Part IX - The top search engines and how to register your site with them.

1) Create a text file using Word Pad or Notepad containing the following sections:

a) The keywords used in your Meta Tags (Vision News Vol. 2, No. 4).
b) The descriptions used in your Meta Tags (same as above)
c) The URL’s of all the important pages in your site (including the http://).
d) A list of categories you feel you might belong in (this will change as you learn more)

2) Create a spreadsheet file (which I prefer but you could use a database or text file) that you will use to record your registration progress. I would suggest you include the following fields:

a) Search Engine Name
b) URL
c) Date Registered
d) Date Verified (the date you were able to successfully find your listed site)
e) Notes (any pertinent notes to this site i.e. Page listed immediately, restricted listing)

3) Open your Web Browser, Mail program, Text file (No. 1 above) and your spreadsheet (no. 2 above) all at the same time (each should be listed in the Taskbar on Windows 95 or in the task list (Ctrl-Esc) in Windows 3.x).

4) Find this newsletter in your mail program and scan down to the links section. If your mail program created a hyperlink for each of the Search Engine sites then simply click on the link to go to the appropriate URL. If the link was not created for you, simply copy and past it in to your browsers URL line to go to the search engine of choice.

5) Some search engines, like Infoseek and Excite, allow you to register each page of your site. They usually say something like "only register your home page and we will visit every link from this home page within two weeks". My results have not been so successful with this practice and I strongly suggest you register each page individually. This way you are sure to be registered and often more quickly. I haven’t seen the Search Engines "punish" you in any way for this, except when you exceed their stated maximum registrations per day/per site stated in their policies section (in Excite it was 50/day).

6) As you register each page, you can copy and paste the important information from your text file (Number 1 above) in to the forms used by the search engine. As you register each page, enter the information in to your spreadsheet (number 2 above). You will appreciate the spreadsheet more and more as you progress for several weeks through hundreds of page registrations and can’t remember your own name let alone which search engines and pages you registered with.

7) Do not use the automatic search engine registration services or programs. You will have much better success on your own and can better target your submissions. The only exception to this rule is beyond the 9 basic search Engines referred to in this newsletter. The top 9 search engines will bring in between 75-90% of the search engine market. In order to get the remaining 10-25% you will spend substantially more time registering your pages than may be beneficial. This sounds suspiciously like Harry’s Axiom number 2 <> which is the 90/10 theory. If you follow the 90/10 theory, then using a registration program for the remaining 350 sites (approximate and growing) makes perfect sense. Not all people agree with this practice and recommend hand registration of every site, but then I may be more pragmatic (or lazy) than they are.

8) Finally, we come to YAHOO. If you have followed my newsletter, you will know that I am not a big fan of Yahoo. It took me, and many others, over six months to be registered with Yahoo and then the information was not listed as requested. You may think that this is just sour grapes, but look at it this way…if it took six months to be listed, how accurate is the information stored in Yahoo. Six months is a lifetime in Internet terms and far too long to be considered relevant to the person who needs the most recent information possible. That being said, Yahoo only allows two of their categories to be requested for placement of your Web Site and even then may change it to how they believe it should be listed. Take my site for instance. I live in Beaufort, SC, much of my business pertains to Beaufort, SC, my old Post Office box (for convenience) was on St. Helena Island which is where Yahoo insists my listing should be. Well nothing against St. Helena, but it is not a business Mecca (I was the only site listed). To be listed here made no sense for my customers or my business. To help you with Yahoo please keep these factors in mind.

a) Carefully select the name to be used as the highlighted link name.
b) Carefully enter a brief description. These (and the name) are the only words used for searching.
c) Carefully select the two categories to be listed , keeping in mind my problems.
d) Carefully follow the steps they require.
e) Call them directly after two weeks to get personal attention to your listing. This is the only way it seems you can get the site listed at all. See Link Digest listed in the links section for many examples of this process.

Note: Many services, Yahoo included now request a fee to be listed. It is not required, but might be necessary to get listed in any reasonable timeframe.