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There is a relationship between search results in "engine" and directory or directories that are associated with a particular search engine. It appears that many search engine's algorithms have been set to include results based on directory. Therefore, it is imperative that you are listed in directory associated with each search engine.
C. What happens when I submit my site to a search engine?
First, search engine's spider will visit your site immediately, and schedule your site for inclusion in search engine's index.
Second, usually within a few weeks, engine will place your site in their index.
Third, spider will revisit your site, to include any updates. Once you are included in index, spider will usually revisit every two weeks. The spider will also begin to "crawl" your site by following links off of page that you submitted. This process is also called "automatic update". With Excite - these new updates seem to be automatically included once spider has visited site. However, if you are dealing with Inktomi spider - slurp - which gathers data for Hotbot, Snap, Yahoo! and others, this information may not be included in each particular engine's index for several weeks.
Fourth, when someone uses a search engine, they type "keywords" into search box. They are submitting a query to a search engine. The search engine, depending on how it has been tuned, will pull up all of relevant sites which pertain to that query.
D. Variables That Affect Ranks
When you are optimizing your web pages for certain engines, you must always keep in mind that keyword frequency in text and location of your keywords, is most important part of how engine will rank your pages. ALL search engines rank pages based on frequency and location of keywords.
Some engines also are programmed to give a boost to pages which meet following criteria:
1. link popularity
2. keywords in title, most important keywords first
3. keywords in names of linked pages for instance: educational toys
4. keywords in alt tags
5. keywords as names of images for instance:
6. keywords in description tag
7. keywords in keywords tag, most important keywords first
If you need more help, check out the book: http://www.thewritemarket.com/seo-book.shtml This book will give you explicit and easy-to-follow directions on how to write for the Search Engines.