1. Portal requests take a while, 2-3 weeks, and even then, Google can reject submissions just because.
2. There are portals around already. The quickest way to find them is to use the dashboard at http://www.nianticproject.com
3. The stronger the portal, the harder it is for lower level characters to occupy it. Leveling is key.
4. You level by doing actions, constituting action points. Here are the levels available so far and what they mean as far as stats are concerned:
|Level||AP required||Max XM||Burster Damage||Burster Range||Resonator HP||Best Build Portal||Portal Range|
And here are the ingress actions and their respective action points:
|Placing a resonator||125 AP|
|Destroying a resonator||75 AP|
|Placing the first resonator on a portal||500 AP|
|Placing the eighth resonator on a portal||250 AP|
|Creating a link||313 AP|
|Destroying a link||187 AP|
|Creating a control field||1250 AP|
|Destroying a control field||750 AP|
|Applying a portal shield||150 AP|
|Placing the final link on a field||1563 AP|
|Destroying a [full] portal||600 AP|
|Destroying a portal + (1) link||787 AP|
|Destroying a portal + (2) links + control field||1724 AP|
|Destroying a portal + links + cf + capture + mods|
When you're new, linking and recharging resonators is the best way to level. If you're lucky enough to find undiscovered portals, go for it. Items can be found by hacking occupied portals.
That said, good luck and happy gaming!