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Getting Your Web Site Listed Danny Sullivan Editor, Search Engine Watch

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Presentation on theme: "Getting Your Web Site Listed Danny Sullivan Editor, Search Engine Watch"— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting Your Web Site Listed Danny Sullivan Editor, Search Engine Watch

2 Sessions Goal Cover the best way to increase the percentage of your web site listed with crawler-based search engines Discuss importance of submitting to human-powered directories Not covering issues of improving ranking!

3 Types of Search Services Search engines crawl the web and read your web pages Directories like Yahoo depend on human-provided information to categorize sites Most search services are a hybrid of both, but more dominant in one area

4 How Search Engines Work Read pages they find on the web Store text in an index When you search, they look for pages with matching text Other factors involved in ranking those pages, such as link popularity

5 The Major Search Engines Northern Light (big, but low traffic) FAST Search (big, but even less traffic) AltaVista (big and popular) Inktomi (HotBot, UK Max) Google (Netscape Search) Excite (WebCrawler) Go (Infoseek) Lycos(links at end)

6 Submitting To Search Engines Search engines should find you naturally, but submitting helps speed the process and can increase your representation Look for Add URL link at bottom of home page Submit your home page and a few key section pages Turnaround from a few days to 2 months

7 Deep Crawlers AltaVista, Inktomi, Northern Light will add the most, usually within a month Excite, Go (Infoseek) will gather a fair amount; Lycos gathers little Index sizes are going up, but the web is outpacing them…nor is size everything Here are more actions to help even the odds…

8 Deep Submit A deep submit is directly submitting pages from inside the web site – can help improve the odds these will get listed. At Go, you can email hundreds of URLs. Consider doing this. At HotBot/Inktomi, you can submit up to 50 pages per day. Possibly worth doing. At AltaVista, you can submit up to 5 pages per day. Probably not worth the effort. Elsewhere, not worth doing a deep submit.

9 Big Site? Split It Up Expect search engines to max out at around 500 pages from any particular site Increase representation by subdividing large sites logically into subdomains Search engines will crawl each subsite to more depth Heres an example...

10 Subdomains vs. Subdirectories

11 I Was Framed Don't use them. Period. If you do use them, search engines will have difficulty crawling your site.

12 Dynamic Roadblocks Dynamic delivery systems that use ? symbols in the URL string prevent search engines from getting to your pages ? Process Name=IndexPage&Section_Id=17200&NewApplication=t ? Process Name=IndexPage&Section_Id=17200&NewApplication=t Eliminate the ? symbol, and your life will be rosy Look for workarounds, such as Apache rewrite or Cold Fusion alternatives Before you move to a dynamic delivery system, check out any potential problems.

13 How Directories Work Editors find sites, describe them, put them in a category Site owners can also submit to be listed A short description represents the entire web site Usually has secondary results from a crawler-based search engine

14 The Major Directories Yahoo The Open Directory (Netscape, Lycos, AOL Search, others) LookSmart UK Plus Snap

15 Submitting To Directories Directories probably won't find you or may list you badly unless you submit Find the right category (more in a moment), then use Add URL link at top or bottom of page Write down who submitted (and email address), when submitted, which category submitted to and other details Youll need this info for the inevitable resubmission attempt – it will save you time.

16 Submitting To Directories Take your time and submit to these right Write 3 descriptions: 15, 20 and 25 words long, which incorporate your key terms Search for the most important term you want to be found for and submit to first category that's listed which seems appropriate for your site Be sure to note the contact name and email address you provided on the submit form If you don't get in, keep trying

17 Subdomain Advantage Directories tend not to list subsections of a web site. In contrast, they do tend to see subdomains as independent web sites deserving their own listings So, another reason to go with subdomains over subdirectories

18 Other Tips / Misc Under represented? Get in touch! Need Search Engine Links? See:

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