|Search Engines: What
you should know...
|Search engines are confusing to most folks...not using them to find
stuff (even though there are techniques you can use to be more
effective), but in finding out how to get on them...
They are powerful databases (lists) allowing internet users to find
specific information. They are powerful not only in what they can do,
but in the control they exercise over who gets listed....It is entirely
up to them whether your site is listed or not....
Some of the largest search engines now charge to be submitted. For
a fee of $299, one submission will submit you to AOL, Yahoo, _______and
several other major search engines. A second submission for another $299
gets you submitted to MSN,,........and most of the rest of the big,
heavily used search engines. This covers approximately 95% of the
searches done on the internet.
Many of the rest are still free submissions, but must be handled
just as carefully, to be listed at all.
|A Search Engine Index is a separate submission that will list you
with the same folks, but on an index by the address of your website
only.. It will not search for specific words within your
site. These are usually free.
|A good comparison is your local telephone directory. An index would
be like the white pages, listing everyone in alphabetical order.
In the yellow pages you appear by category, and that costs money (lots
|Meta Tags: What are they?
|Meta Tags are invisible words in the code of your
website that group together all the words your customers might use to
search for you on a search engine. They include types of products
or services, specific brand names, the name of your company, and any
other words someone might use to find you. You should include all
possible mis-spellings of words as well. That may be a point many
|What to do they require for Submission?
Each Search Engine has different requirements,
and they change them on a moment's notice...
The example above, showing the Meta Tags , gives you an idea:
must have a Title for your page: It should be
brief, descriptive, and contain as many key search words for your site
as possible. Limits on size vary by search engine...
must have a Description for your page: A
short description of your business that will make the customer click to
your site. Limits on size vary from 5 to 25 words, so put the most
important ones first.
must have Meta Tags (search words) for your
site: Limits on the number accepted on submission vary from 5 to 25 as
well, so put the most important ones first. Just include everything else
on your page as well.
|What Else will they Make You do?
|Well, they'll make you choose a category to be
listed under, from a pre-determined list, whether you might qualify for
several, or not.
|Now here's the scarey part:
They GUARANTEE NOTHING. Not whether you will be accepted, when it might
happen (2 days to 6 months), or where you might come up on a search.
...and they don't refund... Some also will permanently disregard your
site if you do not follow their rules, or re-submit too soon.
|So What Can You Do?
the rules exactly
Keep checking to see if
you've been listed
Make your site "long
enough" (One page won't do it. You'll need 3 to 5 pages)
Include plenty of contact
Make your site easy to
navigate with good links.
Convince your suppliers and
other companies to link to your site. (this holds weight)
"informative" or "useful" in some way.
construction company might include a page on how to choose a reliable
contractor, with links to the Better Business Bureau, the
local Homebuilders Association, Consumer Protection Agency, Contractors
Licensing Board, etc.
dentist might include a page on implants, with diagrams.
pet store may include pages on care and feeding of certain animals.
|How Internet Consumers Find Web Sites:
This little survey may help you to realize the
value of using your business name as your domain name, and the value of
getting listed on search engines, online yellow pages and indexes.
Search engines: 81%
Link from another site: 59%
Viral marketing (word of mouth): 56%
Guessed URL: 41%
Online advertising: 20%
Direct mail: 10%
* Source: Jun. 2000 Forrester Research Inc.
"UK Internet User Monitor"