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By: Matthew Doucette
Here are some common and simple webmaster tips for checking out your site in Google.
The Google Search Tips:
Please click the bolded links to see each tip in action (on our own xona.com domain name).
Also, please be aware of the quotation marks. If I show quotation marks, it means the search includes quotation marks. Be careful of this because quotes can change what you are searching for.
All the tips:
Tip #1: Your Site Index Count:
See how many of your webpages have been indexed by Google. This also ranks them by order of popularity. You can see if site’s pages have high page rank quickly (in relation to other pages on your own site, of course), even before the Google Toolbar shows so.
Currently, xona.com/ti994a is the third result, and Google Toolbar shows that it has a PageRank of 0. I can see now that it has a PageRank of probably 4 or 5, from looking at the other pages already ranked that high before and after it. Eventually the Google Toolbar will update to show this, but it is cool to know where your page stands ahead of time. It is a common misconception that your PageRank is currently what the Google Toolbar says it is. True PageRank is updated very quickly, much faster than Google's Toolbar shows.
(For historical purposes, Google shows 2,560 results for site:xona.com at the time this article was published.)
Tip #2: Results Mentioning Your Site:
I used Microsoft in this example to avoid confusion, as our site's title and URL is the same text ("Xona.com" vs. "xona.com") and Microsoft's is not ("Microsoft" vs. "microsoft.com"). I could not showcase various searches if I had used our site as the example.
It shows how many times your website is mentioned on the Internet. Remember that they will both produce different results, so try them both. Also, the non-www search (I.e., “xona.com”) may return results that are not your website, if the domain in question is a substring of another domain. For example, searching "tech.com" will result in sites mentioning "highpoint-tech.com", "honda-tech.com", "ad-tech.com", etc., as they contain "tech.com".
(For historical purposes, Google shows 14,960 results for "xona.com" and 133 for "www.xona.com" at the time this article was published. When we first started Xona.com, we used www.xona.com, but shortly after switched to xona.com, without the www subdomain. This explains the 133 results from the second search.)
Tip #3: Results Mentioning Your Site, Not Including Your Site:
This is a combination of previous tips, with one of them negated. It shows how many times your website is mentioned on the Internet, not including mentions from your own site.
(For historical purposes, Google shows 12,700 results for "xona.com" -site:xona.com and 127 for "www.xona.com" -site:xona.com at the time this article was published. Again, when we first started Xona.com, we used www.xona.com, but shortly after switched to xona.com, without the www subdomain. This explains the 127 results from the second search.)
Tip #4: Results Mentioning Your Site, Not Including Your Sites:
The same tip subtracting even more sites. It shows how many times your website is mentioned on the Internet, not including mentions from the subtracted sites. In the example above, I subtract three of Microsoft's own websites (microsoft.com, msn.com, and live.com).
(For historical purposes, Google shows 12,200 results for "xona.com" -site:xona.com -site:matthewdoucette.com -site:jasondoucette.com -site:sawtoothdistortion.com -site:xonatech.com at the time this article was published. For your information, sawtoothdistortion.com and xonatech.com were the first domains we used to host this Xona.com website you are reading now. There are still remnants of this site on those old domains on the Internet and in some old search engine caches. And jasondoucette.com and matthewdoucette.com are the personal websites of the Xona.com founders!)
Tip #5: Basic Searches for Your Site and Your Content:
Simple ones, just so you do not forget that simple searches can be helpful, too! Shows who results for searches of your website’s title, your own name, etc. Repeat searches of two or more words with quotes, which forces everything in the quote to be searched as a whole.
(For historical purposes, Google shows 98,900 results for xona, most of which do not relate to our website not including the top result, 220,000 results for matthew doucette, most of which do not relate to myself not including the top results, 275,000 results for jason doucette, most of which do not relate to Jason not including the top results, 9,360 results for "matthew doucette" and 15,000 results for "jason doucette" at the time this article was published.)
Tip #6: Sites Related to Your Site:
Shows sites Google feels are related to your site. I am not sure how this matters to a webmaster, but I have found some very interesting and related websites from these searches!
The www and non-www searches, for me, produce the same results. Therefore, it appears that adding the www is irrelevant. I always try my site both ways, with any of these tips, whenever I cannot remember if it matters or not!
Tip #7: Results with Your Site Name in the Title:
Shows pages with your name in the title.
Via this search, I found this interesting service from McAfee, called SiteAdvisor, rating our website: http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/xona.com/.
(For historical purposes, Google shows 3,680 results for allintitle:xona, most of which are not related to our site, and 2,730 results for allintitle:"xona.com" at the time this article was published.)
Tip #8: Results with Your Site Name in the URL:
Shows pages with your name in their URL.
Tip #9: Results with Your Site Name in a link:
Shows pages with your name in their links (which are links to anywhere, not just your page.)
(For historical purposes, Google shows 42,600 results for allinanchor:xona, most of which are not related to our site, and 5,240 results for allinanchor:"xona.com" at the time this article was published.)
Tip #10: Results with Your Site Name in text:
Shows pages with your name in their text. This is almost the same as a regular of your name, as this is usually where the majority of results of your name will be, in the text of pages. However, this search is useful if you really want to make sure not to include results that are in URLs and titles.
(For historical purposes, Google shows 97,300 results for allintext:xona, most of which are not related to our site, and 16,100 results for allintext:"xona.com" at the time this article was published.)
Tip #11: The Current Cache of Your Site (NEW!)
It shows the current cache of your site. This is useful if you are wondering when Google is going to "pick up" on your latest changes. For example, I have just written a new article, Hectomillionaire vs. Centimillionaire, and I am wondering when I am going to start appearing in Google results for hectomillionaire and centimillionaire. I could do this by searching for those terms, but it is unreliable as I may not be a top 10 (or even top 100) result. The best method is to check Google's current cache of your site. As of the time of this writing, Google's cache does not contain my latest article.
It also tells you how recent the latest cache of your site is. At the time of this writing, Google's cache of my site is only 5 days old. Not bad, really.
Tip #12: Sites Linking to Your Site (NEW! 2007-Feb-6)
It shows how many sites are currently linking to your site, but its results are limited on purpose. To see the full results you have to sign into Google Webmaster Central (see external links below).
(For historical purposes, Google shows 20 results for link:xona.com. In Google Webmaster Central, it shows 3,166 links to us in total: 941 links to Domain Hacks, 517 links to our Xona.com main page , 467 links to our quotes collection, 159 links to our Visual C++ .NET Standard Edition - Free Optimizing Compiler article, 151 to our Inspirational Quotes, 132 to our color list, and 102 to Domain Hacks Suggest, plus many more.)
Any Suggestions / Recommendations?
If you have any suggestions or recommendations to add, please contact us!
About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $180,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.
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