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Orly Borges Personal Collection

13 Search Engines and Directories analysed

Frames & graphics/pictures
Frames is when you have more than one screen on your page, usually a screen on the left side with a menu. We've seen pages with 4 different screens that have to fit in your monitor. Having them, shows that you know a lot about html, but the problem is that the search engines will get confused when finding them, and frames will NOT help you have your page ahead in the search engines.

Graphics really improve the quality of your page, but there are 2 inconveniences. First, robots sent by the search engines, do not recognize them as good as they would recognize text. Second, if you have many graphics, the pages will load slower;
therefore visitors that have to wait too long, will go to the next site. Maybe when everyone has cable, this won't be a problem.

So, text is best, but if you have to use graphics, use the "ALT" command, and have a description of the picture, using again more keywords in this description.

The text in your page, and additional advice
The heading of your page usually has the H1 or H2 size tags. Search engines look for these tags to pick more keywords. There is another way to size your heading, that is made with the FONT tag, DO NOT USE IT FOR YOUR HEADING, otherwise the search engine's robot will skip your heading.

So, the search engines have to determine what kind of page you have. The best way to do it is by READING THE TEXT ON YOUR PAGE. Some of them will read only the first few lines. Others, will read the whole page (Lycos). In order to satisfy them all, keep using the same keywords you have in your meta tags, title, and heading throughout the whole page, from top to bottom.

This could make your page very monotonous and tedious. So, be creative. Make a table, and have a link to your other pages in a different color text, there you can write more keywords and your readers won't notice the repetition. Also, if you have a little slogan, write it in a different color font, and italics; the duplication of words won't be that visible. However, we wouldn't go as far as doing what we call "keyword Christmas decorations":

*** used cars *** used cars *** used cars *** used cars *** used cars ***
Your web page has to have a mixture of real good information, simplicity and clarity. It needs to be polished, attractive, offer lots of value, and have lots of keywords in between.

The size of your web page is also relevant. Let's say: 

WEB PAGE #1, has the same keyword repeated 20 times, and is 200 words long.
This web page will have a much better position in the search engines than:

WEB PAGE #2, has the same keyword repeated 40 times, and is 1000 words long.
The proportion of the repeated keyword in PAGE #1 is higher than the ratio in PAGE #2.

That's why many times you will find an introductory page, that will link to the contents in another page. This introductory page, can be very short, and loaded with keywords. Pay attention: Some search engines or directories, will not allow you to register introductory pages.

A very well designed web page, made to have a preferential place in the dominant search engines, could make a lot of money for it's owner.

Is it fair to be at war with your competition in search engines and directories?
Since there is good money involved in having a lot of traffic in a web page, many will try dishonest ways to be first in line. There are very smart people studying in detail how search engines & directories work. On the contrary, search engines also have very smart kids changing the way that search engines rate web pages, in order to avoid programmers sneaking around the rules.

The most common fraud is to write 100's of keywords in white text on white background. You won't see it, but the robots that the search engines use, will read them. Also, it's the use of 100's of keywords in the meta tags, and loading the TITLE with dozens of keywords. Not happy with one, they make dozens of other pages, with the same content, but different URL's.  

Some web page designers overseas, dirty sites, and web pages made over 2 years ago, still use these operations to show up ahead in the search. You see, a couple of years ago, the only way to appear in the search engines was by cheating; you can find them by looking at the date in the search engine lists (Altavista shows the date of submission).

So, the question is WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THEM? BUMP THEM.

If you find your competition not playing by the rules, and showing ahead of you in the search, you can contact the search engine, point out their address, and how they are defrauding the search engine. They will knock them down to the end of the list, and on top of that, the search engine will usually send you an email thanking you.

Now, you are one step AHEAD.  

Altavista takes 2 to 4 days to post your site; Yahoo 6 weeks plus; the others will take 2 to 3 weeks. Register your page in all of them, and then go back and look for them. Probably 50% of what you sent gets posted. Submit your page(s) again and again. We've had pages bringing lots of customers very well placed in Hotbot, AOL Netfind and Excite. Eventually they were not there any more, and lost business. We don't know why, but pages get moved, and you have to track your page(s) often.

And, if that happens to you, submit your page(s) again and again.

13 Search Engines & Directories Analysed 

  • Google: Without any doubt the most famous of all search engines and directories analysed. Three Rs: Really giant!! Really important!! Really intelligent!!

  • Yahoo: Thanks to it's international directories, Yahoo is the busiest of all search engines or directories. To register go to the category where you want your page to be placed, and then go to "Suggest a Site". It takes them 6 looong weeks to post your page.

  • AltaVista: Same owners as Yahoo, register only the first page of your site, they will go through each of your links (so far the best search engine to do this, and index each of your pages).

  • Excite: Submit your main page only, their robot or spider will read the text of your whole page, and pick keywords.

  • Infoseek: They will read your META TAGS. If you don't have them, your TITLE will become the description for your page.

  • Hotbot: They have 2 things in common with AltaVista: you only submit your main page, and they will index the whole site; also, check if they already have your site, since they go through the web picking any page they find. The one thing that they do NOT have in common with AltaVista, is a bunch of arrogant geeks answering their emails when you need more information.

  • Lycos: They mostly rely on the TEXT of your page to decide where you belong.

  • Webcrawler: They NEVER put our pages in their directory, but now is the same registration page as Excite. Let's see what happens.

  • AOL/Netfind: We got good results from one of our pages here.

  • Magellan: Not very busy, they register URL's through Excite, but we wonder why Excite has most of our pages and Magellan doesn't even has one.

  • LookSmart: Not a giant but important, they have real people checking their URL registrations.

  • Northern Light: Not as busy as the ones above, but it is a good place to search.

  • Jayde: These people have been marketing their page very well, and are getting much better traffic.

  • NBCi: We've heard good things about them, to register, search the subject of your page, then you MUST choose a category.

Source: Importers-Exporters Website


frames: some special structures in web design (los marcos)
: as a consequence (por lo tanto)
heading: a line of text at the top of a page (encabezamiento)
will skip: jump, fail to attend (salteará, pasará por alto)
: alert and resourceful (hábil, inteligente)
sneaking: checking in secret or furtively (ingresando furtivamente)
overseas: in a foreign country (en el extranjero)

by cheating: by violating rules (por medio de engaños o fraude)
bump them: knock them out (trompéalos, liquídalos)
point out: inform, report (informar)
giant: very big, huge (gigantesco)
6 looong weeks: 6 very long weeks (6 larguísimas semanas)
go through: check (revisan, controlan)
arrogant geeks: chesty eccentric people (personas arrogantes y excéntricas)

Click here to read MARKETING IN INTERNET (Part I)