This is a common question in online marketing, as companies are understandably nervous when it comes to writing huge checks for Search Engine Optimization services, without getting something tangible in return—and fast. The good news is that if the SEO company or writer knows how the business works, the major search engines can actually start looking for your content right away.

When you type in a search, you aren’t actually searching the “internet”; you are searching the site’s index. The spidering process (searching for new content) is a continuous operation and the search site’s “spiders” follow links all over the web from page to page, with the intent to find new content. The information they collect regarding these new sites and new pages is stored in the index.

However, here is where things get tricky. Just because you create a website doesn’t necessarily mean that it will appear “live” on a Google or Yahoo search. Search engines cannot find new pages by “magic”—it must come from a link that comes from a link from a link. In other words, your site must be connected to the rest of the Internet.

Therefore, after creating a website your first goal is to establish strong links from your various efforts in article marketing, guest blogging, and even social media page links. However, you can help grab the search sites’ attention by creating a sitemap page for your site, or auto-installing a plugin that creates a sitemap and “pings” search sites whenever new content is created.

However, just because that’s how it should work doesn’t mean that’s what happens. Some website owners might be disturbed when they search their own content but nothing seems to come up. This happens either because there is no sufficient linking system in place (the page is “invisible” and can’t be found through page to page linking) or because the page is so rarely updated that search bots only occasionally search and index the information. This can also happen in the event that the page’s content was penalized due to plagiarism or unoriginal, formulaic or incoherent content.

Search engine sites should automatically find your content if you are well connected. However, as a last resort you can request these search engines crawl your site by setting a webmaster account and making use of the tools they provide you with; Google, Yahoo and Bing all offer these services. This is not necessarily the same thing as search engine directory listings, which can range from unnecessary to just plain expensive (such as a paid Yahoo business listing).

For more assistance with creating a site and increasing your traffic, talk to an experienced SEO consultant. He or she can help you plan a successful launch campaign.