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What are the best search engines to be listed in?

We consider the "Major 7" search engines to be far more important than the other 800+ search engines when considering what search engines you want to list your website. These particular 7 search engines conduct over 92% of all the searches performed online! Now it is clear why you should focus on getting your website listed in these major search engines and directories!

The "Major 7" in alphabetical order include AltaVista, Excite!, Google, HotBot, Infoseek, Lycos, Webcrawler, and Yahoo!.

What is "spamming the search engines" and should I do this?

Spamming the search engines includes techniques of using keywords not associated with your website in META TAGS, listing your website under irrelevant categories to get more volume, listing your website is more categories than appropriate, submitting your website constantly to be indexed or spidered by a particular search engine or directory and so on.

Perhaps you have come across websites which contain alot of repetitive words at the top or most likely near the bottom of the webpage. These words are used to "spam the search engines" by getting their website listed higher in search results of the keywords they listed. Keep in mind that many search engines now have the ability to filter out websites that use this sort of deceptive strategy and websites will be forever banned from being listed at all. In short, do not try any deceptive strategies in order to get your website listed higher than what it normal should be. While there may be websites on the first search results page using these strategies, they will not be listed there for long.

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Should I pay someone else to handle my website promotion?

There are a large number of companies out there who offer you more than they can deliver. Trust us, there is nothing they are doing that you cannot due yourself, with a little time that is. Services such as Submit-It!, WebPromote might promise you that your website will be listed at the top of the first page, or even that your website will be listed in the major search engines if you pay them a fee.

For the most part, you are throwing your money away to pay someone else to do this. They have no way of putting your website in these search engines magically, because there is no magic to it. Often times, some of these services must resort to spamming practices (we know that WebPromote does this often) in order to make good on their promise. Submit-It has been known to not even get your website into such directories as Yahoo!, and they do not give refunds when they do not deliver.

However, there is good software out there that can register your website to over 800 Internet search engines and directories, but remember that 92% of all searches are conducted on the "Major 7" search engines and directories.

If you are interested in purchasing software to help promote your website, we recommend SubmitWolf over others such as Exploit! and www.WebPromote. SubmitWolf seems to have a fresh database of search directories at all times and unlike Exploit!, they do not use any Free For All Link pages like Exploit Submission Wizard does.

We have sampled many software programs and many fee based promotional programs and have come to the conclusion that the best way to ensure your website gets into the search engines is to submit your website to each search engine yourself. Remember their is nothing they are doing that you cannot already do yourself.
If a particular promotional company promises you marvelous things, search for their website in the "Major 7". Search for keywords "website, promotion" or "website, advertising", and when their website does not show up at the top of the list, ask yourself why you should believe that will put your site at the top of the list under your keywords if they site is not even there!

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How do I promote my own site in the search engines?

All search engines have an "Add URL" hyperlink on their main page, but some make it in a small font, so be sure to look closely. From this page, all you need to do is follow their instructions for adding your website to their search directory, which usually includes only submitting your website address.

This is about all, and with the exception of Yahoo!, the "Major 7" search engines only require this one piece of information in order to submit your website to their directory. Yahoo! is a directory, so you get to choose 2 different categories your website belongs in and submit the information along with a description of your website and relevant keywords.

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What are META tags and should I use them on my website?

Meta tags are HTML tags that should be in between the <head></head> tags toward the top of webpages. Some search engines use these tags to extract keywords relevant to that particular page. Meta tags include a description of the content on the page, keywords relevant to that page, what HTML editor was made for the page, what day the page expires, and a number of others. For promotional purposes, we will only look at Meta tags for keywords and description. However, due to the fact that more and more people are abusing meta tags, fewer and fewer search engines and spiders are recognizing Meta tags as a reliable source of the webpage content.

Here is an example of what we use on this webpage for Meta tags:

<meta name="description" content="Tips for getting your website promoted.">
<meta name="keywords" content="website promotion, free website promotion tips, website promotion help, advertising your website, search engine listings">

The first meta tag is of type "description" and has a content describing the entire website in a sentence. The second meta tag is of type "keywords" and lists a number of keywords relevant to our website. You should include both of these meta tags on your webpages. There is no limit to how long your description or keyword list can or should be, but it is best to keep it within reason and do not repeat the same words over and over again (promotion, promotion, promotion, etc.).

While meta tags should be used as a promotional tool, it should not be the only source for your advertising strategy at all. Click here to view our strategies for website promotion.

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How long does it take before I begin to get more visitors from search engines to my website?

Some search engines such as AltaVista, Lycos, and Excite! automatically spider your website and add it to their search directories anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks. Yahoo! tends to be the slowest of the Major 7, and their method for adding websites to their directory is quite different than any other search directory.

Yahoo! is the only directory which has actual people review each website submitted for addition to their directory. Yahoo! is also the only company which periodically denies site due to poor design, missing links from the website, or other reasons. Yahoo! tries to keep their directory full of a diverse, well maintained group of websites. So remember when you submit your site to Yahoo!, make sure all of your links work properly, there are no broken images, and your site is "attractive". Kind of subjective, we know, but try to compare the design of your site to similar websites within Yahoo! under your selected categories.

With Yahoo!, you could be added no sooner than a week, no later than usually 8 weeks if you are accepted into their directory.

You should begin to see an increase in traffic a few weeks after your website has been added to these search engines. If you do not, you might consider reviewing our promotion strategies section.

Should I resubmit my website to search engines, and if so how often?

It is called for to resubmit your website to search engines if your website has been redesigned and contains more or different web pages. It is always courteous to remove your web pages as well if they no longer exist, though many do not bother doing this.

You should not resubmit your website no more than once every two months to avoid being considered as spamming the search engines.

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Strategies for being listed at the top of the search engines!

Consider the following list of ideas when designing your website. And yes, your strategy for promoting your website should begin when you design your site, not afterwards. The strategy outlined below is free and probably a better strategy than any fee-based service can offer you.
  1. Try to have your keywords not only appear in your meta tag, but in the title of your website (between the <title></title> tags), an example would be HelpQuest.Com Website Hosting Services as the tile of our website.

    Also have keywords throughout your website--this is not spamming, it is smart. However, these keywords should go with the flow of the website. HelpQuest.Com might say, "We offer website hosting to personal and commercial websites. Our hosting services are reliable and reasonably priced". Here we have covered some important keywords: "website (2), hosting (2), reliable (1), personal (1), commercial (1)".

    Finally, name your HTML documents something similar to the content. Notice the name of this webpage: promotion.html.
  2. Submit your website to all of the "Major 7" search engines all at one time. Do a "check up" 4 weeks later, many search engines will have a feature where you can search and see if your website already exists in their search directory. If this feature is unavailable, then try to search for your URL, such as "http://www.helpquest.com" or just your domain name "helpquest.com".

    See how many search directories to which you have been added, take note of those that have not added you. Now resubmit your URL but only after reviewing their criteria to be added to their search engine. Perhaps not enough time has gone by, especially if it is Yahoo!, do you have missing links on your website?
  3. Continue this process every 4 weeks, only add your website to directories that currently do not list your website unless you create a new website. For those search directories that do carry your website but you are not listed where you would like to be, consider adding more keywords to your website without spamming. If you have prices listed on your website in text format, that is the price is not a graphic, remove it. Some search engines lower your rating if you have prices listed on your website (hey, we do not make the criteria, they do!).

    Remember: most of the "Major 7" search engine publish a recommendation list outlining how one can improve their listing in their search directory. The information is there but very few people read it. So if you are listed in all but 1 or 2 search directories after 8 weeks, look into this information. How do they determine how websites are ranked when a search is performed? Finding this information can greatly assist in getting your website ranked higher or listed in these particular search directories.

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