Becoming search-engine friendly


#1

Is there a real secret to this (and doing it for free)? I don’t have the money to pay for per-click whatever, but I’d like to get my site found by people doing a search for my name or the service I offer. I made the title of my page very specific, my name, my service and my location; and I submitted my URL to every free search engine listing I could find, but still nothing comes up when I google myself (well, stuff comes up, but not my site!).

Any tips?

Thanks!


#2

There are several factors involved in getting your sites indexed by the search engines, having backlinks (links) to your site helps, the more links the better as this increases the chance for your site to be found by bots crawling other sites where your links are placed.

The anchor text of these backlinks also plays a large part in what search terms used will find your site in the search engines.

There are also on-page factors as well to consider, placing your keywords in titles, using bold for certain keywords, also how well your pages are coded play a part as well.

Getting ranked well in the search engines tends to be a bit of a black art,. For non competitive keywords it is relatively easy to rank well for your keywords, but if the keywords you wish to rank for are considered competitive terms, you will not rank high without a lot of work in getting high quality relevant backlinks, the backlinks to a site are the largest factor when it comes to having your site rank well for competitive terms.

If you are up for some research, head to Google and search for “seo”, short for “Search Engine Optimization”. You will find literally millions of sites dedicated to this subject.


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#3

I’ve found the easiest way to get a site indexed by Google is to have a link from an existing site that is visited by the Googlebot on a regular basis.

Mark


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#4

No, not really. There are certain guidelines you should follow, besides trying to get popular websites to link to you:

  1. Don’t overstuff your elements with keywords, and keep your meta description to 25 words or less.

  2. Use the correct elements to markup your pages. For example, headings should use

    , and not “bold text”.

    should be reserved for your most important heading (often is the same as the contents of your element). Use the

    element to contain your paragraphs.

  3. Avoid gratuitous use of tables. Search engines do not like deep-nested tables. Use CSS-based, rather than table-based layouts. Tables are for tabulated data.

  4. Try to keep your most important content near the top of your HTML, so that search engines don’t have to wade through lots of navigation or advertising cruft before getting to the juicy bits.

  5. Don’t use images in the place of real content, or at least provide meaningful alternatives.

  6. Try to have search-engine friendly URLs. For example, http://example.com/products/widget/ is better than http://example.com/products.php?product=14 - you can use mod_rewrite to accomplish this kind of thing.

  7. Remember that search engines behave like visually-impaired users, so catering to this group (which is a good thing) will bring search ranking benefits too.

  8. Regularly update your content. It keeps folks coming back for more, and it forces search bots to re-crawl your site.


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#5

…a very large number of which are, IMHO, “snake oil” salesmen not unlike the carnival barker of old. Just becuase someone says it is true, does not make it so …especially on the net.

Be very careful of contracting with anyone you find on the web to provide “seo” services for you. At best, you could end up spending a considerable amount of money for “services” that you do not need (or could have easily done yourself), and at worst, could end up with your search results damaged (or your site “delisted” completely) as a result of some of these “seo specialists” tactics :wink:

–rlparker


#6

You might find the following Google page helpful…

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=34397

Mark


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