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Priming the Search Engines

Priming the Search Engines

by Scott Clark and David Fiedler

Some Tips and Resources for Getting Your Site Higher in the Search Engines

Don't miss our exhaustive Search Engine Resources Page

A lot of folks trying to get into business on the Web these days have the best of intentions. They hire a competent developer to create their site, they've used just enough graphics to jazz up the site, but not so much that the site loads too slow. They've presented their information in an informative, entertaining manner, and the viewer can navigate from one subject to the next with ease. All in all, a perfect Web site. And yet, they make no sales, no return on their investment. What could have gone wrong? They took the advice of the best books in creating the site, and everyone who sees it agrees that it's top quality and easy to use.

A lot of sites are like the Loch Ness monster--most people think it may exist, but when they make a concerted effort to find it, they turn up nothing, time after time. People forget that even the best site won't be effective if no one knows it's there. Today's Internet consumer has figured out Search Engines, and they are using them to navigate, search and surf the Web. If your site isn't in the search engines, or isn't in the top 200 (and how many people will go farther than the top 200? Not many.), then you've wasted your time up to this point. I'm sure there are some great products for sale in Australia, but I'll never purchase any because I have no way of knowing about them!

What Can You Do?

Can you do anything to improve your situation? Sure you can. Several fine books and Web sites have been written that give you step-by-step instructions on how to do just that. Later in this series, we'll give you some tips from these resources that will help you get your site known to the world. We'll also review some programs and Web sites that help you not only submit your information to search engines, but also monitor exactly where you end up!

Meanwhile, here's your first tip, courtesy of Dr. Audri Lanford:

Use "sub-sites" to separately list different products or services, or products or services that are for different markets.

Different target markets have different interests, and should have different Web sub-sites which are listed separately. For example, one of our customers sells a product that reduces pain for both arthritis and for sports injuries. These two markets are very different: a web site that focuses on arthritis would be of little interest to most sports enthusiasts and visa versa. So, each sub-site should be listed separately, with different keywords.

How do you create a sub-site? Basically, you simply need a separate folder or directory as part of your Web site.

In this section, we will give you an overview of the book, The Step By Step Guide To Successfully Promoting a Web Site. We'll also share a short clip from the book with you, to prime your engines, so to speak.

The Step By Step Guide To Successfully Promoting a Web Site

Publisher: self-published
Author: John DeUlloa
Publication Date: 01-JUN-97
Retail Price: $67.00

Okay, so why would you spend $67.00 for a loose-leaf, self-published guide to marketing your Web site? Because it may be the best buy you've gotten since you started working on your Web site. Author John DeUlloa developed sites for clients, and learned the tricks for getting his clients closer to the top of the search engins. John gets you started on the road to the top (of the search engines) by getting you to define your goals and objectives, and narrow down your target audience. He effectively defines what you need to focus on, giving you tips that can save you hours of frustration:

  • Preparing your Web site for maximum exposure
  • Tricks to get your site noticed by the search engines
  • What NOT to do so the search engines won't pass you up entirely
  • How to get the search engines to re-index your site
  • Specific tips for:
    • Yahoo
    • Excite
    • InfoSeek
    • WebCrawler
    • HotBot
    • Lycos
    • AltaVista
Additionally, the Guide gives you tips on how to promote your site in the Usenet Newsgroups, and how to use the online Yellow Pages. Purchasers of the Guide receive a login and password to get to the member section of the Guide's Online Supplement. By going to the Web site, you receive updates to the information about individual search engines, links to easily let you list your site on each of the referenced search engines, and links to each of the search engines main pages.

There is no "secret code" in the Guide that will magically get your pages to the tops of the search engines. The secret lies in using the information within the Guide in designing and promoting your site. If you do that, it's a guarantee that you'll place higher on the lists, and, as a result, will get more visits, which translates as more sales. How much is that worth?

Below is a section from the chapter called: "What to Know About Each Search Engine"

Indexing Your Site With Yahoo

Yahoo is unique. It is not a search engine, it's a Search Directory. Yahoo has pre-defined categories in which you can choose to list your site. The maximum number of categories in which you can list your site is two. Yahoo is very strict. For example if your site is business-related, you must be placed in a Business and Economy subcategory, either under "Companies" or "Products and Services."

Please note that all submissions must be done manually. This is not the time to try and get sneaky and index and X-rated site under Sports.Yahoo has the last word on where your site will be indexed, if they list it at all. Yahoo employees will not hesitate to go to your web site and verify its content. This is not the place to create multiple home pages with different filenames and keywords. Attempting to do so may result in all of your web pages being banned from Yahoo. They don't mess around.

Furthermore, Yahoo does not index your site by what you have on your home page. Relevancy to your web site is defined by what words you use when giving Yahoo the "Title" and "Comments" of your site and the "Yahoo Category" you choose to be listed in.

The most important things to remember when getting indexed by Yahoo:

  1. Take the time to find 2 of the Yahoo categories that best define your web site. This is the time to refer back to the keywords your chose in Step 3 [earlier in the book]. Type in the keywords you want to be found with Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com) and see who comes up. What keywords does your competition use? Are the keywords you chose in Step 3 bringing up categories that best define your web site? Take your time and choose your categories carefully. Trying to change things later on is usually more difficult.
  2. When you are ready to request to be indexed in Yahoo you must first be in the category or subcategory you want to be listed in, then simply click on the Add URL button at the top of that screen. They will automatically add the category or subcategory you were just in to the "category field" of their submission form. Be sure to read all of their instructions. Also, DO NOT USE ALL CAPS when filling out their submission form. Using ALL CAPS on the Internet is considered yelling and is bad Internet etiquette. To Yahoo, using all capital letters in their submission form is a good way to make sure you are never listed. Instead use Upper/Lower case letters.
  3. When Yahoo asks you to give them a "Title and Comments" for your site, be sure to use the keywords by which you want people to find your web site. Let's assume that the keywords I want people to look me up by are "Books, Reading and Paperbacks." The length of your title should not exceed 40 characters, after that you are pushing your luck. Don't forget that someone will check to make sure your "Title" "Comments" and "Categories" are relevant to your site.

      A good example for a "Title would be:
      Title: Books, Reading, Paperbacks and more

      A bad example for a "Title" would be:
      Title: Sara's Bookstore of Great Works

    The "Title" that Yahoo asks for contains the keywords that people will search by, NOT the text between the Title tags on your web site. Keep the title that Yahoo asks you for short, sweet and to the point.

    The same holds true for the "Comments" section. Use your keywords in a sentence that state[s] what your web site is about but at the same time remember that these "Comments" contain the keywords by which people will find you. Do not exceed 20 words or 200 characters for your "Comments."

      A good example for a "Comments" would be:
      Comments: Books, Reading and Peperbacks and more. Books from popular authors. Reading paperback books are fun and online. Books from many authors.

      A bad example for a "Comments" would be:
      Comments: Our web site has a lot of things for the person who likes to read. Sara's bookstore invites you to stop by.

    See the difference? Think carefully before you list yourself in deciding what keywords you want to use and be sure to read the section of this guide entitled "Method of Relevancy for Yahoo."

Five other Yahoo specific tips are contained in this one section. Other sections contain specific iniformation about the other major search engines. To find out more about purchasing the Guide, stop by the Promote One Tips and Tricks page.

[ Priming the Search Engines:
Part 2 > ]

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