09 Jan Google puts new sites on probation, so plan ahead
Wine and cheese aren’t the only things that get better with age. So do web sites, according to Google.
While it’s easy to submit new web sites Google, it’s uncommon for new sites to show up immediately in Google’s results. Inexperienced site owners typically assume that the six to 12 month delay occurs because Google is backlogged with submissions. In reality, it’s because Google filters out the newest web sites to boost the relevancy of its search results.
While the intent of filtering out new sites to prevent “spamming” is noble, it has become a frustrating consequence for startups who rely on the leading search engine to build their brand. According to Hitwise, Google’s search engine market share has reached 42 percent, with an average session time of more than 12 minutes. By comparison, Yahoo! comes in a distant second with 17 percent of market share. MSN is third with 14 percent market share.
This means that Google’s market share within the search and directories category has increased by 10 percent since May, based on Hitwise.
Donal O’Hare, president of O’Hare Management Consulting, a Madison-based management consulting firm, experienced the consequences of Google “sandboxing firsthand when his company released a new web site in 2005. Even though the site met the content requirements of Google and incorporated Google’s own sitemaps indexing tool, the site remained absent in Google for more than six months.
“Our site appeared on Yahoo within a few weeks, so I became more concerned each time a week passed without appearing in Google,” O’Hare said. “I was at wit’s end. I was willing to try just about anything to get our site on Google.”
O’Hare is not alone. Many companies excluded from Google’s search results find themselves nudged into aggressive Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns on Google – circumstances that are more expensive and less effective than appearing in natural Google results. A study by Jupiter Media showed that 70 percent of Google users prefer natural listings over paid listing.
To minimize the consequences of age-delay when implementing a new site, consider the following strategies:
Plan ahead: Purchase domains early and post temporary pages as a placeholder for the upcoming site. “Coming soon” sites used to be a sign of inexperience. Now, they’re more often the opposite.
Begin with subdomains: A subdomain is a web address such as “newsite.oldersite.com” that is based on a parent address such as “oldersite.com.” Since subdomains are treated as extensions of their parent domain, they are give the same treatment as their parent site instead of being sandboxed.
Pay your dues: If a new web site is critical to the success of your company, anticipate the cost of a 6 to 12 month AdWord campaign.
Use Yahoo and MSN: When releasing a new site, make sure that you submit the new site to engines such as Yahoo and MSN, that don’t practice age delay tactics. Verify when the site is added to these engines and use them to optimize your site for desirable keywords. This way, when you site is finally indexed by Google, you can anticipate better placement.
Recycle: Consider purchasing a recently expired domain name. At sites such as redhotdomainnames.com you can subscribe via email to obtain lists of expired domains.
Snipe: Consider snatching active domain names that are about to expire. Site such as Snapnames.com, enom.com and Pool.com monitor the Verisign servers at frequent intervals (not enough to get banned) and snatch as many requested names as possible. If you don’t get your name, you don’t pay.
Pay a premium: Consider buying an active domain from someone. Network solutions allows you to make certified, anonymous offers to buy active domains from the individuals that currently own them. And, sites like Buydomains.com sell and broker premium domain names.
The extra $1000 you invest in a buying a premium web domain up front may save you thousands of dollars in additional Adword spending after the site is launched — and the disappointment of releasing a site that Google visitors won’t be able to find.
Anticipate the consequences of age delay to ensure a successful web site launch.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. (WTN). WTN, LLC accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.