Search engines will be a way for you to generate
from as little as 20% to as much as 60% of your
business online (depending on what other marketing
techniques you use). Since there are over
130,000,000 webpages in existence (yes that is 130
million!), it is extremely important to understand how
they work and how to increase your chances of being
placed in the top 20 of the search results. For
example, if you were to type "music" and "CD" into
the AltaVista search engine as a keyword the result
would be over 1,000,000 related site URLs.
Search engines are a very powerful tool if you are
in the top 50 results (preferably the top 20), but are
completely useless if you are listed further down.
You can bet that if you are further down than the 50th
result, the searchee will not even see your site listing,
much less be able to visit it.
As we all know, the beauty of search engines is that
they can bring you a large amount of targeted traffic
and it will not cost you a cent!
It is crucial you understand the basics of how search
engines work if you want to get traffic to your site
from them. There are three main types of search
engines/directories. The first is a directory
(sometimes called a category database). This is not
a true search engine, but a listing of webpages by
category. Many directories allow you to enter in the
description and keywords for your site exactly as you
would like them to appear. You usually have to select
the category you want it cited under, too.
A directory will not list your URL and will never
become aware of your site if you do not register with
them. They do not make use of "indexing software"
(robots that crawl the web looking for new sites and
indexing them). An example of a directory is Yahoo.
Search engines (also called crawlers, spiders,
robots, and worms) vary to a large degree. They will
automatically index your site using "indexing
software" or "indexing robots".
Depending on the complexity of the software, here is
what different search engines might do:
1.Index the webpage (not the entire "website")
you give them.
2.Index every word of every page at that site.
3.Visit external links to crawl through the web
looking for any new sites 24 hours a day, 7
days a week going from URL to URL until they
have visited every website that can be found on
By simply telling the search engine what your URL is,
its software robot will go there automatically and
index everything they need. Every search engine has
different criteria for returning search results which
makes a difference on how you want to submit your
site as it can drastically effect your ranking in search
engines (we discuss this quite extensively in the
course, but it takes up over 30 pages, so we will skip
it in this newsletter).
It is important to realize that many search engines
change their algorithms on a regular basis (i.e.
weekly, monthly, etc.) - if you're listed prominently
today, that may no be true tomorrow.
There are also META search engines. These
perform searches on multiple search engines
simultaneously. In this instance, your ranking for the
keywords inputted is calculated by the combined
ranking of all the search engines simultaneously
used. The key to getting ranked high is to make sure
you're listed in all the search engines used by the
META search engines (They use: OpenText, Lycos,
WebCrawler, InfoSeek , Excite, AltaVista, Yahoo,
HotBot, and Einet Galaxy).
It is not necessary to submit your site to META
search engines since they use the results of the
major search engines (not their own).
I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.