Business Decisions to Shape Your Search Engine Strategies

Written by Nach Maravilla

Search engines have become a critical source of traffic for many Web sites. In fact, search engines can account for as much as 80 percent of their traffic. However, search engine placement is a complex and ever-moving target to hit: search engines refresh their listings constantly to produce new content. They also use a unique and proprietary (read: “top secret”) algorithm to determine a site's relevance to keyword queries. You can never be too sure as to what Google or Yahoo wants from a site to merit a top ranking.

Playing catch-up with search engines can be time-consuming and costly. Worse, search engine visibility takes time to achieve and only seconds to lose.

If you are operating a web-based operation, you will need to make a number of business decisions regarding search engine marketing. The key to successful search engine marketing strategy is constant testing, revising and optimizing based on metrics. Here are some business decisions that you need to address in search engine marketing:

1. Are you keeping up withrepparttar changes?

Search engines are constantly trying to improve their search results. In so doing, you might find your site inrepparttar 128305 number one position one morning, only to slide to page 10repparttar 128306 following day, or worse, dropped fromrepparttar 128307 engine’s entire index. You check your web stats to find that your traffic decreased by 10% or so because one search engine reduced its referrals to your site. Do you know what just happened?

Google, for example, constantly tweak their algorithms leading to a shakeup ofrepparttar 128308 search results. A lot of webmasters are finding it hard to keep track of what Google wants or not. Yahoo, just recently, stopped showing Google results (Google used to berepparttar 128309 provider of Yahoo search results) and shifted to their own “internally powered results” (from all accounts, looks to be a hybrid Inktomi processed by Yahoo’s new algorithm).

Search engine optimization is a never-ending game. You need to dedicate time and resources to understanding how you can optimize your web site for search engine rankings. With each new shakeup,repparttar 128310 results will either be positive (if your site gets better ranked in your keywords) or negative (if your site drops from your rank or disappears altogether). And paying to get intorepparttar 128311 search engines is not even a guarantee of a top (or even “good”) spot.

If you are running a business onrepparttar 128312 Web and you rely on search engines to give you a significant amount of traffic, you must keep your eyes wide open for any changes. Read as much as you can for information. Check out Webmaster or search engine forums. Absorb everything you learn and apply them to your site.

2. Are you willing to pay to get your site indexed or listed byrepparttar 128313 search engines or directories?

Getting intorepparttar 128314 search engines is not as easy as it used to be. With more Web sites sprouting all overrepparttar 128315 Internet, there are more pages for search engines to index. To “expedite” your listing in search engines, some search engine providers have introducedrepparttar 128316 concept of “Pay for Inclusion (PFI), which means submitting a web site or web pages for a fee in exchange for guaranteed inclusion into a search engine's database/listings for a set period of time. Inktomi, Fast/AlltheWeb, Teoma/Ask Jeeves, and AltaVista arerepparttar 128317 search engines that currently require sites to pay to be included in their search listings.

If you are operating a small-to-medium site, your fee is based onrepparttar 128318 number of URLs that you submit for indexing (cost is anywhere from $16 to $39 per URL for one year). Bigger sites, often defined as those with 1,000 or more pages are typically charged on a pay-per-click fee basis. The benefit will berepparttar 128319 assurance thatrepparttar 128320 web pages you submitted will “typically appear within 72 hours and updated every 48 hours.” In many search engines, you will also be provided reporting details and ability to manage your account.

Yahoo also has a separate Paid Submission program for its directory. For a fee of $299 per year, you are guaranteed a review of your site. Inclusion intorepparttar 128321 directory, however, is not automatic and will depend only whether your site meetsrepparttar 128322 stated guidelines for submission.

Take note, though, that PFIs can be pretty expensive, and costs can set you back thousands of dollars depending onrepparttar 128323 number of pages you want to be included. For example, a 100-page submission at $25 per URL will set you back $2,500 per year!

How do I submit my site to Search Engines?

Written by Vinu Thomas

You've built up a good site, put in a lot of content, but none ofrepparttar search engines lists your site? If you'd like to know how to go ahead with Search Engine Submissionrepparttar 128304 right way, read on.

How do I get my site to be included in search-engines? That's a question a lot of people ask me. My question back to them is "Is your Site Search-engine ready?". A lot of sites don't get spidered into search engine results just becauserepparttar 128305 pages are not search-engine friendly. Search engines like to see a lot of text on your site. This means that if your site is filled with Flash animations and graphics, instead of text for content, your site probably not show up in search-engine results. Another reason your site might be loosing out in search engine rankings could berepparttar 128306 lack of meta-tags.

So what are meta-tags? Metatags are small pieces of code which you embed into your pages which informs your search engines about your site's contents, how to spider your site, and other such instructions.

Most search engines look at your page's meta-tags and title tag to getrepparttar 128307 relevant information to index your site. So you should make sure that all your pages haverepparttar 128308 relevant details in meta-tags. The three most important tags for your site are 'DESCRIPTION' and 'KEYWORDS' meta-tags andrepparttar 128309 'Title' tag on all pages.

* The 'DESCRIPTION' tag is used to describerepparttar 128310 contents ofrepparttar 128311 page. You should enter a short description ofrepparttar 128312 page in this tag. Here's howrepparttar 128313 tag will look when you enterrepparttar 128314 description ofrepparttar 128315 page:

* The 'KEYWORDS' tag is used to tellrepparttar 128316 search engine which keywords words you feel are important inrepparttar 128317 page. This helps inrepparttar 128318 ranking process of search engines. In your keywords tag, use as many combinations of your search term as you can, without repeatingrepparttar 128319 same terms too many times. Some search engines penalize a site for repeating keywords. Here's how a keywords tag would look :

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