Would you like to prevent Internet users from visiting your website? You may feel that you're asked a silly question. But then think about why so many investors are silently watching how their web projects are doomed to invisibility from outset despite nobody wants to conceal his or her own website from public.
In Internet's Middle Ages - eight to ten years back, everything related to Web was extremely expensive, from Internet access to web design and programming to hosting, and creative folks built their first websites mostly from a perspective of future opportunities. The then start-ups tried to attract their audiences by interesting information and colorful pictures in hopes that visitors will find their web pages somehow, through ads or otherwise, and remember useful Internet address (URL) or add it to favorites in order to come back again and again.
But times have changed. Now, with almost forty million of active domains and twenty million of websites, archaic approach to entering any online market doesn't work. It's no longer enough to have nice graphics and useful information on web pages and drive some additional traffic to a site via banner ads. To be visible, websites have to compete fiercely for search traffic. Those players on Web who don't understand new harsh realities are just losing their money and online niches to rivals.
Power of Search
Today's Internet users aren't inclined to compile lists of useful web addresses and then copy and paste or type in domain names like "www.your-greatest-website.com." Of course, an average web surfer has a number of pages bookmarked in browser, but when it comes to searching Web for information, products or services, user goes to a search site and type relevant words or phrases in a search box. What would you do if you needed, for example, a vacuum cleaner or latest news on a Cabinet reshuffle in Myanmar? Yes, you visit your favorite search site and type in your key search terms there, say, "vacuum cleaner" or "cabinet reshuffle myanmar." The search site will display you its search result page or pages with many links to information you need. It's simple and effective.
The search sites have become an integrated part of overall Internet industry and can be classified into two major groups: search engines and directories. The search engines use special programs; so-called spiders or crawlers travel web, scan web pages and include them in search engine databases. Contrary to search engines that store information about web pages, Internet directories are supported manually by human editors, have no automated programs and list websites by categories. Google, MSN, AltaVista, AOL and AlltheWeb are most popular search engines on a global scale. Yahoo! and DMOZ (ODP) are particularly noteworthy among global directories. Yandex and Rambler - each has a search engine and a directory - have actually captured a search market in Russia and other CIS countries despite they now face tough competition from Google. There are local search sites at deeper regional level as well. Ukraine, for example, has UaPortal.com.ua and Bigmir.net (directories), and META.ua and Sova.com.ua (search engines) that are besieged by competition from likes of Google, Yandex and Rambler.
Whatever marketing researches you do, whatever sophisticated web design and programming technologies you apply and whatever great website you launch, your web project will always remain hidden from your target audiences unless your web pages get into search engine databases and are listed among first 30 search results. Every online business comes to this conclusion sooner or later. Sometimes it happens too late when designers has already sucked in all website budget and sacrificed potential search traffic for expensive and unnecessary graphics or codes.
Lost in Design
Did you ever happen to talk a web project over with a design studio? Seasoned website owners know there are five points which you will be reverted to, no matter what goals you actually wish to get. These sacred cows are "logo, programming language, colors, graphics and site structure." When you ask designers about visibility of a website to your target audiences, its projected positions on search engine result pages and whether their design concept improves or worsens those positions, you always hear something like "... our team ...creative approach ...newest technologies ...clear design ... harmonizing colors" and so on which return you to above five dogmas. If you aren't strong enough to resist spell they used to cast over a client, you'll became addicted to graphics and forget about your primary objectives - visibility to Internet users and high rankings in search engines. Among those who fall into trap of misunderstanding their own goals are not only newbies, but also experienced folks whose websites have plummeted down in search engines from Top10 to invisibility since they unreasonably agreed to "upgrade" their "obsolete" content-rich recourses to splash pages and inner pages heavy on flash animation and programming codes.