“Ask an Expert” is an occasional feature where we ask ecommerce experts questions from online merchants. For this installment, we address a question about registering websites with search engines. It comes from Lee Wright, president of Ma Mi Skin Care, a retailer of skin care products for mothers.
For the answer, we turn to , a search engine optimization expert. She is SEO manager for Groupon.com, the group coupon site, and a long-time contributor to Practical eCommerce on the subject of search engines and search engine optimization.
Lee Wright: “Someone recently told me you need to register your website with each search engine, but then someone else told me that was not necessary. What is the correct answer?”
Jill Kocher: “While registering for webmaster tools accounts isn’t required for strong search engine optimization performance, the tools in the accounts can improve your ability to monitor, analyze and improve your SEO performance. Google, Yahoo! and Bing each offer accounts loaded with a variety of helpful free tools and metrics like crawl reports, robots.txt testers, and backlink reports. Registration and verification are quick and painless, about 10 minutes each as long as you have access to upload a text file or metatag to your site. Each account will walk you through its individual process.
Here are the links to each of those sites:
- Google: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools
- Yahoo!: https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/mysites
- Bing: http://www.bing.com/webmaster
“Search engines no longer require sites to be submitted to be included in search results. Modern crawlers will eventually crawl sites that have links from other sites. To speed this process, each of these webmaster accounts also features its own XML sitemap tool that allows webmasters to submit an XML sitemap, helping crawlers find and index your site faster and more completely.”