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Web Authoring >Search Engine Optimization>SEM Click here for printer friendly page

How do people find me on the web?
Three ways:
1. know the name you seek and type it into a search engine
2. link with another site
3. use a keyword (or keyword phrase) in a search engine or directory.

What is indexing?
Spider-type search engines have huge databases called indexes. Once you post or upload your pages to your website, eventually the search engines will probably find you and index you. You may have to wait months for this or it may never happen. Indexing is your rank among other like sites and the point is to earn a high ranking so your site will come up in the first three pages of what may be a vast listing called a SERP.

Can I submit my pages myself?
Yes you can and you should. You can manually go to each engine and fill out of form that they give you. This will speed the process of indexing.

What is your web site’s rank and why does rank matter?
There’s a myth that simply submitting your Web site to hundreds of search engines will increase traffic to your site. Not necessarily true. Submitting is just not enough. When someone queries a search engine for a keyword related to your site’s products and services, does your page appear in the top 30 matches -- or does your competition’s show up instead?

If you are listed but not within the first two or three pages of results, you lose, no matter how many engines you submitted your site to. There are two obstacles to solving this problem. First, you have to know the techniques that will move you into a top 30 position. Once you get there, you have to monitor your progress, a crucial step that may take hours to do right manually. Many Webmasters claim they spend upwards of 30 hours a week checking their search positions.

A top ten ranking in a major search engine such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing often will generate more targeted traffic than an expensive banner ad campaign. Nearly 90% of traffic to most Web sites comes from search engines or links from other Web pages.

What are the primary types of search engines and directories?
To understand the importance of improving your site’s rank, it is necessary to understand the basic idea of how search engines index and retrieve documents.

There are basically two types of search services:

1. Search engines. These use spiders to index Web sites. You submit your page to a search engine and the spider will index your entire site. Theoretically these spiders might find your site by accident but odds are they will not unless you go to them and tell them about your site by filing out their ‘submit” page. Examples are Google, Yahoo! and MSN's Bing.

2. Directories. These rely on submissions from users and Web site owners to populate their indexes. Most directories add your site to their index but generally they link only to your home page rather than indexing the full text of each page on your site. Examples are Yahoo1!, AOL and Open Directory.

How do search engines operate?
A software spider, or BOT,is a program operated by a search engine that surfs the web just like you do. As it visits each Web site, it records (saves to its hard drive) all the words on each site and notes each link to other sites. It then clocks on a link and off it goes to read another Web site.

A spider is like an electronic librarian who cuts out the tables of contents of each book in every library in the world, sorts them into a gigantic master index and then builds an electronic bibliography that stores information. Some software spiders can index over a million documents a day.

For your marketing purposes, know that some search engines have spiders that will visit your Web site. What the spider sees on your site will determine how your site is listed in their index. As the spider visits your site, it notes any links on your page to other sites and records these links. Many engines will use the number of links to your site as an indication of popularity and that will, in turn, boost your ranking.

Search Engines Have Ranking Criteria (Also Called Probable Relevance)
Spider-type search engines have vast databases (indexes) that Web surfers query to find web sites. When a person browsing in a search engine wants to find something, he will type in a keyword or keyword phrase. For example, if you want to purchase a new home in the Boston area, you might type “Boston real estate”. When you type in a keyword or phrase, you are simply performing a database query. To determine which document or Web site to return for a particular keyword search, each search engine must have its own method of ranking documents within its directory. Most use a scoring or probable relevance method. Search engines change their scoring methods from time to time, thereby keeping everyone on their toes and causing everyone to start the game again.

The Right Keywords and Keyword Phrases Are Critical
If you choose the wrong keywords, nothing else you do will be right. Choose the right keywords and you can see traffic to your site skyrocket. Brainstorm to choose the right keywords; combine them in phrases. If you are a regional business, location becomes very important. Use keyword power combinations.

What is the indexing procedure The Cheshire Group Uses to build high rankings?
The Cheshire Group depends upon you to help select the right keywords. We can guide and advise, but this task is the core of the project.

Once the keywords are decided, we prepare page titles, ALT tags, META tags and many other elements which help to ensure a well optimized site. Page titles include the 1) site title which will be blue and will be an activated link to the site and 2) the site summary description. These are two very major items. It is these words which a visitor will see when your site is indexed.

META tags are the special “tags” or codes hidden in your pages that contain the keywords, title and description for your web site.

We check the site for appropriate navigational links making sure that the search engines can find every page on the site. Two different types of sitemaps are constructed, one to help the viewers to navigate your site and the other to help the search engines navigate. Authentication of your site with the three main search engines and submission of your home page and sitemap is a key element in the process.

After Submission, what?
Sitting back after submitting your pages is not sufficient to attain and keep a higher indexing score. In one month you can drop down in ranking significantly. So we monitor the results of your indexing at least once a month using sophisticated reporting tools to make sure you maintain your rankings.

By creating your web site, you have made an investment in your company. If nobody knows your site is there, you are not using your investment wisely. Web indexing ensures visibility for your company, and visibility, in turn, brings in new business. You are faced with the choice of maximizing your investment or of letting it languish.

Andover, MA 01810
Tel.: +1 978 475-1478


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