section of the ActionNet covers search engine
submission and the methods for getting and keeping a good
position or ranking. It explains the different kinds of
search engines... how they find and rank web pages... and
how you should use HTML meta tags and page design to get
the best results.
It should be noted... that search engine position is not
a magic wand for getting traffic to your site. It is very
important... but it is just one part of the website promotion
you will need to assure that your site gets the number and
kind of visitors needed to make it successful.
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term "search engine" is commonly used to describe both real
search engines and directories. They are two
engines build their listings automatically by crawling
the Internet using a spider (also called a crawler). The
spider visits a web page... reads it and store words on
the page that are referenced when someone does a search...
it then follows links to other pages in the site. This is
what it means when someone refers to a site being "spidered"
or "crawled." The spider returns to the site on a regular
basis... every month or two... looking for changes. Some
search engines look use "meta tags" that are actually
in the HTML code and are not visible to the person viewing
the page. A few engines ignore meta tags and pull their
information directly from the page. Your page titles...
body copy... and meta tags can all impact your ranking.
Directories such as Yahoo or LookSmart depend
on human editors for their listings. Your submission should
include a short description of your site... otherwise the
editors write one after the site is reviewed. It should
be noted that some directories... including Yahoo... use
an outside search engine database for results in searches.
For example... if your site is listed in the Inktomi database
(HotBot)... your site will probably show up in a Yahoo search.
most true search engines your site's position in a search
depends entirely on four parts of the pages... Title...
Description tag... Keywords tag... and the first couple
of hundred words of page text. Here's a code example
of the title and two important meta tags...
descriptive name for your site</title>
name="description" content="A summary of
your site including the important features">
name="keywords" content="A list of words
and phrases that are relevant to your site... these words
and phrases must also show up in your page text">
The page title is not the heading at the top of your page...
it is your HTML code title tag. Most search engines
start with your title. It should be no longer than
about 60 characters and include some keywords. Not just
"John's Home Page". When a someone performs a
search... many times the title is all people see about your
site. If the title doesn't clearly indicate what your
site is about... the searcher may not go there... so choose
your title carefully.
Some search engines and directories alphabetize their lists.
You may get an extra edge on those engines if you start
your title with an "A" or "1".
For example... if the title is "Online Widgets"...
you could change it to "Authentic Online Widgets".
Use a word... not just the letter "A".
Some search engines skip a single character when searching.
use conjunctions, prepositions and articles... many search
engines see words like "the", "and",
"to" and "a" as stop
words and just ignore them. So they just take up space.
Most engines use them... a few don't. This tag should
tell the story of your site. But don't get windy...
keep it about 150 characters or less. Your description is
extremely important... it must be readable for the searcher...
and include the important features. Don't fill it with hype
such as "The best in the universe blah, blah, blah"...
and don't use all caps. Plan it well... it is your primary
billboard on the Internet.
There has always been an argument about if you should use
commas or spaces to separate keywords. It makes absolutely
no difference. Search engines see commas as spaces. If your
keywords were "word,word,word"... the engine translates
that to "word word word".
The keyword tag should be called "keywords and phrases".
Today most people don't just search for a word... they use
phrases or groups of words such as "free website business".
This can be approached two ways... include phrases in your
tag separated by commas... or arrange your words to form
The keywords can range from 875 to 1000 characters... depending
on the search engine. I recommend that you stay at
875 or less... that should be more than enough to get the
job done on any engine.
engines give better placement for how many times it finds
the keyword searched for... so it's okay to repeat... but
don't over do it. Some say it should be no more than
3 repetitions... some say 5... and others say 7 is okay.
I try to stay in the middle ground... because the rules
change and some engines will penalize you for over using
several forms of a word... including upper and lower case
and common misspellings.
Use plurals. If you put an "s" at the end
of keywords to make them plural... you get two shots for
one! For example... it you use the keywords "free
business" and someone searched with the word "businesses"...
your page would not come up. If you use the keyword
"businesses" most search engines will pick up
either "business" or "businesses".
is of utmost importance that your keywords and phrases be
repeated in the actual copy of your page (first 200 words).
If the search engines do not find them in your page text
your relevancy rating will go down... in addition... your
site could be rejected or penalized for spamming.
Graphic alternate text... whenever
you use a graphic on your site... you have the option of
adding text that will show if the image isn't displayed.
In most HTML editors this is called an alternate.
Do more than just describe the graphic or picture... stick
in a couple of keywords.
HTML code is as follows:
<IMG SCR="graphic.gif" HEIGHT=40 WIDTH=100
ALT="describe the graphic and then add keywords">
Where To Submit Your Site
This is a list of the search engines and directories considered
to be major players. Be careful... before you submit
your site... read and follow the rules posted at their site
Altavista - http://www.altavista.digital.com/av/content/addurl.htm
Indexes in 48 hours to 2 weeks... even though Alta Vista
says on it's web site that you can submit up to 10 urls
from one domain per day... I strongly recommend you submit
no more than 2 per day.
AOL NetFind - http://www.aol.com/netfind/info/addyoursite.html
Web content is maintained by the Open Directory Project
(dmoz.org). To get your site listed... find the most appropriate
category or subcategory within the AOL Directory and submit
your site information from the Add URL link on that category
page. If your site is accepted... it will also appear on
other sites that use the Open Directory... such as Netscape,
Lycos and Hotbot. After your site has been listed... do
Excite - http://www.excite.com/Info/add_url.html?a-m-m
Indexes in about 6 weeks... they say they will accept up
to 25 pages from one domain... but I believe it is more
like 10 or 15. Make certain all your links work. Does
not use meta tags except for the description tag and only
once it can be determined that it contains a description
relative to the page.
Excite also powers Webcrawler and Magellan. But...
they all seem to have minor differences on how they return
results. Submit all pages to them (after submitting to Excite).
They all take about 2 - 6 weeks to index.
Webcrawler - http://www.webcrawler.com/WebCrawler/SubmitURLS.html
Goto - http://www.goto.com/d/about/advertisers/;$sessionid$OO1VUSAAAGGWLQFIEE5APUQ
GoTo sells its main listings by keywords... you can pay
money to be placed higher in the search results. Non-paid
results come from Inktomi.
HotBot - http://www.hotbot.com/addurl.html
Takes up to 60 days to get listed. The basic factors affecting
a page's ranking are... the words in the title... keyword
META tags... word frequency in the document... and document
length. Any spamming technique (over repeating keywords)
can severely penalize a page's ranking or even cause rejection..
Infoseek - http://www.infoseek.com/AddUrl?pg=DCaddurl.html
Indexes anywhere from a few minutes to two weeks. In certain
cases... an e-mail submission is required. Only accepts
submissions during business hours. Has been slow to index
new pages recently. Will reject attempts to spam the Infoseek
This is another directory... much like Yahoo... and it may
be the 2nd most important for the new website. The LookSmart
directory is used by several of the major engines... so
if you are listed well with LookSmart... you will show up
when people search AltaVista and many others. Go to the
appropriate category(ies) and submit.
Lycos - http://www.lycos.com/addasite.html
Indexes in 3 - 6 weeks. The spider will try to travel through
links contained in the webpage you submit... counting one
level down from the page you submit. Do not submit webpages
with these symbols in the URL... ampersand (&), percent
sign (%), equals sign (=), dollar sign ($) or question mark
MSN Search- http://search.msn.com/addurl.asp?q=&RS=CHECKED&co=15
Submit only the main page to your site. All pages will
be automatically indexed. Microsoft's MSN Search service
is a LookSmart-powered directory with secondary results
that come from AltaVista.
Light - http://www.northernlight.com/docs/register.htm
Actually a directory... go to the home page and choose a
category... then submit... indexes in about 6 weeks. Cannot
delete URLs at the request of the user. Indexes subpages.
Open Directory (DMOZ) - http://dmoz.org/add.html
The Open Directory uses volunteer editors to catalog the
web. Lycos and AOL Search use Open Directory data. It is
important to choose the right category for submission. Don't
use a lot of hype in your title or description.
Snap - http://www.snap.com/LMOID/resource/0,566,home-1078,00.html?st.sn.ft.0.surl
Snap now lists sites in search results immediately with
its "Snap Live Directory"... the sites are then
reviewed by editors for possible inclusion in the index.
To submit your site, browse through the categories and fill
out the submit URL form from the right subcategory. Snap
is a editor-compiled directory supplemented by search results
Yahoo - http://www.yahoo.com
Yahoo accounts for 50% of the searches made on the Web...
it is the most important place to submit your website. It's
actually a directory rather than a search engine.
This means that choosing the proper category is extremely
important. Go to their main page and select a category
that you think best describes your site. Then select
a sub category and another and another each time trying
to select the most appropriate category for your site.
When you get it narrowed down the best... go to the bottom
of that page and hit the "suggest a site" link.
is the very best FREE way to keep your website in a good
position on the search engines... It allows you to easily
check your site's position on all the major engines... improve
the position and much more! It is an absolute necessity!
Get it now!
There are announcement services that will automatically
submit your site to many search engines and places that
will list your page. Here are some of the better ones.
Postmaster - Posts your site to 24 different places and
search engines for free. http://www.netcreations.com/postmaster/
Submit It! - Submits your site to 15 places and search engines
Quick Launch - Submits your site to 15 directories and search
engines for free http://www.qwiklaunch.com/