Websites‎ > ‎Google Sites How-tos‎ > ‎

Google Sites - Get Found in Google Search - Google Webmaster Tools

posted 21 Feb 2011, 16:28 by Stephen Hind   [ updated 11 Apr 2014, 07:45 by Unknown user ]
You can now get your Google Site found in Google Search within 2 weeks if you register your naked domain and the www subdomain in Google Webmaster Tools. Many thanks to Joshua Howell of shocknawe.com.au for sharing the technique with me and allowing me to add it to my Google Sites How Tos.

This process relies on your naked domain (e.g. example.com) redirecting to your subdomain (e.g. www.example.com) because you cannot point a naked domain to a Google Site, so if you have any difficulties in doing this I offer a service to configure it for you: Google Sites Setup Service.  If you do not use Google Sites and your naked domain shows your site directly you do not need to redirect it, but do Set a Preferred Domain.




Instructions

Set your Site's Visibility

You need to ensure that you set your site's visibility to Public.  If your site's visibility is set to anything else then Google Search will not index your site.  For instructions on how to set your site's visibility see Google Sites - Site Sharing and Visibility Options.

Set your Site's Canonical URL

You need to make sure that you set your site's canonical URL. This tells Google Search to index your mapped domain web address rather than your sites.google.com address.

Redirect your Naked Domain

You need to make sure that your naked domain (e.g. example.com) redirects to your www address (e.g. www.example.com).  To see this working see what happens when you go to steegle.com (you will arrive at www.steegle.com).

  • Sign in to your DNS and make an A record of @ and point it to 174.129.25.170 (this is a free redirection service offered by http://www.wwwizer.com/).  Make sure you delete any other @ A records.

Add Site to Google Webmaster Tools - Naked Domain

Once the redirect works register the naked domain with Google Webmaster Tools .

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools and use the Add Site button and enter the naked domain of your Google Site (e.g. example.com in my screen shots I use gbbohelp.co.uk) and then use the Continue button.

  2. On the Verify Ownership page, go to the Alternative Methods tab and choose Add a meta tag to your site's home page and copy the meta tag.

  3. Open a new browser tab or window and go to your site and sign in.  Use the More Actions button, then Manage Site and go to General.  In the Google Webmaster Tools verification box paste the meta tag given by the Google Webmaster Tools Verify Ownership page and use the Save Changes button.

  4. Go back to the browser tab or window with the Google Webmaster Tools Verify Ownership page and use the Verify button: you should now see the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for your site's naked domain.

    If the verification failed your redirect does not work correctly: you need to correct this before you can continue.

Add Site to Google Webmaster Tools - www Web Address (subdomain)

  1. Return to Google Webmaster Tools Home, use the Add Site button and enter the www web address of your Google Site (e.g. www.example.com in my screen shots I use www.gbbohelp.co.uk) and then use the Continue button.

  2. If you see the Verify Ownership page choose Add a meta tag to your site's home page and copy the meta tag.
    If you arrive directly at the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for your sites web address skip 3 and 4 below and go to Set Preferred Domain

  3. Open a new browser tab or window and go to your site and sign in.  Use the More Actions button, then Manage Site and go to General.  In the Google Webmaster Tools verification box paste the meta tag given by the Google Webmaster Tools Verify Ownership page and use the Save Changes button.

  4. Go back to the browser tab or window with the Google Webmaster Tools Verify Ownership page and use the Verify button: you should now see the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for your site's www web address.

Set Preferred Domain - Google Webmaster Tools

  1. From the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for your site's www web address use the Settings button, looks like Google Webmaster Tools - Settings button , then choose Site Settings.

  2. Choose the Display URLs as www.example.com option from the Preferred Domain section (where www.example.com is your site's www web address) and use the Save button that appears.

Submit a Sitemap of Google Site www web address

  1. From the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for your site's www web address use the Crawl link (in the left, vertical navigation), then the Sitemaps link that appears.

  2. Use the Add/Test a Sitemap button, in the box next to your site's www web address enter system/feeds/sitemap and then use the Submit Sitemap (on the right) to add it to the list of sitemaps.

    Google Webmaster Tools will display information about your sitemap.

  3. Come back later (hours or days) to see the pages the Google Webmaster Tools has found from the sitemap.

Fetch as Googlebot and Submit to Index

  1. From the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for your site's www web address use the Crawl link (in the left, vertical navigation), then the Fetch as Google link that appears.

  2. Use the Fetch button to fetch the homepage and wait a few seconds and the page will refresh and notify you that the fetch completed successfully.

  3. Use the Submit to index link and in the Submit URL to index dialogue box that appears choose URL and all linked pages and use the Submit button.

Check Google Search to see the Indexed Pages

  1. For the next couple of weeks go to google.com and enter the site search operator followed by your site's www web address, e.g. site:www.example.com (where www.example.com is your site's www web address) and use the Search button.

  2. Google Search will display all the pages it has indexed from your site.

Feedback

Tests Performed by Steegle.com

When Joshua Howell of shocknawe.com.au suggested this process I was naturally a little sceptical so before writing this article I performed tests on three, brand new sites

  • The first site I mapped the web address for, so the web address had never pointed to anything else and was recently purchased.  This site became fully-indexed within two weeks.

  • The second site I also mapped a newly purchased domain to it and the site became partially indexed in three days, and fully-indexed within 7 days. 

  • The final test I performed gave the first page of the site indexed in less than 24 hours!

  • Now the Fetch as Googlebot tool in Google Webmaster Tools allows you to submit to the index I have had sites indexed in less than 12 hours: one was done within 8 hours and another within 2!

Configure Naked Domain Redirect with GBBO

  1. Go to https://gbbo.myportalexpress.com/ and sign in with your username and password sent in the Second Registration E-mail from GBBO.

  2. Once signed in go to https://gbbo.myportalexpress.com/Domains/Custom/gbbo.aspx and in the Please provide as much information... box add the following message:

    Please add an A record of @ that points to 174.129.25.170.  Please DO NOT change the www CNAME record as I still want it to point to ghs.google.com (my Google Site).

    and use the Submit button.

The GBBO Support Team will e-mail you to notify when the change becomes live.

Acknowledgements

Once again many thanks to Joshua Howell of shocknawe.com.au for sharing this find.

Thanks to the GBBO Support Team for confirming that naked domain redirection is possible.


Screen Shots

click for larger images

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools - Add Site - Naked Domain

Google Webmster Tools - Verify Ownership

Google Sites - Manage Site - General - Verification Meta Tag

Google Webmaster Tools - Dashboard - Naked Domain

Google Webmaster Tools - Add Site - www Web Address

Google Webmaster Tools - Preferred Domain

Google Webmaster Tools - Add Sitemap & Sitemap Info

Google Webmaster Tools - Fetch as Googlebot

Google Webmaster Tools - Fetch as Googlebot

Google Webmaster Tools - Submit URL to Index

Google Webmaster Tools - Submit URL to Index

Google Search - Site Search Operator - Indexed Pages

GBBO - Naked Domain Rediection Request