Random Tips on registering with Search Engines from the October 2000 Actrix Newsletter

by Rob Zorn

1. Make your web page (or your entire site) closely focused on a topic that can be summed up in a single keyword or two. The title of the page (the name that appears in the little box at the top of your browser), the meta information and the words on your page should all talk about your subject. When a search engine indexes your site it will then have no problem figuring out whether your site really is about what you say.

2. Different search engines focus on different aspects of your site, but most place a heavy emphasis on your title - that line in the box on your browser. Be sure to include your most important key word. Some people like to include it twice if they can use it in a logical sentence, but don't lay this on too thick.

3. Several search engines put heavy emphasis on your meta information. That's a line in your page's HTML code that gives the engine additional information on the topic of the site and keywords that correspond with what's in the text. Don't get too carried away with using one keyword. Keep it down to seven times at most (otherwise the search engine will disregard the keyword).

Some search engine experts are now advising NOT to repeat a keyword in any form or fashion. Engines are starting to penalise for that. Many top sites now simply list seven or so keywords and leave it at that.

3. Search engines can't yet read pictures, so provide lots of copy that talks about your main theme and keywords. In other words, make your site about what your title and meta info claim it's about.

All this makes it harder for web designers to trick search engines. In a way, that's good for those of us who are too busy doing other things to become experts in search engine registration. There's a simple formula for success: Design a site that is full of good information on a particular topic, and give the site a name that clearly and accurately describes it. That's good marketing, too.

Eighty percent of the people using search engines go straight to one of the six biggest: Alta Vista, Excite, InfoSeek, Lycos, WebCrawler or Yahoo! (see above for links).

While Yahoo is hard to get listed on, they use the same database as Hotbot. so if you can get on Hotbot and you will automatically be on Yahoo.

Right now you can register with the the most popular search pages with one click at http://www.all4one.com

Individually, you can go to each engine and look for the link that says "add URL." For Yahoo, you must first go to the listings of sites like yours, and look for the "suggest a site" link on that page.

Granted, I've tried to explain search engine registration in simple terms. There are many more insights and nuances you can explore (a whole industry has grown up around search engine manipulation). But following these simple guidelines will ensure that your web site is search engine friendly. You will be much more likely to receive a favourable listing that will attract more visitors to your web site.


"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
---- Bill Gates, 1981