get in the habit of sharing the URL to your website online. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, and other major social networks as well as sending links to blog directories, such as Technorati and Alltop. Finally, do not hesitate to interlink pages within your website or create links that lead visitors to other websites. The more links of your website there are, the greater the chances that Google will eventually pick it up.

Quality Content

Even if Google is aware of your website, it can choose not to index it due to poor content. Make sure your website has no spelling or grammatical errors in its text, it’s free of duplicated or plagiarized material and has a healthy number of images. There are a number of other additional factors that come into play but cover your bases first.

Discovery Timeframe

Depending on how well you follow the aforementioned pointers, Google can discover your website within the first four weeks of launch. Do a bang-up job, however, and your website can show up on Google in as little as four days. Having trouble getting your site to rank well? Check Google’s Webmaster tools first.

Getting Established

Sometimes the process can take longer if your website uses a newly registered domain name, so if you’re launching a new business it’s advisable to register your chosen domain name ahead of your site launch. It’s also advisable, at the very least, to have a “coming soon” landing page up on your site as soon as you can with some basic information on your business, just so that Google, Bing, and other search engines pick up your domain name and will regularly return to see if your shiny new website is live and ready to trade.

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