Manual URL submissions have been the laughing stock of the SEO world for a long time. URL submission services are often seen as scams because a well built website with enough incoming links shouldn’t need URL submissions to find their way to the search engine indexes. However the possibility to manually add URLs is still available in Google, Bing and Yahoo!
Surprisingly Google just announced they will add new ways of submitting new pages and updated pages to Google’s index. This new way is linked to the ‘fetch as Googlebot’ function in Google Webmaster Tools. They must have been thinking ‘if we’re already fetching it as a bot, why not add it to the index as well’.
When you submit a URL in this way Googlebot will crawl the URL, usually within a day. We’ll then consider it for inclusion in our index. Note that we don’t guarantee that every URL submitted in this way will be indexed; we’ll still use our regular processes—the same ones we use on URLs discovered in any other way—to evaluate whether a URL belongs in our index.
You can easily submit a new URL by going to Diagnostics > Fetch as Googlebot in your Webmaster Tools account. When you fetch a URL Google offers the possibility to ‘Submit to index’.
When you click on ‘Submit to index’ you can choose whether you want to submit only the specific URL or all its linked pages as well. There’s a maximum of 50 submissions per week for individual URLs and 10 for URLs and linked pages.
Google also renewed the Add URL form outside of Webmaster Tools, which only has the options to add one URL, but doensn’t need owner verification.
In the introduction post Google stressed that Googlebot is already pretty good in discovering new URLs and finding updated content. This tool will therefore be specifically interesting for sites that have new content that they want to be sure to get indexed within a day.