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Listing your site with search engines

Difference between search engines and directories

Search engines, such as Google, create their listings automatically. Search engines crawl the Web, then allow people to search through what they have found.

If you change your Web pages, search engines eventually find these changes, affecting how you are listed. Page titles, body copy, and other elements all play a role.

A directory such as Yahoo! depends on people 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.

Submitting a site to the search engines

Search engines drive approximately 90% of traffic on the Internet. How will your potential customers find you if your site isn't listed and effectively marketed on the major search engines?

All major search engines now use automated systems or 'robots' to index websites. They have a schedule, and it may be six months before they happen upon your site. Submitting your site to search engines reduces the time it takes for your site to appear in search engine results.

To submit your site, check the requirements with the specific search engines. You should submit your site every month.

Design your site for search engine success

There are many design decisions that you should consider when search engine placement is important to you.

Avoid using iframes, use meta tags, and place the top keywords in prominent locations on your web page. Use text links instead of images as much as possible. Use standard .html or .htm Web pages on your main page. Increase the number of links to your website by listing it with directories. Internal links on your page to other pages on your website can positively impact your search engine placement.

The page layout has a powerful influence on search engine positioning. Mention your keywords in the body content. Place the keywords closer to the top of the page than the bottom. Your most important keywords should be paragraph headings.

Remember, search engines read a page from top to bottom. Therefore, make sure to place important text before any address or links on your page. Some search engines ignore meta tags and gain their information directly from your Web pages. They use the 1st 120-200 characters of text as the description displayed in search results. Don't waste this area on your street address, phone number, or page links.

It's easy to become overwhelmed with all the information available to you. We can help.

Attain a higher placement with the search engines

Unfortunately, there are no 'search engine secrets' that will guarantee a top position in organic or non-paid searches. But, there are several small changes you can make that can sometimes produce excellent results.|

These techniques include meta tags, the title tag, page layout, page content, a page name, links, image alt tags, not using frames, or if it is already framed - the proper usage of the NOFRAMES area, etc. Again, these are common and easy techniques to implement.

How long does it take before a site appears in the search engines

The time it takes each search engine to include your Web site varies. Smaller, niche search engines may index your site within a week, while the 'big guys' may take eight weeks or longer.

Avoid all invisible or hidden text

Never use hidden or invisible text on your website. The rise of contextual search brought about this once widespread practice of using the text of the same color as the background to jam a Web page with desired keywords, which was thought to improve search engine placement. Now many search engines penalize sites that use this practice.

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