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Blogs, First Pages, Search Engines & Directories : Geeks2020

Blogs, First Pages, Search Engines & Directories

One of the keys to online success is search engine placement, being on the first page of a search, especially a common search. Alternatively, the site with the best content in the world is worthless if no one can find it.

Years ago there used to be dozens of viable search engines. If you put up a site you had to register with them individually and each one had a different way to get listed. Today there are three core search engines:

Reasons

There are two central reasons why these three search engines are important.

First, the three major search engines have an astounding level of marketshare. As this is written, Hitslink.com reports that Google has an 85.74 percent marketshare, Yahoo holds 6.09 percent and Bing trails with 3.39 percent. That’s a total of 95.33 percent.

Second, the marketshare not held by the big three is enormously influenced by them. How? Because many other search services get their results from one of the big three. For instance, AOL has a .48 percent marketshare — and AOL get’s its results from Google.

How They Work

Once a site is registered with major sites, something we do for clients, the search service will then send out spiders (electronic robots) to scout the site. The robot will review the site for content and then the search service will integrate the robot’s information into the entire search engine database. Such databases are huge — Google by itself has indexed more than 1 trillion pages, a number that grows daily.

Are there secret inside tips which will always produce good search engine placement?

Alas, we don’t think any magic tricks or inside secrets are involved. Instead we believe that good search engine placement is a by-product of sound content and sites which are easy to use and navigate.

The attraction of a well-designed blog is that it helps in the search results process because of the way it is organized, written and coded. Whether many pages or just a few, blogs can get you online in a way that produces clear and measurable results.

Page One

Here’s a real-life example: We posted How To Get More Hours on The Job on our JobToe.com site on March 16, 2009. Our traffic reporting service then showed a search for March 27th — less than two weeks later — which had our posting on the first page of a Google search. Not a little search and not an obscure term, a search with 75.4 million citations. Our article was #1.

Now you might say, aha, a fluke. A one-in-a-million result. Not quite. Within a few weeks after posting, the JobToe.com site was also:

Will the JobToe.com postings always be the first citation or on the first page on every search where we have keywords? No. Absolutely not. However, we think this is also true: While we offer no guarantees, we believe that properly-prepared content and appropriate design can make sites reasonable and logical candidates for good search engine placement.

Moving Targets

Search results are constantly in flux, but the important point is that Google had no trouble finding our new pages and then assessing their value and utility. We hope that the quality of our work and the value of what we offer will continue to produce good search engine results, but those results — whatever they are — will be based on merit and not trickery.

Moreover, we would not hold out the examples above as “normal” or as something anyone can guarantee. We think in the usual case that it takes time to develop quality content, perhaps six months or a year. Given the time required for blogs to season and evolve, it makes sense to start blogging as soon as possible on a quality publishing platform.

While we did well with several search queries that showed up on our monitoring system, there are thousands of different ways to phrase a search engine query. It’s impossible to believe that anyone does well with all plausible searches.

Lastly, we just have to mention something about being #1 on the first page of a search result. If you can obtain such a placement, that’s great. However, just being on the first page is also good news because we believe that most people do not just go to the first site found by a search query, they check the page to see the response which is best for them.

Search Engines Versus Directories

In general terms, a search engine can be seen as a site which sends out a spider, robot or searchbot (they’re all the same thing, just a bunch of coding) to examine sites and their pages. A directory is a site that does not check pages with a spider, instead it’s a collection of sites organized for easy use and access by visitors. A directory does not review pages and usually you must register with the site to be included in the directory. Some directories charge for inclusion, some do not.

Examples: Google and Yahoo are search engines. The Librarians Internet Index is a directory where you can submit a site without cost.

Now you might think, why would I want to be in a directory? First, a link is a link. Second, a site such as the Librarians Internet Index is highly rated — as of this writing it has a Google page rank of 9 — you don’t see too many sites with a ranking like that.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a whole field unto itself. The idea is that some experts can get you better search engine positioning by how content is written, how a website is designed and organized and, basically, good public relations in the sense of posting comments on other sites, getting links back to your site, being listing in directories, etc.

One of the big issues here is time. You can locate any number of leading directories and register to have your site considered. This is fine with a few sites but as the numbers get bigger the process of registering sites becomes incredibly laborious and time consuming. Every site has a somewhat different registration process, some will list your site immediately if only you will pay them and many require you to find the right category before you can register.

The alternative to do-it-yourself SEO is to hire someone to do it for you or perhaps buy a program to do some of the work automatically.

For new sites the most-sensible advice is probably to do the best job you possibly can in terms of writing and composition, have a site which is attractive to both search engines and humans, register with the leading search engines and look for links and mentions on other sites, mailing lists, bulletin boards, ect.

Common Sense

What we’re suggesting here may sound boring, but if you think about it what do you want from a website? You want a site with good information and one that can be navigated easily. What do search engines want to provide for users? The information which best responds to a search query.

This means no fancy graphics, no weird designs, no huge photos and no efforts to trick search engine spiders. Just content which is useful and design that makes navigation simple and easy.

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