Saturday, July 19, 2008

Is your blog Googleable?

How long is one second, or minute or even an hour?

That depends on one second or whatever for what.

In this internet age however, where instant messages are the norm, where emails arrive at your pocket via Blackberry, where you can serve the net practically everywhere, anything over a few seconds to a few minutes would be too slow or intolerable.

But there are exceptions. There are things on the net which surprisingly do take time!

I've always taken for granted, as an example, that anything and everything that is on the internet can be Googled or Yahoo'd or (insert your favourite search engine here!). Somehow, things just magically get picked up by their crawlers and bots and pop up when you search the right words, right?

In truth, these search engines -- as powerful as they are (think: billions of pages indexed!) -- cover only 10% of the entire Internet. The other 90% (so-called "The Invisible Web") is actually readily visible to anyone who types in the correct URL, but will not show up on your search results. This is usually because the search engines have either yet to discover these page, or decided to ignore the simply because there just is SO MUCH STUFF out there!

In a sense, technology is having trouble catching up with... technology.

Take my blog for instance... if you search for it today, using your favourite search engines, you'll probably find it only in Google and no where else. I managed to get this blog 'googleable' by manually submitting Kindasophical using Google's AddURL service.

The service is very simple and painless and most importantly, FREE. A couple of days later, I was on the Google database and anybody who happened to look for "Kindasophical" (can't imagine who would, though!) would find this blog on Google! Way cool.

That was over 2 weeks ago. Today, it just occured to me that if I had to do a manual submission for Google, then its likely I had to do the same for the other search engines! I did a quick search and sure enough, all the other search sites turned out blank.

In hindsight, the reason was obvious. Google wouldn't want to share its stuff with its competitors -- and I don't blame them!

So I went about researching ways to submit my URL to the other search engines too. The first one was to submit my URL to MSN LiveSearch. It is as fuss-free as Google. And doesn't seem to demand anything in return... not even my email add!

Yahoo was fussier. Told me to use the SubmitExpress service instead. SE is quite interesting -- they claim they will submit your website to all the key search engines and about a score of other smaller services as well! And all of that's for free.

So I just did that... and if you are also facing a searchable 'identity crisis' like me, just google 'submit URL' or a similar phrase. There are tonnes of services out there. Most of these services do say that they don't guarantee all submitted sites will make it to the search pages -- a lot of it depends on the contents and popularity.

(Here, why don't you try and see if these search engines are able to find Kindasophical today:

I'll be checking these engines in a few more days.... and if they still
turn up a blank.... then its back to doing more research!!

But one word of advice.... not all URL submission services are free. Some have additional value-added, 'premium' services that attract a fee. So PLEASE BE EXTRA CAREFUL when submitting your email or ticking anything ya?!

I've read in some instances that it could take months before the search spiders finally get to indexing your page. So if you find this a reassuring thing -- that some things are still bound by some 'natual laws' -- then welcome back to information at the space of molasses. Oboy!

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