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Go Live With Incomplete New Site or Wait?

September 21, 2011

Hi Jill,

I am starting a vacation rental site (I know, groan, very competitive). BUT--I do have a particular niche and a lot of great related keywords within this niche (thanks to your course) instead of the prevalent "vacation rental" phrases everyone uses.
Image Credit: Betsssssy
Anyway, here's my dilemma. Once my site is ready, I'll be approaching owners within the niche. They will upload their own info, pictures, etc. It will likely take at least a month or two for me to feel as if I have enough of a database to look respectable. (I HATE going to a rental site that has only a few rentals available per region. I think it looks small-time and unprofessional.) So I really don't want people to find me for the first few months. My thought was that I would not add my new keyword-rich titles, headings, links, etc., until after a month or so, to keep people from finding me too soon (ironic, I know).

Does this plan seem sound? How long does it normally take Google to recheck sites? Would it be better to just put the keywords in place now, since it might take Google and Bing a while to index the site again? If I submit an XML site map, do they go and check it right away?

Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated. Thanks!


++Jill's Response++

Hi Jami,

I wouldn't worry too much about Google finding you too soon. It's likely they won't drive too much traffic right away anyway, especially if you don't have links pointing to the site.

If you don't want to be indexed at all, then simply exclude the entire site using your robots.txt file and remove the exclusion when you're ready.

But if it were me, I would optimize it and get it indexed as soon as possible to build up age and eventually authority. The interesting thing is that Google prefers sites that are more fleshed out, as well (just like people). So as you build it up with more rentals, Google will like you better also!

Hope this helps. Oh, and I'm glad that you found my Lynda course so helpful!



Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings,Jill Whalen an SEO Consulting company in the Boston, MA area since 1995. Follow her on Twitter @JillWhalen

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Post Comment

 Ken Jansen said:
Your SEO course does rock. I bought my membership there just to see it and the rest is gravy. :)
 Jill Whalen said:
Ha! Thanks, Ken!
 David Leonhardt said:
Get the home page up ASAP, and start building links ... slowly. The page does not need to be functional, but it should look professional - more than just "Coming soon" if possible. Then when you are doing your natural networking (commenting on blogs, in forums, whatever), include the URL and you'll be seeding the search engines. As Jill says, you want to start building up authority as soon as possible.
 Earl Grey said:
Or do what companies like Google do and aggregate other people listings into your site in the same way Google and Bing do for their search results.
 Jill Whalen said:
@Earl I don't really understand how that relates to this article.
 Ben Fisher said:
When I launched my site initially I put it up incomplete and started adding content throughout the next few months. Slowly built up PR and traffic.
 Nathan O'Leary said:
I did the same thing with a business partner, we launched a vacation rental website without any actual listings, built up the authoirty and found a few houses to list along the way. Our goal is to buy the houses we rent and own the properties we rent out. Traffic over the last two years has increased tremendously, just enough now that we feel we can make the numbers work.