On its Search Central YouTube channel, Google frequently releases the recording of a Q-&-A style session it recently held.
On these sessions, which are called Google SEO office-hours, webmasters get to ask Google (in this case, John Mueller) questions on a wide range of topics (though they’re usually all related to operating a website according to Google’s guidelines).
On the July 23rd office-hours, one person asked a question about the indexing of a rather new site. Basically, it had been about a month, and while a few URLs were indexed (when they were individually submitted), it seemed that a lot of the other URLs weren’t.
To me, there seemed to be discrepancy between a site being indexed, and a site being shown on search results for specific keywords. A site can be indexed and not ranked.
Anyway, Mueller said something that was key: “We also kind of need to understand how this site fits in with the context of the overall Web.”
So, what does that mean, exactly?
Well, Mueller goes on, implying that it’s not enough to just submit your site and hope that Google will send it lots of traffic.
Instead, at the beginning, the team behind a new site will have to do a lot more work: that is, find ways to promote your site.
That said, a caveat: earlier on in the session, Mueller sort of frowned upon the notion of blatant linkbuilding.
So, it’s tricky: how do you promote your site on the Web so that Google sees that your site is valuable, yet you’re supposed to avoid outright linkbuilding?
To me, it’s a fine line. I think that linkbuilding should be consequence of something that’s done, rather than something you do for the sake of building links.
Mueller suggested the possibility of doing ads, working with other site, and doing social campaigns.
He said, “Any of these things, they can kind of help to drive awareness of the website, and with that, over time, we’ll understand that this is a website that we should be indexing a lot more.”
So, I’d add that instead of outright link-building (which usually doesn’t add much value), focus on building awareness or brand building. (Good awareness- and brand-building activities usually add some type of value, and any associated links are a bonus that come with sharing your message and your brand.)
The participant went on to ask another question, and it seemed that press release and business submission sites are viable, so I’d consider adding them to my repertoire of site awareness- and brand-building activities.