Google indexing... I think?
It is done. I have indexed. SEO king over here.
... I may actually get some readers now!?
This post is pretty tech/web development heavy at first. You have been warned. It is written from my beginner perspective so if you don't have any idea how to index or SEO... read on. If you just want to laugh at me struggling with it... Also read on.
Biography of a nobody day 34. February 3rd 2021.
I got up groggy and did the morning work/school run. By the time I got home I decided I was finally happy for this site to be easily found by people. That meant google indexing it. That is how you have likely found me unless you are family, from the reddit bloggers page or 1 of the 33 people following me on instagram. I had decided I was ready for that as I had some positive feedback from all three of those groups regarding my content and point of view, regardless of grammar issues Mum. I am also starting to be happy with how much content I actually have up on the site. 47 posts! Massive stuff!
When I had decided I was ready for this first thing this morning I didn't actually know what google indexing was, this is all new to me. I just wanted to be found easier- so let me break it down for you:
Google has bots that scrawl the internet and look through websites that it can access. It locates key phrases and key words from your content and image names. When these key words are typed into the google search bar they will relate to your site and your site appears. This then relates to SEO (Search engine optimisation) and how easily you are found. The more you mention the key words you wish to be found for the higher you will rank on google, the higher you rank the closer to the top of the list your site/post appears. Now you understand that I have saved you a morning of research.
In order to allow google to do a scrawl so that you can be found on that and other search engines you need to index your website... This is where it gets complicated. This is where I got confused. This is why I spent 68 minutes on the phone to WiX today making friends and fixing issues I didn't have.
Let me save you some time if you have made your website on WiX. Go into your dashboard and tick the button in the SEO section that allows google to index your site. It takes 30 seconds. I already did this yesterday and didn't realise.
I then went full hypochondriac after searching 'how to make my website more findable' on google.
Firstly I was told from most links to sort my SEO. Done. The next points were a bit was more complicated so I entered the world of reddit and went onto blogging and writing pages to see if anyone else knew how to make their site found. I perused until I found the perfect post- someone saying they had been blogging for months but no one had been to their site yet- 'what can I do?' they asked. People had written loads of handy tips- one of those tips was to google index your website. Cool. How?
Start by typing 'site:' followed by your website into google and clicking Search. I did this and a couple of pages appeared... but only pages from my first couple of days posting. Once you have done that and seen a page it means google has access to your site- but why are only a couple of pages showing? Let me save you time again. Google can take months to properly scrawl your site for the first time. If a single page or image appears it is likely you just have to wait... I am not a particularly patient person so figured something must be wrong so signed up to Google Search Console. Here you can look at your site traffic and index your website by copying in your site map. WTF is a sitemap? Well I figured I just copy the link to each of my pages so it would get scrawled. These links threw up errors as they aren't a sitemap. a map of your site. A website thing that no one ever see's- but it exists for all sites. Look it up for a proper explanation but basically I am a moron and figured with these faults turning up telling me I had 'HTML' issues meant I needed to call WiX customer care so my site would work properly. See what I mean about going full hypochondriac. NEVER go FULL hypochondriac. Tropic thunder 'quote' for you there.
So. I called WiX.
I called WiX quoting HTML issues and something to do XML or... Whatever it was. This is all a foreign language to me now. The lady I got on the phone had a wicked accent- I think she said Filipino? She was super polite and helpful but since I had got majorly confused yet sounded like I knew what I was talking about by quoting things like 'HTML', 'XML', 'Google search console' and 'Indexing'- She felt I needed a technical engineer to check over my site. I think I waited 10 minutes and then I got through to a Californian tech engineer. Three minute's into the chat with this guy- who also had a cool accent... I wonder if that is in their hiring policy?- I realised what I had done because I wiki searched what a 'Site map' was. There was nothing wrong with my site. I am just dumb. I chatted to the Tech engineer who checked over my site and noted there was nothing wrong and just explained to me how google indexing works. For a first time proper scrawl through your site it can take months. As soon as you say your site is ready to index to them you basically enter a wait list- it can take a couple of weeks- but it can take months. Cool. The engineer also noted whilst looking round my site that I should be happy with what I had done. He also said he loved the content I had posted and shares similar interests so will plan on keeping up with my success. That was a proud moment. A guy from the company that I made my site on actually thinks my site looks cool... and will read it. I pushed away the pessimism that told me customer service probably say that to everyone and just enjoyed the positivity. We both said goodbye and I then knew I just need to be patient and my site will be discoverable. I can do that. Well, I suppose I have no choice.
Today worked out pretty great.
I managed to sort that. Awesome. I actually really enjoy talking to customer services/customer care at different companies. I know that they are at the receiving end of a lot of peoples issues that they themselves have never caused. With that in mind I always try to be really positive even if I am calling for a really aggregating grievance. Todays wasn't one of those, I just needed to understand things a little better, so I just had the chat and enjoyed learning a bit more about the internet. I must say that the customer care at WiX was amazing- even though the tech engineer I ended up chatting to was likely really busy- he was more than happy to take the time to help me way more than he had any responsibility to do. That on top of how easy to set up the site was and how good everyone says it looks- I am mega happy with my choice to use WiX.
I wrote another couple of posts for the site and then picked Alex and Bee up. We had a nice relaxing evening with Rusty and then all got to bed at a pretty reasonable time. I have to say- I am genuinely feeling good. I have read back through some of my older posts and I can tell how far I have travelled inside. Yes I could fall back down tomorrow, but the more time I spend happy and being optimistic the easier I find it to brush aside the negative thoughts and feelings. Imagining being able to do anything other than focus and dwell on the bad thoughts when they arrive seemed impossible to me just a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps overloading myself with pretty much every recovery technique possible was smarter than I gave myself credit for. I got a puppy- Puppy therapy. I do counselling- Actual therapy. I am writing this blog, I am exercising, I am getting more sleep, I have taken some time off work, I am eating healthier. They are all helping. There is a path back to being me- I can feel it today more than any other day in months.