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Search Engine optimization and Search Engine positioning resources


Search Engine optimization and Search Engine positioning resources

Essentials of Search Engine Submission

  1. Intro To Search Engine Submission
  2. Your Search Engine Submission Budget
  3. Submitting To Directories: Yahoo & The Open Directory
  4. Submitting To Crawlers: Google, Yahoo, Ask/Teoma & Microsoft's MSN
  5. Submitting Via Paid Listings: Overture & Google AdWords

Optimizing for Crawlers

  1. Intro to Search Engine Optimization
  2. How Search Engines Work
  3. How Search Engines Rank Web Pages
  4. Search Engine Placement Tips
  5. How To Use HTML Meta Tags

Intro To Search Engine Submission
"Search engine submission" refers to the act of getting your web site listed with search engines. Another term for this is search engine registration.

Getting listed does not mean that you will necessarily rank well for particular terms, however. It simply means that the search engine knows your pages exist.

Think of it like a lottery. Search engine submission is akin to you purchasing a lottery ticket. Having a ticket doesn't mean that you will win, but you must have a ticket to have any chance at all.

Your Search Engine Submission Budget
How much to budget? At minimum, you MAY want to cover submission to Yahoo's human-compiled directory for one year. This is because the flat $300 annual fee that Yahoo charges may help ensure that major crawler-based search engines pick up your home page quickly.

Huh? Pay to be in human-compiled results in hopes of influencing crawlers? Crawlers analyze links from across the web to decide which pages they should pick up and potentially rank well. Being listed in Yahoo's human-compiled directory is potentially one of the best links you can gain, to influence crawlers.

It may be that crawlers will find your page and perhaps rank it well even without the benefit of a Yahoo link. So if money is tight, wait two or three months after you launch your site and see how you do. If you still aren't doing well with crawlers, then spending the money with Yahoo may help you.

Submitting To Directories: Yahoo & The Open Directory
Directories are search engines powered by human beings. Human editors compile all the listings that directories have. Getting listed with the web's key directories is very important, because their listings are seen by many people. In addition, if you are listed with them, then crawler-based search engines are more likely to find your site and add it to their listings for free.

Submitting To Crawlers: Google, Yahoo, Ask/Teoma & Microsoft's MSN
Crawler-based search engines automatically visit web pages to compile their listings. This means that, unlike directories, you are likely to have several if not many pages listed with them. This also means that by taking care in how you build your pages, you might rank well in crawler-produced results.

Optimizing pages for crawlers is covered more in the Optimizing For Crawlers section of Search Engine Watch. If you have time, it is recommended that you read the pages in this section, especially the Search Engine Placement Tips page. However, by simply following the submission tips below, you can at least get your pages listed with crawlers, where they might naturally rank well for certain terms.

Submitting Via Paid Listings: Overture & Google AdWords
Every major search engine with significant traffic accepts paid listings. This unique form of search engine advertising means that you can be guaranteed to appear in the top results for the terms you are interested in within a day or less. Given this, paid listings are an option that should be explored by site owners who wish to quickly build visibility. They may also be a long-term advertising option for some.

Intro to Search Engine Optimization
Search engines are one of the primary ways that Internet users find web sites. That's why a web site with good search engine listings may see a dramatic increase in traffic.

Everyone wants those good listings. Unfortunately, many web sites appear poorly in search engine rankings or may not be listed at all because they fail to consider how search engines work.

In particular, submitting to search engines is only part of the challenge of getting good search engine positioning. It's also important to prepare a web site through "search engine optimization."

Search engine optimization means ensuring that your web pages are accessible to search engines and focused in ways that help improve the chances they will be found.

How Search Engines Work
The term "search engine" is often used generically to describe both crawler-based search engines and human-powered directories. These two types of search engines gather their listings in radically different ways.

Crawler-Based Search Engines
Crawler-based search engines, such as Google, create their listings automatically. They "crawl" or "spider" the web, then people search through what they have found.

If you change your web pages, crawler-based search engines eventually find these changes, and that can affect how you are listed. Page titles, body copy and other elements all play a role.

Human-Powered Directories
A human-powered directory, such as the Open Directory, depends on humans for its listings. You submit a short description to the directory for your entire site, or editors write one for sites they review. A search looks for matches only in the descriptions submitted.

Changing your web pages has no effect on your listing. Things that are useful for improving a listing with a search engine have nothing to do with improving a listing in a directory. The only exception is that a good site, with good content, might be more likely to get reviewed for free than a poor site.

"Hybrid Search Engines" Or Mixed Results
In the web's early days, it used to be that a search engine either presented crawler-based results or human-powered listings. Today, it extremely common for both types of results to be presented. Usually, a hybrid search engine will favor one type of listings over another. For example, MSN Search is more likely to present human-powered listings from LookSmart. However, it does also present crawler-based results (as provided by Inktomi), especially for more obscure queries.

How Search Engines Rank Web Pages
Search for anything using your favorite crawler-based search engine. Nearly instantly, the search engine will sort through the millions of pages it knows about and present you with ones that match your topic. The matches will even be ranked, so that the most relevant ones come first.

Of course, the search engines don't always get it right. Non-relevant pages make it through, and sometimes it may take a little more digging to find what you are looking for. But, by and large, search engines do an amazing job.

As WebCrawler founder Brian Pinkerton puts it, "Imagine walking up to a librarian and saying, 'travel.' They’re going to look at you with a blank face."

OK -- a librarian's not really going to stare at you with a vacant expression. Instead, they're going to ask you questions to better understand what you are looking for.

Unfortunately, search engines don't have the ability to ask a few questions to focus your search, as a librarian can. They also can't rely on judgment and past experience to rank web pages, in the way humans can.

So, how do crawler-based search engines go about determining relevancy, when confronted with hundreds of millions of web pages to sort through? They follow a set of rules, known as an algorithm. Exactly how a particular search engine's algorithm works is a closely-kept trade secret. However, all major search engines follow the general rules below.

Search Engine Placement Tips
A query on a crawler-based search engine often turns up thousands or even millions of matching web pages. In many cases, only the 10 most "relevant" matches are displayed on the first page.

Naturally, anyone who runs a web site wants to be in the "top ten" results. This is because most users will find a result they like in the top ten. Being listed 11 or beyond means that many people may miss your web site.

The tips below will help you come closer to this goal, both for the keywords you think are important and for phrases you may not even be anticipating.

How To Use HTML Meta Tags
Want to get a top ranking in search engines? No problem! All you need to do is add a few magical "meta tags" to your web pages, and you'll skyrocket to the top of the listings.

If only it were so easy. Let's make it clear:

- Meta tags are not a magic solution.
- Meta tags are not a magic solution.
- Meta tags are not a magic solution.

Meta tags have never been a guaranteed way to gain a top ranking on crawler-based search engines. Today, the most valuable feature they offer the web site owner is the ability to control to some degree how their web pages are described by some search engines. They also offer the ability to prevent pages from being indexed at all. This page explores these and other meta tag-related features in more depth.


 




 
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