Tutorials

 

On these pages we will try to give some helpful information about search-engines and site promotion.

 

First some statistics

  • Estimated number of webpages on the World Wide Web: over 30 billion pages
  • People who spend five or more hours a week online spend 71% of their time searching for information.
  • 85-90% of all Internet users rely on search engines to locate sites.
  • 7% of Internet users look past the first three pages of search results.

 

Conclusion: If you want to have a successful website, you should do your level best to get into the first three pages of as many search engines as possible.

Contents:

  • What is Search Engines submission?
  • Deep search-engines
  • Standard search engines or directories
  • Categorized Listings
  • Yahoo! and Open Directory Project
  • Some words about Linkpages (FFA:s) and classifieds
  • Metatags
  • Ranking
  • Link popularity
  • Avoid Spamming
  • Designing Your Website For Traffic
  • Keywords Search Engine Design Tips
  • What is Search Engine submission all about?

    When you submit your web site URL to a search engines, you basically ask the search engine spiders to visit your web site and to evaluate it. If the search engine spiders cannot find anything useful on your site, they won't list your web site. It doesn't make sense to submit your web site again and again if it isn't search engine ready.

    Search engines must be able to find out what your web site is all about. They need to find text and links on your web pages and they also need to find the keywords for which you want to have high rankings on your web pages.

    Submitting alone doesn't guarantee visitors

    Submitting your web site to search engines is important, but it is not the most important step in your search engine marketing campaign.

    It's much more important that your web pages are optimized for search engines. Many web sites are designed in a way that prevents them from showing up in search engines.

    If your web pages are not search engine ready, it's pointless to submit them. If the search engines index your web site at all, it will be listed on position 17,352 or worse. With a listing on that position, you won't get any visitors.

    The key to successful search engine submission

    Before submitting your web pages to search engines, you must make sure that they are optimized for your important keywords and for the special search engine you target.

    If your web pages are prepared for a special search engine and for a special keyword then it's much more likely that your web site will receive high rankings.

    Make sure that your web pages contain enough text and that search engine spiders can find the pages of your web site trough normal text links. Don't use web site intros and don't use too many Flash elements on your web site. It is extra work to optimize your web pages for search engines but it is well worth the effort.


    Professional search engine submission takes some time

    Invest some time in optimizing your web pages before you submit them and then submit your site to important search engines. You'll get much better search engine rankings


    Deep search-engines

    Only one type of search engine really comes out to your pages and "spiders" it, that is searching down every link and page on your site and storing and compressing every word of it in the database. We are speaking of Deep Search Engines, and there are not many around,  but here are some of them:

    Google
    Alta Vista
    Infoseek
    Excite
    Webcrawler
    Hotbot
    Lycos
    Northern Light


    I have noticed that there are conditions that can make the spidering robot confused and stop indexing your pages, like pages using scripts to automatically redirect you to another page  (and even frames). So you better keep your default startpage (index) as clean as possible. Here are some hints:

    All the spiders "deep crawl", which means that they crawl several layers into your website. The exception to this from the above listed search engines is the spider of the search engine, Go.

    On Alta Vista your submission will generally be evaluated within four to six week. Other search engines might be quicker or slower.

    Excite Inktomi, Go and Lycos cannot crawl nor index frame pages. Alta Vista, FAST, Northern Light can. It is possible to circumvent the problems with framed pages of some search engines by using the
    <NOFRAMES> tag.

    If you have an image map as one of your main pages for links to other areas of your website, you will have problems indexing your pages with the spiders of Excite, FAST, Google, Inktomi and Lycos. They cannot follow the links in an image map. However, links in an image map can be read and followed by spiders of the following search engines: AltaVista, Go and Northern Light.

    All robots will read your robot.txt page.

    If you have Meta Robot Tags in your code all but Excite's spider can read it. Google may not support checking it.

    Work hard (and smart) to have as many well regarded websites linked to yours, known as Link Popularity. Link Popularity is extremely important because all search engines can determine how many links are going to and from your page. Some decide to "index or not" based on this attribute of your website. If you do this, then you will be rewarded by the Inktomi and Lycos spider's deep crawling your website and therefore indexing more of your pages. Additionally, AltaVista, Excite, FAST, Google (very important), Go, Inktomi, and Northern Light see this with the rationale that if there are many links connected to this page, then it must be of more importance. This is becoming a popular tweaking among the programming of many spiders.
      
    Standard search engines or directories

    These "engines" don't search your pages. This is the reason why in some cases you have to enter keywords and description of your pages. These engines don't extract them from your metatags.

    Nevertheless they are often more useful than the deep engines for finding useful, relevant information on general or popular topics.

    Categorized Listings

    These sites are arranged much the same as the Standard Directories, except no database search engine is involved. Information is held in categories. The categories contain lists of titles, linked to the URL, normally with a short descriptions underneath.
    There are thousands of examples of these listings, often called FFA "free-for-all links pages". They don't get a huge amount of traffic, but if you submit to enough of them the cumulative traffic could add up. You definitely need software to take advantage of these, it's too much to do by hand. One more thing: as the use of submitting software increases, your link on these pages very quick (sometimes in minutes) will roll over the top of the page and be gone forever. Also bear in mind that you will get a LOT of emails from these sites after submitting to them, and to avoid that you could use a special mailbox if submitting to these pages.

    Yahoo! and Open Directory Project

    Yahoo and Open Directory Project (dmoz.org) need a dedicated chapter.
    To get listed at yahoo first read on their pages about how to enter. Yahoo is organized in Categories, Web Sites listed in yahoos' index and Web Pages from the Google Database.If your site does not appear under the heading Web Sites, it isn't in Yahoo. This might be confusing. A site appearing under Web Pages does not mean Yahoo has listed them!
    If you are not in the index, find the category page that best fits your site. At the bottom of the page will be a small "Suggest a Site" link. Click on it to get to the site submission page.

    Don't suggest your site if it's not 100% finished and "up and running", the Yahoo staff are very critical about this. Good design and fast loading are keywords.

    Commercial sites: Yahoo requires that the site lists the physical address of the business somewhere on the site (and the easier it is to find, the more likely it is that the Yahoo reviewer will find it and you'll pass this test). This address must be a physical one; a post office box won't do.

    OK, those were some short hints on getting listed at Yahoo, and I am getting rather lazy, so I will provide you with a link for further reading. It will show up in a new window, just shut it down to return here.

    It is very important also to be listed at the Open Directory Project. A growing number of portals are using the largest human-edited web directory like AOL Search, Netscape Search, Yahoo, All the Web, AltaVista, Lycos, Hotbot and other sites. To get listed you need to read this carefully.

    Some words about Linkpages (FFA:s) and classifieds

    Some years ago Linkpages (FFA:s) and classified ads used to be a good webmaster resource. In the last years though they tend to become more email harvesters with few actual visitors. We provide links and tools to submit to linkpages, the data for the submission forms can be entered with clicks of the mouse. As these sites will generate lots of confirmation emails and other unwanted mails we STRONGLY advice you to use the junk email that you are asked to set up in the project window. We will keep on adding links if we find any new useful FFA submitters.

     

    Metatags

    Our robot Butler will fetch all metatags to store in our database before submission and give you a chance to correct/change them. Here are some hints about how  to optimize your metatags:

    • Title: This Tag should contain enough characters or keywords to be catchy enough to draw some attention, will show up on the first line on many search engines. The recommended maximum number of characters for this tag is 60.

      Example: <title>TopSitePromote, Topranked Site Promotion and Submission</title>

      Note! Altavista does not index pages without the title metatag or pages with same title!
    • Description: A brief description of your site, containing keywords that you want to promote. Shows up under the title on many search engines. Our recommended maximum number of characters for this tag is 150.

      Example:<meta name="description" content="TopSitePromote is the free topranked site promotion and submission engine. Submit your site to the top of the most popular search engines for FREE.">
    • Keywords: A maximum of 255 chars are stored in our database. Choose with care, try to avoid repeated words (maximum 3 are recommended).  Keywords and keyphrases should be separated by commas.

      Example: <meta name="keywords" content="site submission, website submit, site promote, web site promotion, submission, promotion, registration, free, advertising, marketing, searchengines, website promotion, website submission, internet marketing advertising, url, search engine submissions, search engine registration, search engine secrets">
    • The following tags are optional:

      <meta name="revisit" content="14 days">
      - tells the spider/robot to return for reindexing every 14 days.
      <meta name="robots" content="index">
      - tells the spider/robot to walk down every link on your pages.

    More hints

     

    All of the major search engines' databases will index the full body text. There may be certain words missing that are called "stop" words. These stop words are words that many spiders skip in order to move faster. The spiders who do skip words belong to AltaVista, Excite, Inktomi, Lycos and Google. FAST, Go and Northern Light's spiders do not.

    Concerning your meta tags, all search engines index Meta Keywords except Excite, FAST, Google, Lycos and Northern Lights. Additionally, all spiders will index Meta Descriptions with the exception of: FAST, Google, Lycos and Northern Light.

    If you have alt tags for your images on your pages that are being indexed then, AltaVista, Go, Google and Lycos will read and index them but Excite, FAST, Inktomi and Northern Light will not.

    Any comment tags that you have in your web page code can only be read by the spider of the northern California baby and powerhouse, Inktomi.

    Note! Altavista does not index pages without the title metatag or pages with same title!!

    Ranking

    If you're hoping that your Meta Tags will boost your ranking for all search engines, this is not the case. Although all major search engines spiders read and index meta tags, only Go and Inktomi do give a boost to meta tags. AltaVista, Excite, FAST, Google, Lycos and Northern Light do not.

    Link popularity

    What is link popularity? It's the total number of websites that link to your site.
    Many search engines now analyze link popularity in addition to keywords and content when ranking your site. The more popular your site is, the higher the ranking.

    The important shift has been toward Link Popularity. As stated earlier, this is an important point to several search engines insofar as indexing is concerned. Additionally, it is also important in Ranking. Getting as many links of good sites linking to yours is an important point with AltaVista, Excite, FAST, Google (very important), Go, Inktomi, and Northern Light.

    Chose descriptive keywords to reflect the content. Have great content and a really good TITLE and Meta Keyword Description that entices people to click on your link when it comes up in a search, then you win points with both HotBot and Lycos. You will be boosted in rankings with those search engines. The height of the boost depends on the number of people who click on your link.

    One more point to remember is that search engines, like most entities, change..

     

    Avoid spamming

    This is a quote from AltaVista:

    Some barriers to being indexed are due to the misbehavior of a handful of webmasters who have tried to fool search engines into ranking their pages high on lists of matches and including them as matches to queries they aren't appropriate for. This is one kind of behavior that is known as "spamming." Spamming degrades the value of the index and is a nuisance for all.

    The logic that leads people to try such tricks is rather bizarre. "I figure everybody searches for the word 'sex.' I don't have any sex at my site, but I want people to stumble across my site. So I'm going to put the word 'sex,' three thousand times as comments. And any time that anybody searches for 'sex,' my pages will show up first."

    People have actually tried this. They have tried doing the same kind of thing in the backgrounds of their Web pages. They have also created page after page of text that is in the same color as the background color so visitors won't see the words, but search engine crawlers will. They have tried everything imaginable to fool search engines.

    If being found via search engines is important to your business, be very careful about where you have your pages hosted. If the hosting service also hosts spammers and pornographers, you could wind up being penalized or excluded simply because the underlying IP address for that service is the same for all the virtual domains it includes.

    Designing Your Website For Traffic

    When developing a website, you must consider more than just its physical appearance. It should be created so that it will attract as much traffic as possible.

    The goal here is to teach you a bit about how to increase your chances of getting traffic from the search engines like Yahoo!, AltaVista, Excite and Lycos. Remember, search engine services exist for one reason, to make it possible for "surfers" to locate information on the World Wide Web. They do not create information, they only file it and serve it up as answers to inquiries.

    When designing each page, do so with "a search" in mind. Do not entitle your home page "My Cool Home Page" unless that is ALL your site is about. If there is a purpose for your page, state that reason in the name. The search engines will make extensive use of your page titles. Keep reviewing each page's title to find more meaningful titles.

    The proper use of META Tags in each page will drastically help your site obtain good position with the search engines. Do not use words in your META tags that have nothing to do with the purpose and content of your site.
    While placing words like "sex" into your keywords might bring you some extra traffic for a while, it will not last.
    Search engines will catch on and drop you, and the people visiting your site will be upset, that type of traffic is of no use to you.  

    Figure out exactly what type of audience your products or information will attract and design content that would appeal to them. Focus more on content quality, rather than looking cool. You do not need all of the latest gadgets to entice visitors to your site, give them what they are looking for. 

    Since there are many search engines which will not utilize your META tags, it is important to put your important data early on the page, as specifically as possible. The search engines will index your page and look for keywords.
    If your site is about selling information, don't start off by talking about pianos. You could be listed under pianos or categories relating to pianos. 

    To get an idea of how each search engine works, visit them and perform many searches, then study the results. You should also visit many sites that you consider to be in competition with your product. Study their structure and what keywords are used.

    Many of the search engines are working on eliminating keyword loading.  You may have seen search results where the titles of pages come back as nothing but a list of keywords. Loading lists of keywords into your title tag, putting in long lists of invisible key word repeats at the bottom of your page, among others, will now get you "dropped" from several of the search engines, or at least put at the end.

    Design your pages to be as clean and efficient as possible. If you go overboard with graphics, tables, Applets and animations, you not only make it difficult for search engines, but confusing for visitors. Use your own experiences. Watch what you do when you visit websites. Some sites keep your interest as you go deeper and deeper into their site, while some sites do not even give the opportunity to finish loading before you exit. Keep all that in mind because that is exactly what others will be doing to your site. Take the time to develop your site correctly the first time. It will save you time and money.


    Keywords Search Engine Design Tips

    Performing a search using a search engine often turns up hundreds or thousands of matching web pages. Only the 10 or 20 most "relevant" matches are displayed on the first page. Naturally, anyone owning a website wants to be listed in these pages. This is because most users will find a result they like in the top ten. Being listed after that will cause many people to bypass your website.

    The following tips will help you come closer to this goal.  "Keywords" are words that describe the information that is contained on your web pages. These keywords are
    indexed by search engines and saved in their database. Now when a person performs a search on that search engine and enters the same words as your keywords, your web page will appear in the results of that search. It is important to use keywords that you believe people will use when performing a search. If you have a page devoted to "government auctions", you should use the words "government auctions", if that is what you think people will use for their search.

    Make sure your keywords appear in several locations on your web page. The page title is very important. Failure to put keywords in the page title is one of many reasons why perfectly relevant web pages may be ranked poorly. Search engines also like pages where your keywords appear close to the top of the page, such as headlines. You should also have them appear in the first paragraphs of your web page

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