Website directories: More than meets the eye

Written by Lauri Harpf

Yahoo, DMOZ and Looksmart are probably familiar names to all of us. Many people attempt to get their sites listed in those directories, because it is a well-known fact that plenty of people visit them when they want to find interesting sites. This in turn translates into a healthy flood of visitors torepparttar sites that are represented inrepparttar 128392 aforementioned directories.

While it is true thatrepparttar 128393 directories themselves can produce quite a bit of traffic, there are additional benefits that come with a directory listing. Unfortunately, these advantages are not often mentioned and that is why they are unknown to most siteowners. Many are well aware that you can influencerepparttar 128394 directories by submitting to different search engines; for example, you can submit to Google and if you're lucky andrepparttar 128395 keyword you're aiming at is rare enough, your site will appear in searches that are performed at Yahoo. But did you know that directory listings can have a massive impact on how your site performs in different search engines?

Some ofrepparttar 128396 large search engines, for example MSN and AOL, draw their search results almost entirely from different directories. MSN relies heavily on Looksmart and AOL is affiliated with DMOZ. If your site is not listed in these two directories, it will not appear in searches at MSN and AOL. Since they both are very big sites, receiving together around 100 million visitors each month, it is very important to have your site well represented in them.

So, we know that it is important to be listed inrepparttar 128397 major directories in order to get into some ofrepparttar 128398 search engines. Is that all? Nope. The thing is, many search engines also rank sites based on whether they are listed in certain directories or not. Let's take an example: One of my sites wasn't ranking very well at Google. I had optimized it pretty well in my opinion and had received decent rankings under some keywords, but it still hadn't achievedrepparttar 128399 success I was looking for. This puzzled me, as I couldn't point out whyrepparttar 128400 site wasn't doing as well as I would have wanted it to.


Written by Richard Lowe

The search engines are pretty good at their jobs. This is especially true ofrepparttar larger, more established monster listings such as Altavista and Google. They have to be good, as they are in a constant state of war with search engine spammers (webmasters who attempt to artificially increase their rankings inrepparttar 128391 search engines by unethical means).

You see,repparttar 128392 higher a site ranks inrepparttar 128393 major search engines,repparttar 128394 more hits it receives. In many cases, hits directly translate into dollars. Thus, a web site which can, say, double it's hits can often doublerepparttar 128395 amount of money it makes.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, it's common knowledge that sites which do not show up onrepparttar 128396 first three pages of listings in a major search engine may as well not be listed at all.

In addition, it's important that a site get listed on popular keywords. For example, far more people search forrepparttar 128397 word "plumber" than "person who fixes pipes". while you might get a few visitors withrepparttar 128398 later term, you will not get anywhere near as many asrepparttar 128399 first.

Each ofrepparttar 128400 major search engines has different rules that it uses to rank web sites. Some engines want metatags, some prefer straight text and others want a mixture of both. Some search engines may be fine with dozens of keywords in a metatag, and others want only one. The list goes on and on - each search engine looks at different things in a page.

Why do they go through all of this trouble? They are attempting to determine what your page is all about. The theory isrepparttar 128401 more a particular keyword (or phrase) is mentioned (and in more ways),repparttar 128402 more likely your page is about a particular subject. Thus, if "plumber" appears inrepparttar 128403 text a few times (especially inrepparttar 128404 H1 and H2 tags), in a metatag, an ALT tag andrepparttar 128405 title, then it's likely your page is indeed about plumbers.

On top of that,repparttar 128406 search engines must protect against spammers. These are people who use various tricks to foolrepparttar 128407 engine into thinking they should be well ranked. For example, a common technique a few years ago was to include very small, invisible text containing keywords. The visitors would not see this text butrepparttar 128408 search engine would and thus would be fooled (the search engines figured this one out a long time ago and it no longer works).

Whenrepparttar 128409 search engines discover a web site is spamming, their response is to either (a) droprepparttar 128410 site way down in rankings or (b) ban it entirely. If your site has ever been banned from one ofrepparttar 128411 big engines, then you completely understand how devastating it can be to be dropped all of a sudden.

But then again, getting to first can be so rewarding. It can meanrepparttar 128412 difference between a thousand dollars in sales and a million. Literally. But how do you get to be first with a particular keyword in as many search engines as possible? One way is to look at other sites to see what they have done and, ahem, stealrepparttar 128413 ideas (or just copy their keywords to your own pages).

But there is a wildcard in all of this, and that'srepparttar 128414 simple fact thatrepparttar 128415 search engines use different rules to determinerepparttar 128416 ranking of a page. One engine allows three keywords and will rank higher if it finds three, another might want those keywords to be nearrepparttar 128417 top ofrepparttar 128418 page, and still another might want them in a comment. The second engine (the one that wantsrepparttar 128419 keywords nearrepparttar 128420 top) might actually drop your rankings if it finds three keywords.

One ofrepparttar 128421 more common ways to handlerepparttar 128422 problem of different search engines is to have different entry pages. Using this method, you might have a page which is perfect for Google, another which is exactly right for Altavista and a third which is made for Northern Lights. The problem with this, of course, is your visitors will be directed by each engine to pages which are probably not exactly right for human beings. After all,repparttar 128423 engines work even better with all of those fancy tables and lists which make your pages look so good. And, of course, this does nothing to prevent someone from stealing, uh borrowing, your keywords.

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