Registration of your Web Pages with the Search Engines

Getting your web pages registered with the major search engines is a magic art. There are so many factors governing its success, especially if your pages are to appear near the top of the listings on each of the search engines.

The first (and very important) step is to have the right codes embedded into your web pages design.  We do this automatically as part of our design service, and is included in the cost of the web page design. This means that when the robots from the search engines visit your pages, they pick up the relevant search keywords, description of the page contents, and the page title from your web pages. Without this embedded code, your site won't be registered with some of the search engines.

Choice of keywords

The choice of keywords and phrases is extremely important. What you really have to consider, is what people will think of when they search for a site with the content that your pages include. Let's say that your web pages are for a golf club. "Golf" as one of the keywords is fine... but. Try a search yourself with any of the search engines with this word and see what you get. There will be hundreds of thousands of sites listed! Actually, Infoseek is the best search engine to find what you want, because it enables you to type in a second keyword or phrase to "search within these results" -  and you could type in "Gloucestershire" for example - but not everyone uses Infoseek.

One of your search keywords or phrases should certainly be the name of your company or organisation. Others should be words which include your products or services. Phrases are OK, but they have to be ones which someone would use! "Forest of Dean" as a phrase on Yahoo for example, comes up with our local pages for the Forest of Dean Tourist site as the first entry on the index. "dean" brings up everything including James Dean, and "forest" produces thousands of sites from conservation to Nottingham Forest Football Club.

Getting your site listed at the top of the first page of results in the search engines is very difficult. There are many factors involved, and they vary according to the particular search engine. Factors which help are:

  1. An unusual keyword or phrase that lots of other sites don't have - difficult!
  2. The "relevance" of the keywords to the content of the web page, particularly words which appear close to the top of the content of the web page. But - repeated words or phases have a negative effect, so you can't cheat!
  3. The popularity of your site, in terms of the number of other sites which link * to * your pages. If a busy site links to your pages, then it is more likely your pages will then get a higher rating. With many of the search engines this is becoming an increasingly important factor, but unfortunately, one which is hard to control.

Informing the search engines of your site

The next stage is to inform the search engines that your pages exist. This involves going to the registration page for each of the major search engines and entering the details of your site.  The different search engines require information to be entered in different ways. You have to be very careful indeed to get this correct, otherwise your pages will not be considered for registration. Probably the most difficult to get registered with is Yahoo, as the criteria are very exacting, but that in itself is why Yahoo is so good!

In order of popularity the following are the major search engines, with which your pages should be registered:

Yahoo
Infoseek
Alta-Vista
Excite
Lycos
Webcrawler
Hotbot

There are hundreds more!

Informing the search engines of the existence of your pages is only part of the process. You may do it yourself, or we can do it for you. Please note that there is no guarrantee that your site will be registered and indexed with all search engines that you submit information to. All you/we can do is *inform* them of your web pages. The next stage is that either a robot or a human visits your site to look at it. This can take anything from a few days to several weeks to happen. This part is outside our control. We just have to be patient.

1-2 weeks: Altavista, Infoseek
2-4 weeks: Excite, HotBot, Lycos, Webcrawler
6-8 weeks: Yahoo

Once this has happened, then your pages will be registered and indexed. Sometimes your site may disappear from the top listings on the search engines after a year or so. This is beyond our control. Re-registration is then needed. Generally though, once registered, your site will remain registered with a search engine.

There are companies out there who offer to register your pages with the search engines for you. Some of them do a very good job. It is possible to do it yourself too, but it requires some knowledge and time.

Here at Forest Web we can do the registration with the 7 main search engines for you at a cost of £30.00 + vat.


....and a little more to think about:

The whole business of search engines is quite out of proportion to their usefulness these days. Look at it this way... if you have a business and you want people to visit your site to improve your sales figures.... which of the following two methods is the best way to go about it:

1. Put up a web site and inform the search engines that it is there

2. Put up a web site and inform your potential customers that it is there.

Those who do just option 1 end up being desperately disappointed. Those who take option 2, by including the web address on all of their printed material, advertisements in newspapers, magazines, periodicals, tv, etc. and up being much more satisfied with the results, and have much higher sales as a result.

If your web site is non-commercial, then the same principles apply. Tell people about it! Join in *relevant* newsgroups and mailing lists where the same topic (as on your web pages) is being discussed, and make yourself known that way. Don't, whatever you do, throw out such statements as "visit this cool site" or "sign my guestbook". People just won't take you seriously!

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