Search Engine Ranking: The Real Truth

Written by James D. Brausch

There are perhaps more myths and urban legends about how to get your website ranked well onrepparttar search engines than any other subject onrepparttar 128360 Internet. In this article, I'm going to tell you how you can tellrepparttar 128361 fact fromrepparttar 128362 fiction. After reading this article, you will know how to getrepparttar 128363 current facts about how any search engine ranks sites.

It is tempting to go torepparttar 128364 various newsgroups, mailing lists and discussion forums that are frequented by webmasters to ask questions about search engine ranking. Many of you have done this and been bewildered byrepparttar 128365 amount and diversity of advice offered. Some claim that you should use white-on-white text to stuff your page with keywords while others claim using white-on-white hidden text will get you banned. Some say to use keywords in your keywords meta-tag while others claim that search engines don't even look atrepparttar 128366 meta-tags anymore. Some claim that you must use short pages, while others claim that long pages are better.

In almost every case, you will receive massively contradictory advice if you ask other webmasters. Even worse, sometimes almost all ofrepparttar 128367 webmasters will agree on some topic... and be dead wrong. Sometimesrepparttar 128368 information is exactly right for February, 1999 but is no longer accurate. Search engines change their ranking algorithms constantly.

So how can you findrepparttar 128369 correct information? First, let me say that I rarely worry aboutrepparttar 128370 search engines at all anymore. There really are much more effective means of driving traffic to your site than worrying aboutrepparttar 128371 search engines. I recommend link exchanges with sites of a similar topic to your own and submitting articles to newsletters in your category as much more effective means of marketing than worrying about search engines. You should also be aware that search engines keep a "blacklist" of sites they have manually banned, often becauserepparttar 128372 owners bragged about some particular ranking attained in some particular way. So, once you userepparttar 128373 following methods, I recommend that you keep specific results to yourself. So let's dive into how to getrepparttar 128374 search engine secrets.

Why not askrepparttar 128375 search engines themselves? Of course, all ofrepparttar 128376 search engines claim to guard their ranking secrets with great care, but that is actually quite impossible. By it's very nature, every single search engine has a publicly available database. All you have to do to access their database is to enter a search term. The search engine will happily tell you all ofrepparttar 128377 information you need to know about how it ranks sites. All it takes is a little analysis ofrepparttar 128378 results.

Since a course in statistical analysis would be really boring in a newsletter article (and not very useful), I'll skip all ofrepparttar 128379 theory and get down to an actual example of how you can findrepparttar 128380 answer to almost any question you have about search engine ranking. Let's take an example step-by-step. Let's say you just heard a rumor that a particular search engine will rank you higher if your search term is present inrepparttar 128381 title. Here arerepparttar 128382 steps you can take to find out if that is true:

"Who's In, Who's Out in the Continuing Saga of the Search Engine/Directory Wars"

Written by Merle

There have been a lot of changes onrepparttar search engine front in repparttar 128359 past year. So many that it's hard to keep track of who's still a major player and who isn't inrepparttar 128360 search engine game. With so many turning to "Pay for Submission and Pay per Click" models, there aren't a lot left that still accept free submissions. And of those that do,it's hard to tell exactly which ones are worth your time.

Let's reviewrepparttar 128361 list to see who's still standing, who's charging and who isn't:

1) Yahoo:

This is not an engine, but a directory where listings are added by real humans. With over a million listings, Yahoo is considered repparttar 128362 largest directory online today. All commercial sites must pay a $299.00 fee to submit to "Yahoo Express" per year. Adult sites must pay $600.00 for submission. Be careful, though -- if they don't like your site they keep your fee. Yes, you heard it right. Even if they don't approve of your site and add it torepparttar 128363 directory they do not refund your submission fee.

Paying Yahoo for submission is notrepparttar 128364 only way to get listed there. They also pullrepparttar 128365 top three bid positions from Overture (formerly and display them atrepparttar 128366 top ofrepparttar 128367 search results pages. Yahoo calls those listings "Sponsor Matches,"and also runs more Overture listings atrepparttar 128368 bottom ofrepparttar 128369 page,under repparttar 128370 heading "More Sponsored Matches."

2) Altavista:

Reaches over 45 million visitors worldwide and one ofrepparttar 128371 few still offering free submission. However, inclusion - if you are accepted - can take a while. But you can ensure that your site will be placed quickly by opting for their "Express Inclusion" service. For six months, one URL submission will run you $39.00, with 2-10 URL's for an additional $29.00 each.

Altavista also displays Overture's top 4 bid positions atrepparttar 128372 top ofrepparttar 128373 search results page, underrepparttar 128374 heading "Products and Services." These listings include descriptions.And Altavista runs more Overture results atrepparttar 128375 bottom ofrepparttar 128376 page. These are just clickable links without descriptions.

3) Google:

Still a Net favorite, Google is used more than 150 million times a day for searches. Free submission is still an option. Google also provides results to other engines and directories such as Netscape Search, Yahoo and AOL Search. They recently launched their own "Pay Per Click" program, called "Ad Words Select." This allows you to bid on key phrases or words, and when someone searches for those words, your text ad is shown inrepparttar 128377 right-hand column onrepparttar 128378 search results page. For more on this go to:

Ad Words Select will cost you 5.00 and a credit card number to get your site enrolled. Google is alsorepparttar 128379 exclusive provider of sponsored links to AOL Search, pullingrepparttar 128380 sponsored links from its Ad Words Select Program. The top 3 ads will be displayed as sponsored links on AOL.Netscape will begin displaying Google's Ad Words sponsored links come August of 2002.

4) Inktomi:

Provides results to many engines and directories such as Iwon, MSN, Hotbot, and more. Each URL submission will cost you $39.00 per year and only $25.00 a year for each URL thereafter.The benefit of listing with Inktomi isrepparttar 128381 exposure your site will receive with its search partners.

5) The Open Directory Project:

Also known as DMOZ,repparttar 128382 ODP is hosted and administered by Netscape Communication Corp. All submissions are reviewed by a human before being added torepparttar 128383 directory and each category has what is called an "ODP Editor" who is responsible for that category.

DMOZ provides results to many search partners, such as All The Web, DirectHit, HotBot, Google, Lycos, Altavista, etc. Submission is free, although cumbersome. You'll have to drill down to findrepparttar 128384 appropriate category to submit to, then clickrepparttar 128385 "add URL" link located atrepparttar 128386 top ofrepparttar 128387 page.

6) Overture: (formerly known as

Solely a Pay Per Click search engine, with Overture you choose key words/ phrases that you want your site to appear under and try to outbidrepparttar 128388 competition for a top billing. The higher you bid,the higher your URL onrepparttar 128389 search results page. They have a $20.00 a month spending minimum and a minimum bid of 0.05 per keyword/phrase.

The biggest benefit of being listed here isrepparttar 128390 relationship that Overture has with some ofrepparttar 128391 other major search engines /directories. Basically, if you bid intorepparttar 128392 top 3 or 4 positions, your site will also enjoy top listings in Yahoo, Altavista, MSN, Lycos, Infospace, Ask Jeeves, CNET and more. Generally, these listings are shown as "sponsored links" atrepparttar 128393 top of their search results page. Trying to get those top bid positions is well worth it withrepparttar 128394 type of exposure you'll receive on some ofrepparttar 128395 majors. They recently lost repparttar 128396 contract to supply sponsored links to AOL Search, but they do still provide search results for AOL's Europe Net properties inrepparttar 128397 UK, France and Germany.

7) Excite:

Once a major player, Excite now resembles more of a Portal since being bought out a few years ago by @home, which subsequently went bankrupt. Search results are now pulled from Overture and Looksmart. As you can no longer submit directly to Excite, if you want to be listed here you'll need to open an account with one ofrepparttar 128398 above to make an appearance.

8) LookSmart:

A directory compiled by humans providing results to MSN, Iwon, Altavista, and others. Some of Looksmart's listings come from Inktomi as a back up. Now strictly a Pay Per Click directory, it will cost you a $49.00 set-up fee and .15 per click thru with a minimum of $150.00 account deposit. Looksmart angered a lot of its users when they announced this change. It remains to be seen if this policy shift results inrepparttar 128399 death of Looksmart or turns out to be a smart business decision.

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