Before the launch of a new site

We all have our own ways of what we do when we launch a new site. Add it to Google Sitemaps aka Web Master Central, get a couple of links from other established sites to it, add it in our forum sig, use it as our URL when commenting on other people’s sites, and of course asking people to blog about it.nnWhat about before the site is live? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has several domains with half done sites, or domains that are due a site but just haven’t got one yet. Whilst you’re still working on the site what do you do about any pre-marketing? Do you include a link from an established site to it just to get it into the search engines? Make sure Google et al already know about the domain before the site is running?nnI’ve got a couple of sites like this and I often wonder if I should already be getting my own links up to the new site, hidden away in a footer of a site or something, so that the links are there but are unlikely to be clicked by anyone.nnWhat do you do during development?

17 Responses

  1. thatedeguy says:

    I’ve never added links ahead of time for the simple reason that there isn’t anything to crawl except for, in some cases, a holding page. Even if the search engines do find it, they won’t index it for anything you want them to.nAdding it to Sitemaps gets it indexed quicker anyways.

  2. Sarah says:

    Even if development takes say 6 months and your domain is brand new and once launched will inevitably hit the sandbox you still won’t get it into Google/Yahoo etc. early, even with a simple holding page?nnI’m not talking about rankings and ranking for a site that doesn’t exist, I’m talking about getting your domain established in the search engines.

  3. thatedeguy says:

    I guess that depends. I’ve never taken more than a month or so to develop anything so haven’t really worried about it. I think it also would depend on how much you are willing to give away on your site. If you’re going to put up a holding page, you’re gonna want to put some keywords in there. That could give away the purpose of the site. Not a problem if the URL is pretty self explanatory, but if you have a site called fronker.com, you might want to hold off any tips on what it is about to keep anyone from poking around.nnAs far as search engines go, I’ve never had a problem getting the sites fully indexed within a couple of weeks. And I’ve never seen any long term effects of the sandbox either. Perhaps my mind will be changed when I run into those problems.

  4. Sarah says:

    I’ve never had a problem getting indexed but I have seen a site literally change from no where to the front page over night after around 9 months to a year. Luckily UK domains don’t seem to suffer as much with this but I guess it depends on the phrases and terms. Of course the ‘sandbox effect’ could simply be lack of popularity which I do believe more so.nnPersonally I wouldn’t put anything on the holding page. Google will still index a site with a blank page on it. I once bought a site which was 99% finished in development and it had been submitted to Google with a blank index.html page. Doesn’t seem to have suffered (as it’s now on page 1 for its main 2 word key phrase).nnDevelopment of my sites are taking longer just due to time constraints so it’s something I need to consider. 🙂

  5. ses5909 says:

    I’m the same as you Sarah. I usually put up a holding page and at least let the SEs see that. I’m pretty sure google does add some weight to a sites history and age, even if it is just one page. My sites also take me forever to develop. I just don’t always have the time.. I’ve got one website that has been “under development” for 2 years :SnnI have no idea when it will be done.

  6. Sarah says:

    Just 2 years? I bought a domain in 2000 to turn into a money making machine and it’s still just sitting there doing nothing! I’ll get there one day :DnnTime is a major factor. I just try and squeeze in half an hour here and there to work on sites. Trouble is, it takes me half my spare time to work out where I’d got to previously!

  7. Russell says:

    Well indeed, getting indexed is the biggest thing…sad fact of the matter is most people PAY to have their site come up first with certain key words, content is still King in most regards, but the Google likes to get paid.

  8. Sarah says:

    Hey Russell, thanks for your comment. The focus of the post was actually about getting your domain known to Google even before a site is on it, not about ranking afterwards. Seems the comments have gone off on a tangent now!

  9. Will says:

    As far as I’m concerned, holding pages with an inbound link or two from an already indexed page is a very useful method of getting a website known to a search engine.nnWebsite age can be demonstrated to be significant factor and it makes good sense to have it so.nnTherefore, it follows on that it makes good sense to get the website known as soon as possible, preferably with some sort of relevant content so that it might still be useful for anyone stumbling upon it.

  10. Sarah says:

    Hey Will, good point about perhaps having some relevant content. Maybe a brief about page that doesn’t go into too much detail but gives an insight into what the new site will be about.nnThanks for your input 🙂

  11. Gary says:

    Pauls new tool at http://www.domainnameager.com is handy for this exact need 😉

  12. Sarah says:

    Gary, cheers for the link. Had a brief read of the page and will have a listen to the video when I’ve got a chance 🙂

  13. Jalaj says:

    I think before the site is actually disclosed formally, it should go through addition to webmaster tools, indexing.. and back-links should be created after you make it live (disclosed)… and New site should be launched 3-4 weeks before expected PR update date (that would be difficult to predict now with last update loosing expected dates)

  14. Sarah says:

    Jalaj, I agree on the addition to the webmaster tools. Get the search engines knowing about it, bit like a prelaunch buzz. I wouldn’t be so concerned on the time in relation to a PR update. PR makes no difference to your rankings or traffic and afterall, PR is always updating, you just don’t see what Google sees on the toolbar.

  15. Jalaj says:

    Yes PR on Google toolbar is grandparents story now… from what I have observed in last 6 months after verifying to Google Webmaster is that your traffic from Google (80% of mine is from Searches, perhaps mostly from Google) increase or decrease as and when links in Google Webmaster Tools are updated. So I feel its now here to replace the toolbar

  16. Sarah says:

    It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on that theory, you never know what you may be onto 😉

  17. steve says:

    Hi,nI would take forever to do something one site i got the domain for sat for over a year before i got a site put on it.nnNow developing it further and getting links and the like thats another story.nnA work in progress i would say.nnsteve

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