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Getting your web site seen

Nearly all Webmasters are eager to bring in as much traffic as possible. The most important ways to do this are 1.) Word of Mouth, 2.) Search Engines, 3.) Links with relative sites, and a poor number 4.) Advertising in traditional media.

Word of mouth is up to you. If you have a good, attractive, useful, friendly, people-oriented site your visitors will return and tell others about you. Your site has to be kept fresh.

Web Glossary

Search Engines - Sites that allow the visitor to search the Internet with key words to find web sites of interest.

Portal - Web sites that offer search engines, free email and other services, such as shopping, etc.

Directories - Sites that operate like search engines, but have people (rather than software "robots") indexing sites for relevant and appropriate content.

Search Engines (most call themselves "Portals" now) are tricky. There are several things to do to get on a search engine, including the design of your site and submitting to them. Many sources are helpful in the process, including:

Joscon Networks spells out the basics of search engine placement; visit all their links, including the ones on scams. Make Your Site Sell is very informative with a free e-newsletter.

Web Position's Talk area is a really high-tech bulletin board. SearchEngineWatch is large, informative and constantly expanding.

There are zillions of recondite tricks (thirty links to an invisible GIF, for example) and just as many tricksters out there claiming to boost your search engine position. Search Engines are aware of these and try to stay one step ahead (actually behind) them. Don't try them; they are not worth it.

Lots of people promise you high placement for a fee, sites that will submit your URL to 10, 50 or 100 or more search engines. These are advised against. Do the work yourself.

I highly recommend The Write Market. This includes a search engine tutorial and a submit page that tells you what the major search engines want and links you to their submit pages. Read this carefully.

Either use their submit page or submit your URL to the major search engines from here:

AltaVista http://altavista.com/cgi-bin/query?pg=addurl
Excite
http://www.excite.com/info/add_url
Google
http://www.google.com/addurl.html
HotBot
http://www.hotbot.com/addurl.asp
Infoseek
http://infoseek.go.com/AddUrl?pg=SubmitUrl.html
Lycos
http://www.lycos.com/addasite.html
MSN Search
http://search.msn.com/addurl.asp
Northern Light
http://www.northernlight.com/docs/regurl_help.html
WebCrawler
http://www.webcrawler.com/Help/GetListed/AddURLS.html

Several of these are not technically search engines but directories (see above) and this trend is growing. Yahoo! is the leading search engine (actually a directory) and placement is important there, though sometimes difficult.

A recent study shows that only a fraction of web pages (there are some five billion) are covered by search engines. They are trying to rectify this. Google (my favorite) now has over a billion indexed.

Partnering your site

Relevant links into your site are an increasingly important means for search engines to rank it. Put up a link page and actively promote reciprocal links. For TheBeadSite fill out this short form.

You may want to build banners (for example to advertise on TheBeadSite). The better the banner, the better the click-thorough rate. The best word on a banner is "Free," but don't use it unless you have something of value to give away.

Another important phrase is "Click here." A surprising number of people don't know that this is what you are supposed to do with a banner. Your design should be clean and to the point. The color combination should be pleasing. A static banner should be no more than 7K bytes large. Here is more information.

Maintaining your site

Keeping your site fresh is important. If it is static, people will not revisit. Search engines also drop static sites. Big sites take a lot of work, believe me. You will either have to block off a lot of your time or pay someone handsomely to keep your site current.

Either way it is a big commitment. Don't get in over your head. If you are new, think small at first. You can always expand later.

< Last Page | Next Page >

Part One: Initial Considerations

Part Two: Getting Your Site

Part Three: Building Your Site

Part Five: Adding Value and Securing Your Site

Part Six: Updates
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