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So What Exactly Is a Search Engine? How Is It Different Than a Directory?

  • By calcoastwebdesign
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  • 30 Jan 2009

Search Engine Information

Guest Search Engine Optimization Articles:

First of all, search engines are complicated and ever changing. Below you will find descriptions for the different types of search engines and how you can use them to your advantage.

Directories – A directory is a form of search that allows you to search through a hierarchy. I like to think of it as a process of elimination. In a directory, you’ll start with a general subject and click through a few times until you get to the specific subject in which you were searching. This can also be thought of as deductive searching. Directories are usually less popular when it comes to paid advertisements, but they share their information with the searches that DO advertise, which is important. The majority of directories are edited by individuals who are mainly considering the content of your website.

Pay Per Click – These search engines are based on money. The more you are willing to pay “per click”, the higher your rating will be. Pay per click search engines often share their information with other search engines to offer an added incentive to submit your site to them. It is important to remember that if a pay per click search places a link on a different search for your website, and people click on it, the pay per click still deducts from your account for the referral. The pay per click route is a great method to buy your way to the top, and get your website traffic a boost.

Spiders – Spiders are computer controlled searches that detect keywords through the meta tags of your website. In addition, spiders typically count things like links to and from your website, number of pages, and keyword density in your site for their rating procedure. Because they are driven by computers, spiders are usually first to pick up your site, and other search engines generally follow suit.

Combination – Many popular search engines are a combination of 2 or more of the above formats. Sometimes combination engines employ more than one company due to varying searches they perform. This also helps the search to have a larger index of sites.

The Big Picture:
How Do I Get In?

The only way to get into the search engines is to know what they are looking for on your website. I’ll tell you right now that it is going to be impossible to appease each and every search engine. To submit a site to search engines takes time, so you need to have what they want to see on your website initially, and you need to choose your battles wisely. First and foremost, you need to get into Google, the #1 search engine. Googlebot looks for a few different things on your website:

  • Link Popularity – a combination of the amount of sites which you link to, and that link back to you. You get more brownie points if they are related to the business or theme of your website. Get as much link popularity as you can, and keep on networking for more. There comes a point where this can be overdone, be careful, work with professionals like Cal Coast to make sure you’re always on the right path.
  • Content – the amount of pages and information contained in your website. The more info your site has, the merrier. If you don’t know what you are talking about, then link out to sites that do 🙂 Remember the internet is the main place where people go to research information, then make an educated decision on what to purchase. If your site does not take the time to educate, the consumer will not take the time to purchase.
  • Click popularity – the number of times your site is clicked on when its located in Yahoo’s directory. Click popularity works more toward IMPROVING your status after you are indexed in Yahoo, not getting you in. No, don’t sit there and click on your site all day – they can tell silly.

You also need to apply to the search engines armed with an attractive site. Make your site easy to navigate, and include photos. Don’t squish too much, and don’t leave too much negative space. I would recommend employing our design specialist take care of these tasks for you. Let our design eye and our tricks of the trade work for you. If your site is pleasing to the eye you will be more likely to be indexed with the searches. Click HERE for further information on the great pages we can design for you.

In addition to making the front side of your site spectacular, you have a “behind the scenes” area the needs attention too. (I told you this wasn’t simple!) Your meta tags are located in the HTML code of your website, and these are what the spiders search through. You need to have accurate keywords – lots of them – and a good description of your website. I recommend saving yourself the headache of the keyword cram session and instead hiring us to do them for you. Click here for more info.

Recap for Search Engine Success :

*Have an attractive, easy to navigate website
*Include plenty of content and links on your website
*Get Link Popularity
*Configure your meta tags correctly

Ok, now that you have the low down on the search engines are you ready to submit yourself? We hope so, but if you prefer to leave it to the experts just click here 🙂

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