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IWMW 1999: Getting your web site listed

Slides for talk given at IWMW 1999 held at Goldsmiths College on 7-9 September 1999.

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IWMW 1999: Getting your web site listed

  1. 1. Getting Your Web Site Listed Danny Sullivan Editor, Search Engine Watch
  2. 2. Session’s Goal  Cover the best way to increase the percentage of your web site listed with crawler-based search engines  Discuss importance of submitting to human-powered directories  Not covering issues of improving ranking!
  3. 3. Types of Search Services  “Search engines” crawl the web and read your web pages  “Directories” like Yahoo depend on human-provided information to categorize sites  Most search services are a hybrid of both, but more dominant in one area
  4. 4. How Search Engines Work  Read pages they find on the web  Store text in an “index”  When you search, they look for pages with matching text  Other factors involved in “ranking” those pages, such as “link popularity”
  5. 5. The Major Search Engines  Northern Light (big, but low traffic)  FAST Search (big, but even less traffic)  AltaVista (big and popular)  Inktomi (HotBot, UK Max)  Google (Netscape Search)  Excite (WebCrawler)  Go (Infoseek)  Lycos (links at end)
  6. 6. Submitting To Search Engines  Search engines should find you naturally, but submitting helps speed the process and can increase your representation  Look for Add URL link at bottom of home page  Submit your home page and a few key “section” pages  Turnaround from a few days to 2 months
  7. 7. Deep Crawlers  AltaVista, Inktomi, Northern Light will add the most, usually within a month  Excite, Go (Infoseek) will gather a fair amount; Lycos gathers little  Index sizes are going up, but the web is outpacing them…nor is size everything  Here are more actions to help even the odds…
  8. 8. “Deep” Submit  A “deep” submit is directly submitting pages from “inside” the web site – can help improve the odds these will get listed.  At Go, you can email hundreds of URLs. Consider doing this.  At HotBot/Inktomi, you can submit up to 50 pages per day. Possibly worth doing.  At AltaVista, you can submit up to 5 pages per day. Probably not worth the effort.  Elsewhere, not worth doing a “deep” submit.
  9. 9. Big Site? Split It Up  Expect search engines to max out at around 500 pages from any particular site  Increase representation by subdividing large sites logically into subdomains  Search engines will crawl each subsite to more depth  Here’s an example...
  10. 10. Subdomains vs. Subdirectories I nstead of Do this
  11. 11. I Was Framed  Don't use them. Period.  If you do use them, search engines will have difficulty crawling your site.
  12. 12. Dynamic Roadblocks  Dynamic delivery systems that use ? symbols in the URL string prevent search engines from getting to your pages  ProcessName=IndexPage&Section_Id=17200& NewApplication=t  Eliminate the ? symbol, and your life will be rosy  Look for workarounds, such as Apache rewrite or Cold Fusion alternatives  Before you move to a dynamic delivery system, check out any potential problems.
  13. 13. How Directories Work  Editors find sites, describe them, put them in a category  Site owners can also submit to be listed  A short description represents the entire web site  Usually has secondary results from a crawler-based search engine
  14. 14. The Major Directories  Yahoo  The Open Directory  (Netscape, Lycos, AOL Search, others)  LookSmart  UK Plus  Snap
  15. 15. Submitting To Directories  Directories probably won't find you or may list you badly unless you submit  Find the right category (more in a moment), then use Add URL link at top or bottom of page  Write down who submitted (and email address), when submitted, which category submitted to and other details  You’ll need this info for the inevitable resubmission attempt – it will save you time.
  16. 16. Submitting To Directories  Take your time and submit to these right  Write 3 descriptions: 15, 20 and 25 words long, which incorporate your key terms  Search for the most important term you want to be found for and submit to first category that's listed which seems appropriate for your site  Be sure to note the contact name and email address you provided on the submit form  If you don't get in, keep trying
  17. 17. Subdomain Advantage  Directories tend not to list subsections of a web site.  In contrast, they do tend to see subdomains as independent web sites deserving their own listings  So, another reason to go with subdomains over subdirectories
  18. 18. Other Tips / Misc  Under represented? Get in touch!  Need Search Engine Links? See: