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Submitting Your Websites To Search Engines
By Dwayne
If you had only tried listing your site on a search engine you would have found that the task is not as easy as filling out a form. It calls for lot of ingenuity, and creative choice of words to describe what you have got to offer to ensure your site shows up on page 1 rather than on page 10 or beyond!

To optimize your website design to get ranked higher in the listings needs a thorough understanding of how search engines build their databases. A few tips are listed in what follows.

The Most Often-Used Search Engines

First and foremost it is important to note that 95% of users go through Google, Yahoo or MSN Search Engines. It is easy to see why this is so. Yahoo and MSN are the widest used mail providers, and Google is the default search engine for anyone familiar with the Internet.

Database suppliers for Search Engines

It is interesting to note that, the major search engines do not have a database of their own. Yahoo and AOL get their databases from Google, so do MSN & Hotbot get theirs from Inktomi. Hence you need to submit your site details to database builders first.

Search Engines: How do they work?

Search engines could be automated (they are called crawlers) or they could be manually entered by dedicated personnel (called Directories). Crawlers hook on to the links on your site pages, and build up their databases from the words in the text on the public pages of your site, that match the keyword set provided by you at the time of submission. The keywords may be extracted from behind-the-scenes using meta tags, supplied as an alternate. The sites where most keywords supplied are found are ranked higher. It is not so simple however. Littering the text with keywords so as to get ranked higher could be treated as spamming by the Search Engine and the ranking pushed down. Google, AltaVista and Inktomi work with crawlers.

The other alternative to search is by Human Directories. Yahoo for example employs people to do this search manually to classify and build the database. Even here crawlers are often used to do a partial construction of the database which is further refined by human intervention subsequently. However sites submitted to such human directories take longer to get included in the databases; they might charge a fee for this too.

The Indexing and Ranking Procedure Of Search Engines

The categorization of sites by Search Engines is done on the basis of frequency of occurrence of the keywords/key phrases in their sites public pages submitted by the site owners.

Four things

are asked of the sites when they are submitted to Search Engine databases.

a. The Title of the site

b. A short description of the site

c. The set of keywords/ key phrases (these are the probable words that information seekers might use) and

d. Site-owners categorization of the site.

Using this data, crawlers are set into action to search for the keywords in the text on the public pages. There is an in-built limit (about 6 instances) to the number of occurrences of the keywords/phrases on the public pages, beyond which the sites are penalized for spamming and ranked lower down.Further, the text included in or adjoining graphic parts of site are not noticed.

As described above, some search engines are designed to rank sites based on the title of the site and keywords that are supplied to be behind-the-scenes in special code called meta-tags. Not all search engines use such meta-tags, but it is prudent to use them.

There are some implicit rules however: Site titles cannot be more than 100 characters long, descriptions more than 250 characters and the keyword meta-tag has a cap of 1000 characters. Anti-spamming principles are applicable to meta-tags as well, and the ranking goes down for spamming. If the keywords/phrases supplied include say, home based business then start a business from your home, work from home is taken to have 2 instances of the word home and one of business keywords.

Submitting Sites To Search Engines

Once sufficient care is taken to optimize and design the public pages of your site, submitting the same to be included in any search engine database could be done either manually or through a submission tool.

One should consider submitting to Google, Yahoo or MSN first given the frequency of their use by prospective information-seekers.

Often there are links on their page where you could add your site name. If automatic submissions are considered, it pays to pre-evaluate your submission by a standard submission tool to check your readiness.

Thus site preparation for submitting to Search Engines by no means an easy task. The tips in this write-up ensure your submissions are accepted prima-facie, and after acceptance are ranker higher in the search results.

Considering the normal human tendency of looking into a site coming up in the first 2 to 3 pages, the redesign/design of site contents cannot be over-emphasized.

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