• author: Google Search Central

Launching Your Website: Tips and Tricks

In this episode of Search Off the Record, the Google Search team discusses all things search and has some fun along the way. Today, John is joined by Lizzy and Gary from the search relations team to talk about launching a website. Every website has to start somewhere, so let's dive into some useful tips and tricks for launching your website.

Should You Avoid Launching a Staging Site?

One common question that arises is how to get staging sites removed. Lizzy suggests avoiding launching a staging site altogether and not letting it get indexed in the first place. This could be done by not trying things out and clicking the launch button prematurely. Alternatively, you could launch directly into production without using a staging site.

The Importance of Launching Your Website

Site launches can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially for new businesses. However, they are essential for establishing an online presence. Lizzy and Gary suggest focusing on the starting part of a website launch, which is essential for all businesses even if they have an existing website.

Site Launch vs Migration

Lizzy and Gary discuss the difference between a site launch and a migration. Although related, site launches typically refer to brand new, never existed before websites. In contrast, a migration typically refers to moving an existing website to a new domain or CMS.

Preventing Indexing on Staging Sites

Gary asks who encounters problems with staging servers. Lizzy responds that people who use custom or in-house CMS typically encounter indexing problems. However, this is also possible on common hosting platforms like Squarespace or Wix. Password protection is a great way to prevent search engines from indexing content. Or, you could use a staging site if you require feedback from multiple people.

Accidental Leaks

John mentions accidental leaks that can occur when launching a new feature. Lizzy and Gary share experiences of how it's tough to prevent leaks from happening. Even if a page is blocked from being accessed, subtle ways of accidentally exposing that content can exist. Thus, it is important to think about the things you publish, even if they are unpublished pages.

Launching Without Notice

Lizzy and Gary share their experience of launching a new feature without anyone noticing for months. They did not mention it anywhere, did not link to it, and did not have random JavaScript files. It just worked! Sometimes, not linking to something on the internet makes it challenging to notice.

Launching a website can be stressful and nerve-wracking, but it is a necessary step in establishing your business's online presence. With these tips and tricks mentioned, you can launch your website confidently without encountering any problems along the way.

How to Ensure Your Website is Visible to Search Engines

Having a website is crucial for any business or individual looking to establish an online presence. However, simply putting up a website is not enough - you need to ensure that it is visible to search engines. In this article, we will discuss how to ensure your website can be found by search engines and the steps you can take to control its visibility.

Allow Search Engines to Crawl Your Site

Search engines rely on web crawlers to discover and index new web pages. To ensure that your website can be discovered by these crawlers, you need to allow them access to your site. One way to do this is by creating a robots.txt file, which tells crawlers which pages to crawl and which to ignore. However, it is important to note that some pages may still be discoverable even if they are excluded in the robots.txt file.

Submit Your Site to Search Engines

Another way to ensure that your website can be found by search engines is by submitting it to search engine directories. Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are excellent resources for submitting your site and monitoring its performance. By submitting your site to these directories, you can also identify and fix any crawling or indexing errors.

Optimize Your Site for Search Engines

To improve your site's visibility to search engines, you should optimize it for SEO. This involves using keywords in your content, building quality backlinks, and ensuring fast load times. By making these optimizations, you can increase the likelihood of your site ranking higher in search engine results pages.

Use Noindex and Password Protection

There may be instances where you need to prevent some of your pages from being indexed by search engines, such as staging websites or private pages that are not meant to be shared publicly. In these cases, the noindex tag can be added to tell search engines not to index the specific page. Alternatively, you can also use password protection to limit access to your website or specific pages.

Best Practices for Launching Large Amounts of Content on the Web

When it comes to launching a large amount of content on a website, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind. Below we discuss some of the most important best practices to consider:

  1. Consider the functionality of the admin interfaces. By adding a "no index" tag to pages, the pages will not be indexed by search engines. However, this can be easily bypassed if the head element is not properly configured or if an IP block or allow list is not put in place.

  2. When launching a staging site, it's recommended to use a "no index" tag or password protection to prevent unauthorized access.

  3. Launching a large amount of content at once can be risky if the server resources are not properly prepared. Depending on the resources available, it may be best to launch the content gradually or all at once.

  4. Having a unique domain name can help with branding and recognition. However, this is dependent on the long-term goals of the website. If it's a throwaway site, the domain name may not play as big a role.

  5. Quality content is crucial for search engine indexing and user engagement. Creating content in large quantities should not come at the expense of quality.

By keeping these best practices in mind, site owners can ensure the successful launch of a large amount of content. If you have any further questions or recommendations, don't hesitate to reach out to industry experts or attend web-related events to learn more.

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