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Google Adds "Fetch as Googlebot" URL Submission Tool

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Google has updated its tools for submitting a URL for indexing. The new tool, titled "Fetch as Googlebot," lets users have their site reviewed more rapidly. This can also be used to clear out the currently cached version of your site.

Fetch's Functionality and Limitations

If you've wanted to call Google's attention to new sites or pages more rapidly, the "Fetch as Googlebot" feature is just what you've been hoping for. Fetch lets you see the site exactly as Google's crawler does and, more importantly, lets you tell Google to index that page. If you've updated a large amount of content or are submitting a brand new site, you can even submit the fetched page and all the pages connected to it.

Presumably to prevent spamming, Google has limited the total number of "fetches" to 50 per week. When submitting a page and all pages connected to it, there's a limit of 10 per month.

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Alongside the Fetch tool, Google released a new crawl request form. The new form is designed for pages that aren't verified. The same submission limits that apply to Fetch also apply to this form.

When You Should Use This Tool

If you've paid attention to Google over the last year or two, you know that their ability to index content quickly has improved dramatically; they're literally hopped up on caffeine. That means you don't have to wait long for Google to index your site anyway. So why bother submitting?

On the Google Webmaster Blog entry discussing the issue, the company gave a couple scenarios. For example, if you have a page with content for an event that's just days away, it would be wise to use Fetch.

There are two far more important scenarios to consider, though.

First, if you have a brand new site and not a lot of visible inbound links, Fetch will be the new place to get moving into Google's index. Expect this tool to be a new standard part of the site launch procedure.

Second, if you want to get rid of the currently cached version of your site, you can do so with Fetch. Telling Googlebot to take a look at the site will usually have the content re-checked within 24 hours. Your previous site version will then replace the cached version, allowing you to hide embarrassing or incorrect content.


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