Which Search Engines Will Survive?

Written by Dan Thies

Which Search Engines Will Survive? by Dan Thies

Withrepparttar recent bankruptcy of Excite@Home, and Altavista's admission that their search engine database hasn't been updated since July, it's clear that another round of consolidation is coming uponrepparttar 128188 search engine industry.

The important question for marketers isn't necessarily which portals will survive, but which search engines will drive their search results.

Excite and Altavista clearly attract enough traffic to ensure that *someone* will keep those domain names active as search portals, but that doesn't mean that there will be an independent Altavista or Excite database behind those results.

Is Lycos A Textbook Case? The story ofrepparttar 128189 Lycos search engine is instructive - Lycos.com is still there, butrepparttar 128190 actual search results are provided by FAST/AllTheWeb. We simply don't know who will be providingrepparttar 128191 results for Altavista and Excite in a year

Sorepparttar 128192 big question remains: which players can afford to stay in repparttar 128193 game, and how does that affect our search engine positioning plans? Time will tell - I can only offer you informed speculation onrepparttar 128194 fate ofrepparttar 128195 industry's major players.

Who's In? Google, Inktomi, FAST/AllTheWeb, and DirectHit. All of these have significant traffic, either directly or through their partners, and enough value in their databases to stay in business, at least for a while. DirectHit is different, since they don't attempt to crawl and indexrepparttar 128196 web, but they have strong partners, including MSN.

Who's Out? Altavista, Excite, and Lycos were big players at one time, but we knowrepparttar 128197 story now. Altavista and Excite are close to death, and Lycos has already dropped their database. Northern Light may maintain an independent database, but their traffic is minimal.

Search Engine Strategies for Mini-Sites

Written by Dan Thies

Search Engine Strategies for Mini-Sites by Dan Thies

One ofrepparttar most popular marketing concepts today isrepparttar 128187 "mini-site." A mini-site is essentially a one-page sales letter, linked to an order form, specifically designed to sell a single product or service. While mini-sites are very effective sales tools, it can be a major challenge to attract search engine referrals to a mini-site.

Conventional wisdom says that you have to buy your traffic through e-zine advertising, pay-per-click, and affiliate program commissions... but that's notrepparttar 128188 whole story. A high percentage ofrepparttar 128189 sales of my new book have been from direct search engine referrals.

In fact, you can optimize a mini-site for search engines, although it may require some real HTML coding skills to getrepparttar 128190 job done.

In general, mini-sites lackrepparttar 128191 three things that search engines valuerepparttar 128192 most: keywords, content, and linkage.

The Keyword Challenge Because a mini-site is a sales letter,repparttar 128193 choice of wording in headlines, and throughoutrepparttar 128194 site, is dictated byrepparttar 128195 site's primary purpose - it's supposed to closerepparttar 128196 sale. Somehow, a balance has to be struck between effective selling copy and keyword placement. In a moment, I'll explain how this can be done.

The Content Gap Most top-ranking sites carry significant content, optimized for a group of thematically related keywords. The structure ofrepparttar 128197 site itself contributes torepparttar 128198 overall search engine rankings and traffic, by reinforcingrepparttar 128199 theme. A mini-site is only one page, with a sales message. Don't worry, there are several ways to bridge this gap.

The Missing Links Unfortunately, a "links" section sort of defeatsrepparttar 128200 purpose of a mini-site, which is designed to keeprepparttar 128201 visitor in one place until they've made their decision. So, link swaps are out ofrepparttar 128202 question. Even affiliate programs usually don't help with link popularity because ofrepparttar 128203 way affiliate links work. This, too, can be overcome.

WARNING: This is a bit more complex thanrepparttar 128204 usual e-zine fare... you may have to read it twice to fully understand it.

Step One: Optimizing For Keywords The first obstacle isrepparttar 128205 opening headline - you need it to be effective and attention-getting. The solution? If you can't change your headline, use an image instead of a regular H1 tag! With GIF or PNG compression, you should be able to bring even repparttar 128206 biggest headline in at less than 1K - you can also use your keywords inrepparttar 128207 image's ALT property.

If you use an image forrepparttar 128208 headline, you'll want to use Javascript to make sure your headline image preloads beforerepparttar 128209 rest ofrepparttar 128210 page - if you don't, you'll lose sales... and don't try this at all if your hosting provider isn't up to snuff -repparttar 128211 headline should load within 1 second on a typical 56K dialup connection.

Beyondrepparttar 128212 opening headline, it's easier to work keywords into your sub-headlines and copy. If necessary, use a style sheet (CSS) to reducerepparttar 128213 font size of your heading tags - your subheadlines should be H1 and/or H2, and be as keyword-focused as possible. Pick at most 5-7 keywords and work them into your copy - ideally each keyword will appear 3-5 times, somewhere on repparttar 128214 page. Work as many in as you can, as early as you can.

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