Search Engine Secrets

There are three main methods search engines use to verify your pages after you have submitted your site:

1: A human actually looks at your application, visits your site, then lists your site based on some criteria. This is typical for YAHOO. There is not much you can do for this type of registration since it will vary with the person actually doing the work. When the next two methods are employed, there are things you can do.

2: An automated "bot" visits your site and create a table based on the frequency of the (key) words found. Your placement in a search will depend on the frequency and number of keywords on your page, and thus, in that table. If you sell computers, it may help to use the word ‘computer’ multiple times. Some experts suggest that the more you use the word(s), the higher you will be listed on the search. Of course, there is a limit to this.

One way to accomplish this is to use a ‘remarked’ line (it won’t appear or execute) just below the <body> tag. In example, <!computer, computer, computer, computer, computer, computer, computer > fills the need and may reflect multiple words or a description of your site. The entire line can be repeated. Note: there may be a limit that if you exceed, such as 25 words, your site won’t be listed at all.

Use keywords in the <TITLE> of your document making it as descriptive as possible. When visiting your site, an agent will go first to the <TITLE> tag. For clarification purposes, the <TITLE> tag is what a browser will display in its title bar and is not simply the first line of HTML that shows up on your page. (Although your first words of introductory text should be descriptive as well). Search engines will display the text located between the <TITLE> tags when your web page is listed in a search. By making your <TITLE> descriptive, you'll be better off than those who only have keywords within the text of their page. It will also be helpful when people bookmark your web site. If a more descriptive name appears in a person's hotlist, it will be easier to find your site at a later date.

For example, instead of using <TITLE> Rich’s CompuStore </TITLE> as the title of our home page, <TITLE> Computer Supplies </TITLE> would be more descriptive. It would also place greater emphasis or relevancy on "computer" when the search engine calculates keywords.

Determine your keywords.

Give some thought to them and limit the number of words to 25 or less. Then put them into order of importance in case a specific search engine limits you to, say 15. If you run a computer store, your words might include everything from "anti-static" to "Zoom Modems". Choose your keywords carefully. Once you have a list of keywords, do three things. Make sure they appear throughout your homepage as often as possible without overdoing it. Create a standard description paragraph including as many of the keywords as possible and put it at the top of your homepage. Put another list of the keywords at the bottom of the homepage. Redundancy, unfortunately, is necessary and essential – and important to get listed as high as possible.

3: An automated "bot" visits your site and reads the META tags listed on your page. These META tags contain a description and keywords placed on your page by you or your Web designer. There are two kinds of META tags, description and keywords, which are placed on your Web page between the <TITLE> and <BODY> tags.

Also put pertinent keywords in META tags in your HTML code. This means create an invisible page full of your keywords, which will attach to your homepage.

Use <META> tags to provide even more detail about your Web pages and gain greater control over how your pages are indexed. Not all search engines make use of <META> tags, but adding these tags to your pages will make them more accessible to the search engines that do.

<META> tag codes are inserted within the <HEAD>--- --- <HEAD> tag. Examples:

<META NAME="description" CONTENT="A description less than 1000 characters.">

<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT=" computer, modems, monitors, RAM, upgrade "> Limit the "keywords" following content to 254 characters.

This will control what appears as the summary of your Web page and will be displayed after the title of your document in the index listing. The content of the description should clearly convey what one can expect to find when linking to your site.

It also provides additional information about your page to the search engines without it being visible to the reader. While search engines do take these keywords into account when indexing your page, they still index all the contents of your page since many sites do not include <META> tags. One way to maximize the usefulness of keywords is to incorporate singular and plural cases of words as well as active and passive verbs. For example, computer, computers, and computing may yield similar but varying results in a search.

There are different schools of thought regarding repeating keywords in a <META> tag as search engines may penalize you for this. Some schools say repeat the <META> tags line over and over, others say don’t. At present, InfoSeek and Lycos supposedly penalize you for this repetition and others may adopt similar policies in the future. The penalty will most likely be the spider disregarding the <META> tag and extracting keywords from the content of your page- as is usually the case. However, some Submit It! users have reported being dropped from a search engine's database and felt keyword repetition played a role in the removal of their listing. Consensus seems to be to limit any individual keyword to seven occurrences.

Use ALT tags if your site contains multiple photos or graphic-image maps at the top of your home page. Some search engines take into account text within the ALT tag when creating your site's description and keywords. ALT tags are placed after an image file, for example:

<img src="/images/pentium.gif" alt="Pentium On Sale" >

Free Web Registration – Yes Free!

Some Web sites allow you to register your site and provide pointers to your web page free of charge. Register with all indexing and searching services not just the general malls. The indexing and searching services will direct people to your site quickly. Success with these services involves registering the right key words. Here are a few to get you started:

Specialized or Local Area Web Registrations

They are more useful to people looking for information on a particular product or service. These are just samples, you will need to do your homework to find the right ones for you. •

Commercial Sites and Malls (It will cost you)

The following sites will provide links to your web site (for a price). Before paying, be sure to ask questions like how many hits they’re getting, where the hits are coming from, and so forth. Some malls sell links based on the number of "hits" or accesses they refer to your site, minimizing risk to you. "Hits" could be easily verified by your own web counter.