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Many of major search engines use link popularity to gauge relevancy of your site in its search results. Plus, links are what makes web go-round. Many webmasters have notion that links are bad because they are sending visitors off of their web site. Although this is true, links to and from web sites that complement yours helps to build credibility and sets stage for making your web site an authority in your field.
Much is written about importance of getting links from directories like Yahoo!, Looksmart and Open Directory Project, because they are reviewed by human beings. If you want a link in first two, however, it will cost you money. A listing in Yahoo! and Looksmart is considered "paid inclusion." Your marketing dollars will be well spent, though, because listings here will not only generate increased traffic, it will add greatly to your web site's link popularity.
SUBMITTING TO THE SEARCH ENGINES
Once your web page is fully optimized, it is time to submit it to search engines. Although there are hundreds of search engines on Internet, only a handful are truly important. Recent statistics show top three search engines as:
#1 MSN #2 Yahoo! #3 Google
Although there are automated services that promise to get you listed on thousands of search engines, it is recommended that you manually submit your site to top search engines. Some of search engines view automated submissions as spam and will not list your site. Others put a higher priority on manual submissions. And others--such as Inktomi--required an annual fee to list your site. It can take weeks (sometimes even months!) to get listed, so again, be patient. The search engines are important to success of your web site, so treat them with respect they deserve. Most of all, do not over-submit!
For more information about search engine submissions, request a copy of my article "Web Site Promotion 101" at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
TRAFFIC REPORTING AND ANALYSIS
Once you have allowed an appropriate amount of time to lapse (I usually wait six weeks), it is time to generate some reports to confirm success of your search engine optimization campaign. Search engine positioning reports provide a wealth of information, such as your site's position in major search engines, how you rank on your targeted keyword terms and phrases, which sites rank above and below you, where you've declined in rankings, and so on.
To automate process of generating your search engine positioning reports, download a free trial of 1stPlace Software's highly-acclaimed WebPosition Gold at http://www.webposition.com/
In addition to your search engine positioning reports, be sure to regularly check your traffic logs. Is your traffic increasing? Are people finding your site with search terms you targeted? Which of search engines are referring visitors to your site?
There are many variables that affect rankings, including:
1. Keyword density 2. Link popularity 3. Click popularity 4. Keywords in title 5. Keywords in description tag 6. Keywords in keywords tag 7. Keywords in names of linked pages and in linked words 8. Keywords in alt tags 9. Keywords in names of images 10. Paying for ranks 11. Listing in online directories
Source: Search Engine Optimization and Placement: An Internet Marketing Course for Webmasters by Renee Kennedy and Terry Kent. http://www.thewritemarket.com/seo-book.shtml
CASE STUDY OF GRIEF LOSS & RECOVERY
In October 2001, my web site, Grief Loss & Recovery (http://www.grieflossrecovery.com), was averaging 98 visitors a day and 573 page views. Reviewing my traffic logs, I noted that most popular search term for my site was "grief poems," so I decided to optimize my site for that phrase.
Since October, my traffic has steadily climbed charts.
In March 2002, my daily unique visitors averaged 325 and my page views 1962, an increase of 69 percent and 70 percent, respectively.
With regard to my rankings in search engines, they have also improved considerably. For example, for search phrase "grief poems" in Google, my site ranks number one out of 102,000 results; and for search term "grief," my site ranks 15 out of 1,690,000.
As for traffic referred by search engines, Google far exceeds all other search engines in driving traffic to my site with 2,953 referrals in March, followed by Yahoo at 1,428. (In comparison, my October 2001 numbers showed Yahoo referring 535 visitors and Google 423.)
All-in-all, I am pleased with results of my first attempt at optimizing Grief Loss & Recovery and am beginning to note similar results with some of other web sites I have recently optimized.
When playing search engine optimization game, patience is important, because results do not happen overnight.
To be competitive online, your web site needs to be search engine friendly. Search engine optimization is a function of Internet marketing and is most cost-effective means of marketing to your target audience. With an estimated 84 percent of web users turning to search engines to find information online, it is important that your site rank within top 30 results if you want to be found. A successful search engine optimization campaign will not only boost your rankings in search engines, it will bring qualified customers and prospects to your web site who are already on web searching for your products and services.
For more information about search engine optimization and positioning, visit:
Search Engine Watch http://www.searchenginewatch.com/
Search Engine World http://www.searchengineworld.com/index.htm
Academy of Web Specialists http://www.academywebspecialists.com/
Spider Food http://www.spider-food.net/
Plus be sure to subscribe to:
Adventive I-Search http://www.adventive.com/lists/isearch/summary.html
Joanne Glasspoole is the editor/publisher of CYBER QUEST. Each issue is jam packed with original reports, news briefs, cool Webmaster tools, and more. To subscribe, send email to Majordomo@lists.kdv.com with "subscribe cyberquest" in the body of your message. Visit Joanne's web site at http://www.glasspoole.com