Search Engine Optimization : SEO BOOK.
Surveying the Search Engine Landscape
You want people to visit your websites, after all you want to sell
your services and products on internet. People usually search on search
engines to get the solutions for their requirements. Like one may open
up google.com or yahoo search and puts a keyword - website designer
in Hyderabad, and they may find a long list of web site providers in
Hyderabad. But the list is really long, and the searcher only see the
top positions and leaves the rest generally. So how to get your site
on top position that is the requirement
First thing comes, where people search most:
Obviously they may search at google, AOL;s, yahoo, MSN, but you may
also have heard for HotBot, Dogpile, Inktomi, Ask Jeeves, Netscape,
earth link, looksmart….even amazon provides a web search on almost
There are lycos and infospace, teoma and WiseNut, Mamma.com and Web-crawler.
The point of this chapter is to take a complicated landscape of thousands
of search sites and whittle it down into small group of search systems
that really matter.
What are Search Engines and direcetories? For understanding this, you
need to know the following:
Search Indexes or search engines:
These are the predominant type of search tools you will run across.
Orginally the term search engine refers to some kind of search index,
a huge database containing information from individual web sites. Google
vast index (www.google.com) contains over 3 billion pages, for instance.
Large search index companies own thousands of computers that use software
known as spiders or robots or just plan bots, google's software is know
as googlebot to grab web pages and read the information that stored
in them. These systems do not grab all the information on each page
or all the pages in a web site, but they grab significant amount of
information and use complex algorithms to index that information.
A directory is a categorized collection of information about web sites.
Rather than containing information from web pages, It contains information
about websites. Like dir.yahoo.com and the open directory project (www.dmoz.org)
A number of small indexes, less important than that of major indexes,
do not use spiders to examine the full contents on each page in the
index. Rather, the index contains the background information about each
page, such as title, descriptions, and keywords.
Pay per Click systems:
Here, the advertisers place a small ads into systems, and when users
perform their searches the result contain some of these sponsored listing,
typically above and to the right of the free listing.
Keeping the term straight Here are few additional terms that you see
scattered throughout the book:
Search Site: A web site at which you can search through some kind of
index, directory of websites, or both
An organization that possesses a combination of software, hardware and
people that is used to index or categorize websites - they build the
index or directory you search through at search site.
The information returned to you (the result of your search) when you
go to a search site and search for something. Remember that in many
cases, the search results do not come from the search site, you are
using, but from the some other search system.
Why Bother with Search Engines? Because they represent the single most
important source of new web site visitors
Where Do people Search
Search Engines Search per hours
Google.com 18,700,000 hours
AOL.com 15,500,500 hours
Yahoo.com 7,100,000 hours
MSN.com 5,400,000 hours
Askjevees.com 2,300,000 hours
Infospace.com 1,100,000 hours
AltaVista.com 800,000 hours
Overture.com 800,000 hours
Netscape.com 700,000 hours
Earthlink.com 400,000 hours
Looksmart.com 200,000 hours
Lycos.com 200,000 hours
Remember this is list of search sites, not search systems. In some
cases, the sites have own there own systems. Like google provides its
own search but AOL and MSN do not. (AOL gets its results from Google,
and MSN gets from Inktomi, a company owned by Yahoo! )
You can ignore some of these systems, as they only get the feed from
Search Engines Should consider
The search Systems to watch
Google.com: Most important search site and feeder as well
Yahoo.com: Doesnot feed anyone, but still worlds second most important
Temoa/askjeeves: Imp search site, also feeds about.com, mamma.com and
AltaVista.com: not feeding right now, but may feed yahoo!,
Inktomi: feeds MSN, overture, looksmart, about.com, hotbot.com, and
The open directory: it is not much of search site, but it's a hulluva
search system feeding google, AOL, Askjeeves, etc
Zeal: leads looksmart, but only for non commercial sites.
Aren't I missing some sites?
Some of you may be thinking , " Aren't you missing some sites?
Just like Hotbot, Mamma.com, Webcrawler, Dogpile and all other systems
that were so well known a few years ago? A lot of them have disappeared
or have turned over a new leaf and are pursuing other opportunities.
E.g. Northern Light, a system well known in the late 1990s, "now
provides search and content integration solutions for enterprises and
individuals.In other words, it sells search software.And in the cases
in which the search sites are still running, they are mostly fed by
other systems. Mamma.com, Hotbot and Meta Crawler get search results
from Teoma/Ask Jeeves and About.com gets results from Inktomi.
Primary : A primary feed is one in which a search system feeds the
most important results to a search site.e.g. Primary feed at AOL.com
comes from Google.
Secondary: Sometimes known as Backfill, are ones in which a system
feeds to a search site results that may or may not appear. In somecases,
secondary feeds appear if the primary feed is unable to find good matches
for a search.
Directory: Some search sites combine both an index and a directory.Yahoo!
gets its index results fromgoogle but builds its own directory.
PPC: Pay per click are basically ads - search results that appear because
the web iste owners are willing to pay each time someone clicks the
link. Google provides the PPC results to many sites such as AOL, Netscape,
Ask Jeeves and Amazon.
What the Future Holds - The List Expands
The object of this chapter is to list out top flight search sites and
systems,some of which may never heard of. Here are these sites and systems
more or less in order of importance.
· The Open Directory Project
· Teoma/Ask Jeeves
· Alta Vista.com
Yahoo! Dumps Google: This event would change the importance of several
players on the list. Yahoo! has already started dumping Google. Most
of the search results at Yahoo.com currently come from Google but now
Yahoo! Owns Inktomi, AltaVista and the immense FAST/AlltheWeb index.
Yahoo! is experimenting with using Inktomi in some of its non-U.S. search
sites. From the perspective of someone trying to get traffic to a web
site, Google becomes a little less important and Inktomi becomes a far
more important because it will be feeding Yahoo! Search results.
MSN dumps Inktomi: Currently MSN.com doesn't appear on the list because
its search results comes from Inktomi and Looksmart. But Microsoft has
begun building its own index and will soon be in search engine business,which
is too important for Microsoft to ignore.Its quite likely that MSN will
be a hugely important search site with its own search system feeding
Grub Comes Alive: Grub is an interesting project that may,one day,
be very important. Owned by Looksmart, Grub plans to build a massive
index of billions of pages by using distributed computing - people around
the world using their spare computing downtime to crawl the Web for
Nutch Takes Off : Nutch may also becomeimportant at some point. It's
an open source project that plans to create a huge multimillion-page
index and make it available to anyone who wants it.
Reviewing The Final List - Search Systems You Really Need
We should care about the search systems because if we can get our site
listed in these search systems, we will be in systems that provide search
results to almost all Web searches.
· The Open Directory Project
· Teoma/Ask Jeeves
Determining Your Plan of Attack
Once deciding about the search systems the next step is to figure out
how to get the website into these search systems and more importantly
in front of the people using those systems to search the Web.
Do The Keyword Analysis : To rank high in the search engines, you have
todecide for which keywords and keyword phrases you want to rank. A
wild guess can be made but you'll almost certainly fail to pick all
the right keywords. A keyword analysis is the best way toselect keywords
and decide which you should target.
Create Readable Pages : For making your site to appear in the search
engines, you have to create pages that the search engines spiders or
bots can read.
Create Keyworded Pages : Havind readable pages,the next step step is
to have to put the keywords into the pages - in the right places and
in the right format.
Register With The Search Systems : When pages are ready to be indexed,
there is need tolet the search systems know where those pages are and
get the search systems to include the pages in their indexes and directories.
Get Other Sites To Link To Your Sites : Try to find out how the number
and type of links pointing to your site affect how high rank in the
The preceding strategies are the basics but some additional techniques
are there such as:
Register With Other Places : You may also want to register at specialized
sites that are not important in the big things but may be important
for your particular business.
Register With The shopping Indexes : If you are selling a product,
it's a good idea to register with the shopping indexes. Although these
indexes don't mathc the big search systems in volume of searches, they
are still important.
Use Pay Per Click : There are two ways to be get notices in the search
engines One is the natural search i.e. to get ranked in the search engines
without paying and other one is to use pay per click. Many companies
go straight to pay per click - a system by which you get ranked well
but pay each time someone clicks a link to your site and bypass natural.
Gathering Your Tools
You need several tools and skills to optimize and rank your web site.
You need basic Internet knowledge,a computer connected to the internet,
and a web site.Additionally,you need to have a good working knowledge
of HTML or access to a geek with a good working knowledge of HTML. If
you don't know that HTML means you probably need to run out and find
that geek. HTML is the code used to create web pages, and you need to
understand how to use it to optimize pages.
Beside this you need two great little tools, even if you plan to use
a geek to work on your site. They are simple to install and open up
a completely new view of the web.
The Google Toolbar : go to toolbar.google.com and download and install
the Google Toolbar, It will provide the following features.
· A way to search google without going to www.google.com
· A quick view of the google pagerank,
· A quick way to see if a web page is already indexed by Google.
· A quick way to see some of the pages linking to a web page.
The Alexa Toolbar : Alexa is a company owned by amazon.com. Its been
around and millions of people around the
world use the Alexa Toolbar. Everytime someone uses the toolbar to visit
a web site,the toolbar sends the URL of the
page to Alexa, allowing the system to create an enormous database of
site visits. The Alexa toolbar can provide traffic
information to you, that you can quickly see how popular a site is and
even view a detailed traffic analysis, such as an
estimate of the percentage of internet users who visit the site each
month.While working with Alexa, you will get the feel
for site popularity.
Understanding The Limitations
There are some limitations of search engine optimization: what's possible
and what's likely.
You have probably received spam emails guaranteeing you top-ten positions
for your web site in the search engines.
You have also seen claims that you will be ranked in hundreds or thousands
of search engines. Most of this flood of
commercial email is nonsense, here are the facts.
Sometimes it's easy to get a very high position in the search systems.
But usually it isn't. I did one job for a client that
went incredibly well. He wanted to be positioned in Google for six important
key phrases. I built some pages, ensured
that Google knew where those pages were and waited. In just four days,
the client didn't just have a top ten position or
even just a number one position, but the top two positions for five
of the six key phrases. But this situation is unusual.
Typically getting a high position isn't that easy. You try a couple
of techniques, but they don't seem to work. So you try
and the results may not seen in weeks if not in months.
Additionally, The search engine work is based on science, search engine
optimization is more art than science. Because
the search engines don't want outside parties to know exactly how they
rank sites. Ranking a site can be very difficult and
laborious. After all, why should it be easy? There is huge competition,
so it can't be easy. If it's easy for us then it would
be easy for our competitor too. And after all, there can only ever be
one number one.