Search Engine optimization
and Search Engine positioning resources
Essentials of Search Engine Submission
- Intro To Search Engine Submission
- Your Search Engine Submission Budget
- Submitting To Directories: Yahoo & The Open Directory
- Submitting To Crawlers: Google, Yahoo, Ask/Teoma & Microsoft's MSN
- Submitting Via Paid Listings: Overture & Google AdWords
Optimizing for Crawlers
- Intro to Search Engine Optimization
- How Search Engines Work
- How Search Engines Rank Web Pages
- Search Engine Placement Tips
- 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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.