There are web sites that have no links:
their entire site is totally about them, and you can't click anywhere
on their site that will take you elsewhere. Two reasons are given
for doing this. The first is that adding the outside links would
damage the "artistic integrity" of their site. The second
is that they reason if there is no way to click out of their site
they will hold onto the visitor longer and be more likely to get
business from the visitor. Unfortunately for those sites the reasons
in favor of having links on your web site are far stronger and more
The most obvious reason for placing a link on your
site is to reciprocate for the linked site having a link to you.
The types of sites which this can be done with are many and are
discussed below. The point here is that those links will be bringing
traffic to your site. The counter argument is that they can be drawing
traffic away from your site as well. However the generally accepted
response is that presumably the person clicking away from your site
on the link has already had time to examine your site and, if you
implemented the link correctly, they aren't actually leaving your
site--just opening another site as well. Some of the reciprocal
links you are placing on your site, such as for search sites, are
specifically designed to be sending traffic out to other web sites.
Their whole function is to promote sites who have links to them
so it stands to reason they are naturally going to be sending you
a lot more traffic than you'll be sending them since their main
focus is sending traffic out, and for you it is just one small part
of your web site that is otherwise all about you.
A very important reason to have links on your site
is to gain positioning in the major search engines. Most people
aren't even aware of this but part of the complex formula of determining
positioning by most of the major search engines includes the number
of links leading to your web site. To a lesser degree they also
count the number of links you have to other web sites. The more
links you have built relationships with the better your chances
of getting a good position in the search engines. And if your links
are poor or worse, you don't have any links, you will never get
a good position in their search engine, pure and simple. Google,
the biggest and most powerful search engine is known as a leader
in this formula. Want people to find you in a search engine? You
must have links!
All of these links add up to a lot of promotion
for your web site. Happily the vast majority of the ways discussed
there are free. What could be better?
Getting a good position on major search engines is the holy grail
of web site listings. There are plenty of people ready to take your
money and promote your web site for you to the search engines. Half
of them are scam artists. Most of the other half won't do a very
good job simply because they don't understand the important facts
of your business to be able to present your site well. Which means
your chances of paying somebody who will get you the position you
want are slim. That is why we recommend you do your own web site
marketing. You'll know exactly what's going on, how those things
work, and over time you'll develop an understanding to keep tweaking
and keep your web site at the top. And all it costs is your time.
Your web site deserves an investment of your time. If you don't
have your own web site it will probably be very difficult to get
listed with any of the biggest engines. Need direction on how to
go about marketing? Go to Self
Promotion, a service which operates by donation. Or visit SubmitWolf
Pro, a for-purchase download. ET Internet Services uses both
and each is excellent. Self Promotion isn't quite as smooth to use
and requires a bit more reading. But it's operated on a 'donation'
basis: you only pay as much as you feel like, so they don't have
a lot of money for making their product slick.
Feel too pressed
for time? Contact Us about doing the
job for you. With a good understanding of search engines you can
count on quality site submission.
BASICS OF SEARCH ENGINES
In the late 1990's Boeing held a press
conference to unveil the creation of their web site. One reporter
asked why Boeing would spend time and money on creating a web site
since every potential client in the world knows who they are, what
they make, and how to contact them. The response from Boeing was
"Because we want to STAY in business." Boeing recognized
that the world had evolved and that today most people in first-world
nations look to the internet for just about everything.
And the internet has most decidedly boomed. In 1993 there were 284
locations on the internet. Back in January 2003 there were 171,000,000
domain hosts in use. Care to guess how many there are today? In
1995, the largest search engine database was Altavista, and it had
most of the Internet categorized. Today Google and FASTsearch own
the largest databases. Yet neither one of them has even 10% of the
Internet covered. It's estimated that more than 8,000,000 web pages
are added to the Internet every day. None of the search engines
are able to keep up to that pace. Every web site wants that single
top position in the major search engines, or at least to be on the
all-important first page. This is all about how to make it there
and the common myths to avoid.
The biggest problem to accept is that in the web world nothing is
static: the information here is correct as of January 2005 but within
a few months you can count on some of it no longer being accurate
because the major search engines are constantly revising, updating,
'tweaking' their criteria of how they select and position web pages.
The good news is that once you do get a general understanding it
isn't hard to keep up with the changes.
Meta-tags: For the uninitiated, let's begin with a basic component
of every good web page wishing to be listed in the search engines:
meta-tags. Meta tags are lines of HTML code embedded into web pages
(but not visible on screen) that are used by search engines to store
information about your site. These "tags" contain keywords,
descriptions, copyright information, site titles and more. They
are among the numerous things that the search engines look for,
when trying to evaluate a web site.
Each search engines uses them in a different way and puts a different
degree of weight on their importance; and they frequently change
how they use meta-tag info too. Google currently puts heavy weight
on the quantity of links you have going to or coming from your site,
and the Meta-Tags carry a light degree of weight.
Altavista places an emphasis on the description tag and Inktomi
indexes both the full text of the page as well as the meta-tags.
Exactseek states that your site will NOT be indexed at all if it
doesn't have both title and description meta-tags.
This is very important, because it is not uncommon for sloppy web
designers to create sites with either no meta-tags or only a title
meta-tag. In the past two years I have advised at least a dozen
different clients that their web site had no meta-tags. Sadly some
of them were already paying submission services to submit their
sites: the service were taking their money to do a job that would
guarantee no results!
It is important to choose your meta-tag contents correctly. Even
for the search engines who don't put much weight in the meta-tags
they do pay attention to them closely to see if the content of your
page matches the meta-tag contents. This is because a spammer selling
blenders may include "mp3" or "viagra" in their
meta-tags because they know those are words frequently searched.
The search engine spiders will, however, recognize that these words
don't fit the content of the page and they will get banned!
How do you get meta-tags, or make sure yours are good?
Meta tags should always be placed in the <head> area of an
HTML document. This starts just after the <html> tag, and
ends immediately before the </body>tag. Here's how the most
basic set should look:
<title>ET Internet Services Internet Web Hosting Services</title>
<meta name="description" content="Quality web
hosting services at remarkably low prices.">
<meta name="keywords" content="web hosting internet
hosts domain names .com low prices cheap inexpensive">
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">
There are a lot of complicating factors that go along with it. For
example, it's easy to go overboard and use too many keywords. As
a rule of thumb keep your keywords between 10 and 15. Outside that
range will lower your status.
How many pages does your web site have? You can get that many different
entries in the search engines! Each page should be optimized individually.
For example, lets say you are a personal trainer. Your 'about me'
page should contain keywords like "certified personal trainer
muscular fit 27 friendly", and your 'prices' page should contain
keywords like 'certified personal trainer rates fees prices".
Note that there is overlap on basic words but distinct variation.
By doing this you are likely to get multiple listings in the search
engines since they do catalog every different page individually.
Many of the
common beliefs about how to get positioned in search engines are
actually counter productive. Others are just useless. Here’s
a list in no particular order:
Many of the common beliefs about how
to get positioned in search engines are actually counterproductive.
Others are just useless. Here's a list of do's and don'ts in no
1. Don’t try and trick the search engines
in any way. This will only make them ban you. Examples of this are
invisible text, and duplicate identical pages.
2. Don’t jam your meta keywords. Anything
more than about 15 words and your listing will start to drop. So
choose your words carefully to get the best most useful ones. Think
when doing it: the word psychologist will get only guys who are
searching using the word “psychologist,” but using the
word “psychologists” will get BOTH guys who are searching
for “psychologist” and for “psychologists”
in most engines.
3. Choose only keywords that really do apply to
you. Using a keyword like “electronics” in your web
site about personal training will soon get caught by the search
engines and get you banned as a spammer.
4. There is no reason to submit your web site to
the search engines more than ONCE. The whole idea that you need
monthly submission is a total myth created and sustained by companies
wanting to sell you their submission service! I know it’s
hard to convince you that one time is enough because the myth has
been repeated so many times it is now believed as fact. Think about
it logically though: if you owned a search engine wouldn't you make
sure the listings you displayed weren't controlled by somebody submitting
their site frequently?
5. Don’t use the same keyword list and title
for every page in your site. Each page should be individually tailored
in ALL ways or you are selling yourself short. Search engine spiders
will see one page in your site as more relevant for a particular
keyword when compared to another too. By matching the keywords for
the page content you can multiply your listings and get higher listings—in
ways the search engines actually like!
6. Don’t submit dynamic pages such as ASP
or Cold Fusion: spiders read only basic HTML. If your site was developed
in an advanced format make sure there is at least some static content
for the spiders to read.
7. Don’t use frames. Aside from the various
other problems why frames are abhorred by most web developers, spiders
hate them and it really makes your site read as a one-page web site
with almost no content to them. That guarantees you a very, very
8. Make all pages accessible to the spiders within
1 or 2 levels of the home page. They don’t like to “go
deep.” Frankly, neither do people surfing web sites! Both
spiders and people like clean, simple easy-to-follow layout.
9. Don’t expect to be listed overnight. Search
engines are often bogged down with so many submissions that it can
take weeks to get to yours, and even then the optimization only
happens about once every 26 days.
10. Most important of all: GET THOSE RECIPROCAL
LINKS!!! I’ve already discussed this above.
11. If your web site is done completely in Flash,
in literal fact it is ONE page. So you are very limited in how you
can position yourself in the search engines. You need to balance
the quality of your marketing with the visual look of your site.
All-Flash sites may look neat, but they damage your business—not
only due to limiting you on the search engines, but because the
majority of surfers are still on 56k dial-up modems and will get
tired of waiting for your site to load. Then you’ve lost them.
12. Search engine spiders cannot read mapped links.
If your web site uses mapping for the internal links you need to
also put the links in small text down at the bottom of every page
so that the spiders can see your site has more pages to catalog.
13. “We will submit your site to 10,000 search
engines” is at best a stretching of the truth, and at worst
an outright lie. There aren’t 10,000 search engines out there.
Period. The guys who claim they’re gonna submit you to 10,000
“search engines” are usually submitting you to Free
For All (FFA) listing sites—including putting a link to you
on their own web site, which will get you exactly 0 visitors a year.
Also, your link will usually appear for a very short time because
most of the FFA sites push you off the page as soon as new links
are added. The only thing you will get from this method is a helluva
lot of unsolicited advertising: spammers LOVE using these things
to collect email addresses.
14. The idea that it is not possible to do good
search engine optimization yourself is another myth spread by the
companies wanting to sell you their service. You are the BEST one
to do it. You know your site and service better than anyone to make
all the best choices on meta tag content. If you follow instructions
it is something that can usually be done without many hours of work.
15. You have to pay a big annual fee to get listed
on Yahoo!. Well, yes—and no. Yahoo now charges standard sites
up to $200 and adult sites over $600 annually to be catalogued.
However I have never paid Yahoo one cent, yet several of my web
sites show up on the first page of Yahoo searches. Remember; Google
feeds Yahoo!, so while I’m not catalogued by Yahoo!, the page
displayed on screen is Yahoo and Google data mixed so you can get
listed on Yahoo! without actually being listed by Yahoo!.
16. Don't register your domain for one year--make
the registration for at least two years. Google recognizes that
there are tons of spammer and fly-by-night web sites being created
every day (the ones who send out those emails saying 'click HERE'
for a great deal on Viagra). They know that these sites come and
go very quickly before the operators move on to a new one, so they
register their domains for just one year. Thus Google now uses the
number of years of registration as another factor in their search
engine placement. Some have suggested that one-year registered domains
won't even get listed on Google at all.