Site Screamer Tools and Tips
Search Engine Promotion Information & Facts!Welcome to Search Engine 101, here we will help you learn all about search engine promotion, how search engines work and how to increase your placement in them. We will cover search engine registration, website promotion tips, html meta tags, how to increase your search engine placement, spamming, free resources and many more areas to help you avoid common mistakes and achieve top placement in the search engines for your website. All the information on this website is free and designed to help you understand the major search engines better. As the search engines evolve we will try to keep you current on all the changes. Major Search Engine Promotion Tips
AltaVista contains one of the largest web databases. AltaVista Search is the fastest search service available (0.4 – 0.5 seconds average response time) it also offers up-to-date content (refreshed every 28 days).
AltaVista is one of the fastest web indexes, typically your website will be listed in its database within a couple of days. AltaVista uses information from multiple sources but it’s main search results come from it’s own database. You should only submit a couple of pages per day and do not submit the same page within 24-48 hours. AltaVista will spider your entire website, adding all the pages you didn’t promote to it’s database. It seems, however, that AltaVista doesn’t actually spider your website when it first visits your website. Rather, expect a couple of weeks to pass before AltaVista will spider your entire website. If AltaVista fails to index a particular webpage that you want listed submit that webpage.
How AltaVista Rates Pages:
Your title and description should contain the keywords you are trying to target. The keywords meta tag seems to not weigh heavily, if at all, in Alta Vista’s rankings. This information is directly from AltaVista "Each document gets a grade based on how many of the search terms it contains, where the words are in the document, and how close to each other they are. Repeating a word over and over in a Web page, known as "spamming," has a negative effect on a site’s ranking. As soon as it is discovered by software programmed specifically to detect spamming, the offending site is prevented from appearing in the AltaVista index."
When optimizing webpages to rank well in AltaVista you will want to use your keywords in a manner consistent with common usage. Repeating or using your keywords too often will result in AltaVista labeling your website as spammed, thus preventing listing. Your meta tags should be developed in the same manner. Avoid repeating your keywords, remember that search engines will only read so many characters of each meta tag so keep them short and focused. You will want to increase relevancy by having short meta tags, that feature your specific keywords for that page. Avoid using keywords that are complementary but not featured well within the body of text. Ideally, you will focus your page on one set of keywords.
The title tag is extremely important in Alta Vista. Your title tag should focus on one set of keywords with little else. Avoid using any words around your keywords that will "attach" to them. For example, if you are focusing your webpage on "widgets" you will want to avoid using words near widgets like "wooden widgets". You may end up ranking very well for "wooden widgets" when you were trying to target "widgets". It is best to use common words that have no significance around your targeted keywords.
AltaVista also seems to favor older pages over new submissions. Everything being equal, between two websites, the website that was submitted first will rank higher for search results. This encourages webmasters to develop a webpage and stick with it. As webmasters try to optimize pages and resubmit they may rank higher but will need to wait a couple months before seeing results.
AltaVista basically considers everything when rating a webpage. Meta tags, alt text, link text, URL name, headers, Java applets and all text will be considered when ranking a webpage for keywords. Html comments will not be rated for relevancy "<!– Comments go here–>". To rank well you should really take the time to make sure everything on your website reflects your keywords without spamming.
AOL Facts: Popularity # 145 on the web. Over 17 million users.
AOL is the most popular ISP on the Internet and one of the most powerful Internet organizations. We have seen studies that indicate that the AOL properties combined are the most heavily visited property on the Internet. Without any doubt, being listed well anywhere within AOL can bring you a terrific amount of website traffic.
AOL has recently revised it’s entire search structure. In the past, AOL utilized Excite’s databases to power it’s popular AOL Netfind service. AOL Search now uses the Open Directory for it’s primary search results with Inktomi powering secondary results and information that the Open Directory does not contain.
How AOL Rates Pages:
AOL doesn’t actually maintain it’s own website database instead relies heavily on the Open Directory so you will want to make sure you promote and get listed well within the Open Directory. Being a human powered search engine, run by volunteers, there is no 100% method of success. Generally, you will want to develop a well organized website that contains more then a couple pages and offers something unique to websurfers. If you can add interactive components to your website we highly recommend it. Since the Open Directory is a human powered service, run by volunteers, you can expect to see some delay in getting your website listed within it’s directories. One factor you will want to consider is submitting to Inktomi, which powers AOL’s secondary results.
Inktomi is a computerized search engine so getting listed within it’s database is somewhat quicker. The same rules that apply to Alta Vista and Excite apply here. Develop all parts of your website so they feature your primary keywords. Use your keywords constantly within the body of text, but not so much that Inktomi may consider their use as spamming. The title seems to be the most important meta tag with the webpages description being the next most important. Keeping your meta tags concise and very focused on your primary keywords should help your ranking.
Excite Facts: Popularity # 10
Excite has grown a lot since it’s creation, having taken over Magellan and Webcrawler. The results you experience in Excite will generally be very similar to the results you see in the other two engines. The main difference being that Excite seems to add webpages much quicker. If you gain a top placement in Excite within a month you will typically see very similar results in the other two.
Excite will crawl your entire website, usually within a month, after your submission. The webpage you intially submit should be listed in Excite within a week, while the nonsubmitted pages should appear within a month to a month and a half. Excite maintains it’s own database and frequently updates it so you will want to monitor your placement closely. If you drop out of Excite promote your website again and you should see similar results within a week or two.
How Excite Rates Pages:
Excite directly says that your title should contain your keywords and that unrelated keywords should be relegated to lower webpages. This is really a common theme between all of the majors- so you can develop a title tag that will help your ranking in them all. Excite will not consider the keywords meta tag when rating a website, but will read the description tag. Your description tag should only contain valid text that relates directly to the webpage it represents.
When optimizing webpages to rank well in Excite you will want to use your keywords in a manner consistent with common usage. Repeating or using your keywords too often will result in Excite labeling your website as spammed, thus preventing listing. Your meta tags should be developed in the same manner. Excite will read your entire webpage so you will want to use your keywords throughout the webpage. Ideally, you will use your keywords more near the top of the webpage. You will also want to use them a couple of times near the bottom of your webpage. Header tags ("<h1") will also help your placement in Excite if used in a consistent manner with the title tag.
Excite seems to favor root domains over filenames. When promoting you will want to promote like this: "http://www.domainame.com/" instead of "http://www.domainame.com/index.html". By doing such you can improve your ranking by up to 4% in cases that we have noticed.
By rearranging the text on your webpage you can dramatically increase your ranking in Excite. If you have sentences that contain uneccesary adjectives around your keywords remove them. The more isolated your keywords are the higher you are likely to rank, this may take some creative writing on your part but it will be well worth the effort.
Excite is very spam consciece so you will want to keep your keyword usage reasonably limited. Smaller pages with keywords used less often will typically outperform large webpages with the keywords used numerous times.
Hot Bot Facts: Popularity # 16
HotBot is owned by Lycos but is run as an independent search service. Results in HotBot will often be different from results in Lycos so you will want to concentrate on both engines.
HotBot uses three different sources for it’s search results: Open Directory, Direct Hit and Inktomi. The Open Directory project powers HotBot’s channels. The Open Directory also seems to power many of Hotbot’s top results. Direct Hit powers HotBot’s "Top 10 results for…" and some of the top results for queries. After these two resources are extinguished HotBot relies on Inktomi to power the rest of it’s results. Submitting an URL on HotBot’s addurl page will submit you to one of Inktomi’s databases.
How HotBot Rates Pages:
HotBot will rate your pages initially through their inclusion in the Open Directory. If you want to find out how to submit a website to the Open Directory click here. The Open Directory is a human powered service so expect some time to pass before you see your website listed within it’s directories If HotBot does not find information in the Open Directory for a query it will turn to Inktomi for it’s results. Inktomi is a computer driven indexing database so if you follow the same guidelines for AltaVista or Excite you should perform well in Inktomi.
Inktomi is a computerized search engine so getting listed within it’s database should be somewhat quicker then getting listed in the Open Directory. The same rules that apply to Alta Vista and Excite apply here. Develop all parts of your website so they feature your primary keywords. Use your keywords constantly within the body of text, but not so much that Inktomi may consider their use as spamming. The title seems to be the most important meta tag with the webpages description being the next most important. Keeping your meta tags concise and very focused on your primary keywords should help your ranking.
Infoseek Facts: Popularity # 15
Infoseek is somewhat unique among the major search engines, from the way it indexes the web to how quickly you will see results after submission Infoseek is a great engine to gauge your website promotion efforts.
Infoseek uses two different sources to return search engine queires it’s web based addurl form and it’s channels. There isn’t a form where you can request that your URL be reviewed to be included into it’s channels. If you want to be included into Infoseek’s channels we suggest you email them requesting a review. In our experience, they will review and include your website if it is a legitamite website that is well developed. If you spam your webpages don’t count on being included.
How Infoseek Rates Pages:
Infoseek’s primary results for queries seem to come from the database that webmasters submit to. If there is a matching channel within Infoseek the primary results may come from there with secondary results coming from it’s addurl database. Either way Infoseek watches for certain thing when including a website to it’s databases.
Your title tag should contain your primary keywords near the front of the title tag. Your description and keywords tag will also help your ranking if you focus primarily on your main keywords. If you include too many words in your meta tags your ranking may suffer. We really recommend developing stright forward meta tags that focus almost exclusively on your primary keywords. This is a constant through all the major search engines so we cannot stress it enough. If your main keywords are "Bed and Breakfast" target those words exclusively on the main pages (usually the index.html pages) of your website.
Infoseek then rates the body of text for keyword usuage. You will want to have your primary keywords near the top of your body and used consistently throughout the page. Infoseek seems to rank webpages higher that use keywords consitently without spamming. Of the major search engines, Infoseek seems to be one of the less forgiving when it comes to spamming. We recently submitted two identical pages with a very minor difference and one page didn’t make it into Infoseeks database. The page that wasn’t included used text that was the same color as the body. Although the text was on a different colored cell Infoseek seems to reject the submission anyways.
If you are submitting from a large web service such as AOL, Geocities, etc. you will probably want to email them with your submission- instead of submitting through the normal addurl page. This quote is directly from Infoseeks guidelines page: "At this time, Infoseek is not indexing web pages from certain domains through the Add-URL feature. Some larger web domains are affected by this restriction. We have taken this action because of continued attempts to subvert our index. We recognize that everyone does not use such practices. However, the frequency of abuse requires us to impose it. We apologize for the inconvenience to those inadvertently affected by this policy. Our intent is to insure the highest quality of search results for our users. We will accept submissions from certain domains via e-mail to [email protected]"
Webpages that utilize alt-text seem to perform better then pages without it so be sure to include alt-text for your images.
Lycos Facts: Popularity # 24
Lycos uses two primary sources for it’s search engine queries the Open Directory and it’s own database of URL’s submitted through the addurl webpage. Lycos owns and runs HotBot but the results you see between the two engines may be dramatically different.
Lycos uses two different sources to return search engine queries it’s web based addurl form and the Open Directories database of websites. Lycos primary results come from the Open Directory in a Yahoo type directory listing. You will see the channels where the websites are listed and information about each website. This format is difficult for some websurfers to decipher so they will click through the initial page or two (although under popular terms the pages seem to go on forever) that contains the directory information and move to the "Other Articles" where the webpages are listed in a traditional search engine query format.
How Lycos Rates Pages:
As with HotBot you will want to submit your website to the Open Directory, for instruction on how to do this click here. The Open Directory is a human powered service, much like Yahoo, so you will want to avoid any spamming practices or risk being rejected.
Lycos own database rank webpages much like most of the other major search engines. You will want to have a well developed title and meta tags that reflect your primary keywords. The body of text should use your primary keywords near to top and consistently throughout the webpage.
As with the other engines you will want to use header tags that are similar to your title but a little shorter. The header tags should focus on your primary keywords and not exceed 5-7 words. Shorter header tags that contain only your keywords seem to help rankings as you are removing any unnecessary words that might attach to your keywords.
Lycos will penalize you for any spamming so you will want to make sure you avoid anything that will closely resemble spamming. This include the use of redirection, a fast meta refresh rate, hidden text, tiny text, repeating keywords over and over etc.
MSN Facts: Popularity # 31
MSN Search is a service provided by the Microsoft Corporation. MSN Search has been growing in popularity since it’s creation and with a new version of it’s search engine on the way it is likely to become a favorite of many websurfers.
MSN search currently uses Inktomi for it’s search results. It is in the process of creating a new search which will be using Alta Vista to drive it’s results. We expect the new service to be up relatively soon and will be updating this page accordingly.
How MSN Rates Pages:
MSN like other some of the major search engines uses the Inktomi databases to power it’s search results. The main difference is that MSN uses Inktomi as it’s primary source. Inktomi is a computer driven website database and the results are often similar to the results you can obtain in Alta Vista or Excite. However, if you are #1 in either of the mentioned engines you won’t necessarily be #1 in Inktomi’s database. Inktomi runs many databases that are fueled from different search engines, accordingly you should promote your website to each of these engines to ensure that you are well covered with Inktomi.
Inktomi places high relevance on the title tag so you should develop a highly relevant title tag that reflects your keywords. Inktomi is spam consciece but it seems to allow a little more leeway then say AltaVista of Excite. Your other meta tags will also affect the way you are ranked so you should use your keywords consitently through all your meta tags.
Link text also seems to be a major factor in determining how webpages are ranked for relevance. You should include your keywords in your link text at least once on your webpage. You can use your keywords more then once but you will want to avoid using them as link text too often thus lowering your body’s relevancy.
The body of text should contain your keywords throughout the webpage but avoid using them too often. Generally you will want to use your keywords in a manner consistent with any literature you would send out to customers.
Alt text and html text both appear to influence your rankings. Consequently, use your keywords for the alt text of images and use "<!–keywords once within the body of text somewhere–>". One habit many webmasters have developed was creating too many html text tag on their webpage since they aren’t actually shown on the webpage. Using html text once will be more then suffecient and avoid any possible spamming triggers that Inktomi may have.
MSN’s addurl page is notoriously slow but you will still want to promote your website too it. Additionally we recommend using the addurl page on HotBot, Anzwers and ICQ to add your URLs for Inktomi inclusion.
Norther Light Facts: Popularity # 24
Northern Light is a popular search service that gives users information from multiple sources. If you are having trouble finding information odds are you will be able to find it on Northern Light.
This quote is directly from Northern Lights website: "Northern Light’s new Internet search engine enables you to search the World Wide Web and information from 5,400 premium sources. Web results are combined with information from premium material in one search, giving you access to books, magazines, databases, and newswires not available from any other search engine. Results are returned prioritized by best match and organized into folders that help narrow your searches. The Custom Search Folders are not pre-set, but are created specifically according to your search request."
How Northern Light Ranks Websites:
Northern Light only wants users to submit one page of their website, their spider will index the rest of the webpages. Northern Light does a very good job of indexing webpages as it is usually near the top of search engines for indexing the web.
It will usually takes a couple weeks for websites to appear in Northern Lights index, non-submitted webpages will appear as quickly as submitted webpages so you need only submit the main pages of your website.
The title of your webpage weighes very heavily on your ranking in Northern Light. Typically, websites that contain just the keywords will rank #1 overall for queries. Headers and link text will also help your ranking in Northern Light if they contain your primary keywords. The header tag should be very similar to the title of the webpage.
Web Crawler Facts: Popularity # 54
Webcrawler is owned and operated by Excite although Excite runs it as a separate service. Webcrawler runs a smaller database then Excite which makes it popular among many websurfers.
Webcrawler’s search engine query results are often similar to Excites, although they can be different. Webcrawler seems to only take the top websites from Excite’s database, although it maintains it’s own. Typically the results for queries will be accurate based on the search term and listed in a list type format. When promoting to Webcrawler you will want to attain rankings for your keywords on the main page as Webcrawler. A nice feature about Webcrawler is that it won’t typically list 20 pages from the same URL for the same keywords like other engines.
How Webcrawler Rates Pages:
Webcrawler wieghs the title very heavily when ranking a website for relevancy. This is directly from Webcrawler: "Use a title uniquely descriptive of your page or site. Since WebCrawler’s indexing/relevance algorithm gives slightly more weight to titles than to body text pages with titles containing dead-weight words like "Homepage" or "Home Page on the WWW" don’t often get easily found."
Webcrawler will read the entire body of text (up to 1 meg) to determine how relevant a webpage is for it’s keywords. One meg of text is a lot of text which most websites will never come near so you have leeway in being as descriptive as possible for your webpages. Webcrawler encourages your main webpage to fully describe what they are offering: "Make sure that the main page of the site describes to the fullest extent possible what the site’s about. It doesn’t have to be over-long and exhaustive, but as much text with the important words in it as you can possibly have without sacrificing the design/layout of the site will help on the indexing front".
Webcrawler won’t read your keywords meta tag but will read the description so devout more of your effort into making a well developed title and description then developing your keywords meta tag. As with almost all search engines you can simply omit the keywords meta tag and you won’t suffer in your ranking whatsoever.
Promoting multiple URL’s from the same domain is usually a waste of time on Webcrawler. You will want to develop the main page of your website, usually index.html, and promote only that to get listed well in Webcrawler. If you have sub-directories you can promote the index page for those and still get them listed on Webcrawler.
Webcrawlers stance on spamming: "In order to make our index cleaner and more navigable, and to foster a more level playing field for everyone, we’ve started removing these pages from our index and screening new submissions. If you load pages with long, repetitve word lists, or titles this will cause WebCrawler either to ignore the repetition or, in some cases, to ignore such documents entirely ".