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search engines

It can sometimes be an expensive experiment getting an outside company carry out search engine optimization for you, they often use suspect methods for temporary results. The most important thing is the actual site and the html behind it, rather than the actual submitting to search engines. First here's some background on search engines and directories.

search engines

  • The user browses the search engine's database of indexed sites by entering keywords or phrases into a search box
  • "Crawl" web sites using software - often called "spidering"
  • Some use the <meta> tag information
    • e.g Altavista and Excite
  • Index the content of <title> meta tag and actual page content
  • Site may be found by search engine spidering software
  • Usually need to submit site
  • Users find sites by searching for keywords
  • Can sometimes change your listing
  • e.g. Google


  • Listings where user has to choose the category / categories to search through
  • Compiled by human editors
  • Each has very specific standards which sites must meet to get listed - very strict
  • Site may be found by people who compile directory
    • Usually need to submit site
  • Can also guarantee someone will look at your site quickly if you pay
    • Doesn't guarantee entry to directory, but more likely
  • Difficult to change your listing once it's there
  • Some list sites in alphabetical order so obviously this will determine how far down the list your site will appear
  • The main disadvantage is that users have to know which category to choose
    • And you have to know which category users may search for your type of site in
  • e.g. Yahoo

other points

  • Many search engines / directories are both - list sites from an indexed database as well as from category listings
    • Directories will often list the results from their directory first, then display results from partnering search engine(s)
    • e.g. Yahoo shows results from its own database first, then uses the Google search engine to display further results
  • Important to submit correctly to the search engines and directories
    • So your site comes up when a user searches for relevant keywords/through relevant categories
  • It is crucial to do this manually to at least the top 20
    • Can use software, such as SubmitWolf, to register with 100s of others, but not the top 20
  • They each have different criteria to which they allow web sites to be listed
    • Failing to comply could result in a bad listing or being permanently rejected
  • This is becoming increasingly important - there's no point having a fantastic web site if no one finds it!