We often focus on Google, Bing and Yahoo and forget about some of the other great search engines out there – like Ask.com – the Q&A search engine. However while the ‘Big 3’ have their own set of webmaster tools which allow you to easily submit your website and manage it – Ask.com doesn’t have anything of the sort – making the big question: How do I register my site/URL with Ask so that it will be indexed?
Ask.com supports the open-format Sitemaps protocol – making your first step creating an XML sitemap for your website (really you should have one already anyway). Once this is done there are 2 ways to tell the Ask.com bot about your sitemap:
Add the sitemap auto-discovery directive to robots.txt. This should look like this:
In both options just make sure to replace our sitemap link with your own. Do note that if you don’t see your pages indexed in the Ask.com search results, don’t be alarmed. It takes some time for Ask.com to analyze the results of a crawl and then process the results for inclusion into the database. Ask.com does not necessarily include every site it has crawled in its index.
Michael Boguslavskiy is a full-stack developer & online presence consultant based out of New York City. He's been offering freelance marketing & development services for over a decade. He currently manages Rapid Purple - and online webmaster resources center; and Media Explode - a full service marketing agency.