search engines determine your site's
Before you try to add your site to the search
engines, you should understand what they look for when they decide how to rank
your site. Just because you're listed doesn't mean you'll get traffic. You have
to make sure your site is search engine ready.
The general rule of thumb is that most engines use
a "formula" to determine keyword relevancy. The technical term is called an
"algorithm", and each search engine has its own unique algorithm that it uses to
Generally, this magic formula consists of your page
title, overall body content, meta tags, the number and quality of links pointing
back to your site, etc.
It's important to notice that every engine is
different. Some may not even look at the meta tags and just place emphasis on
your body content. These days, meta tag content is becoming less and less
For those of you that do not know, meta tags are
hidden descriptors that appear at the beginning of your HTML code, inside your
<head> tag. They may be invisible to your visitor's eyes, but search
engine spiders can read them.
Meta tags usually consist of a title, description,
and keyword tag and they look something like this:
name="description" content="Description of
your site here.">
name="keywords" content="keywords separated by
Because of abuse, many search engines no longer use
these tags to help rank pages, but you should still include them because they do
use them to display information about your site.
For example, whatever is inside the <title>
tag is what the search engine will use as the title of your site in the search
It's really mostly about Google... At least
There are a handful of engines out there that bring
traffic, but the reality is, a very large percentage of search engine traffic
comes from Google and the other search engines that use Google's results (AOL,
HotBot, Netscape, etc.).
You don't really spend too much time worrying about
the other engines if you have had success with Google. Plus, once you
optimize your site for Google, you may find your ranking improving in other
engines as well.
How to Get Listed On Google
1) There are several
ways to list your site with Google. One of them is to get listed
in The Open Directory - www.dmoz.org.
This is a directory that is managed by volunteers
that act as "category editors." To list your site, simply go to the most
appropriate category for your web site, then drill down to the relevant
subcategory and select the "Add URL" link at the top of that category's
Wait about a week or two to see if your site
appears. If it does not, I recommend emailing one of the category editors and
asking for advice on how to get your site listed. If you're lucky, you'll
receive a helpful response, but not all of the category managers answer
Sometimes it may take up to 6 months for an editor
to review your site and other times it may only take a couple of weeks.
Unfortunately since DMOZ is run by volunteers, the time it takes to get your
site reviewed really depends on the availability of the volunteers.
Sometimes they may not check the submissions for
weeks, which can be quite frustrating for people trying to get
After your site appears in The Open Directory, your
site should start showing up in Google within 4-8 weeks.
Warning: Don't try to submit to The Open
Directory unless you have enough useful information on your site. If your site
is only one or two pages long, then you won't likely get listed. They want
medium to large sized web sites with useful and unique content. Strive for at
least 15 pages.
If you need more content, articlecity.com has
some free articles you can post on your site. Simply find the category that
closely matches your theme and add them.
2) The second way
to get listed in Google is to use their own Add URL form located here http://www.google.com/addurl.html. This method is not as
dependable as listing with The Open Directory. Google admits that they may not
add every site, so don't be surprised if this does not work for you. Most
people haven't had much success with this method.
3) The third way
to get listed is to be linked from another web site that is already in Google.
That way, when Google's spider goes to visit that site for updates, it will pick
up the link to your site and add it. This method does not always work, but some
sites do get in this way.
How to Get Listed with Other Search
Many search engines have a similar link addition
method. Generally, you'll scroll to the bottom (or top) of the page and look
for a link that says something like "Submit URL" or "Add My Site". Then follow
the directions to adding your web site.
You may have to wait anywhere from a few days to a
few months to see your listing appear. It really depends on the engine, and
unfortunately some engines may not list you at all for one reason or
The Bottom Line...
To ensure you have the best search engine presence
possible, do the following:
- Include as much information and articles as you
can about the topic with special emphasis on certain keywords and keyword
phrases that you want to target. Shoot for at least 20 pages of original
content and plan to increase that number.
- Be sure you have your own domain name and are not
using any of the free web site providers to create and maintain your
- Partner with other sites that have similar content
as yours. The more related links you have back to your site the better.
Even though every engine has it's on ranking
criteria, if you follow the above guidelines, you're off to a great
Also remember to be patient. It can take up to 6
months before you start seeing any real traffic coming from the search engines,
but if you build your site correctly and efficiently, the rewards can be
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