Gary L. Simmons  rev 11/10/05
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Gary's Web Building

Get Noticed on the Internet

There are a few things you can do to make sure that your fabulous website does not languish on the Internet. I mean you did all this hard work, completely ignoring your friends and family, dissed your wife or girlfriend (choose one of the aforementioned only) and burned up all your spare time like it was so many ants under your magnifying glass. In a word,   "Search Engines". OK, that was two words. In a word, "Searchengines". That doesn't work either. OK OK... In TWO words, "Search Engines". Happy? I hate you. Search engines will shed light on your pages and will bring people from all over the Internet to see what you have to offer. Here is how you get noticed by the search engines.

  • Use descriptive page titles 

    Many times your page will be listed in a search engine readout with the title of the index page, you want it to say something other than "untitled" or "My Home Page" or "Hi!". Make it read as a one liner writeup of your pages contents. This will be your first attempt to catch someone's eye. If this is a business site, this would be the place to put your company name.

  • Put the most important stuff at the top

    Some search engines, Lycos for instance, puts the most weight on the text near the top of web pages. If not using META tags, the engine will use the first dozen or so words on the page so pile the most important stuff up at the top.

  • Use the "META NAME" tag

    The "META NAME" tag is what search engines read when they parse your page into their data bases. There are 2 main topics here you will be interested in developing, "keywords" and "description" The tag looks something like this and will fit thusly into your HTML:

    < HTML>
    < HEAD>
    < META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="keyword1, keyword2, keywordN...">
    < META NAME="description" CONTENT="description1, description2, descriptionN...">
    < TITLE>Spiffy Title</TITLE>
    < /HEAD>
    < BODY BACKGROUND="ButtUgly.gif">
    < /BODY>
    < /HTML>

    There are some rules to follow here. Your keywords are limited to 1000 characters. Do not repeat your keywords, most search engines are smarter now than they were in the days when porn sites repeated "sex" 300 times and floated to the top of the list. Nowadays, they will ignore more than a few repetitions of any keyword. Some will even punish you for repetitions by putting you on the bottom of the list or even excluding your site. The keywords should list things that can be found at your site that a person would enter into the search text box of a search engine when looking for something on the Internet. Try to think like them, only keep your mouth closed so your bubble gum doesn't fall out. Descriptions are limited to 250 characters and should be a short summary or several small sentences that you want to appear below the page's title on a search response. Wax poetic, look cool.

  • Check your work New

    There are several cool websites that you can visit that will let you check the work you have done on your website Meta Tags. These will let you fine tune your work before you commit it to a search engine.

  • Register your site

    No matter what you do to prepare your site it won't make a chicken lips worth of difference if you don't register your site. The search engines have to know you exist first right? You can go to just about any search site and register your slick new website. Follow the instructions they give you, most sites are different so I won't try to cover that here. Make sure you have followed the above recommendations first or when their robot comes sniffing around the URL you provided, they will find more than just a lick and a promise. There is a very helpful service you can use called Submit Express. This will submit your site for free to 40 search engines. Keep in mind that "free" is a relative term on the Internet and that your e-mail address (which you are required to submit along with your URLs) will likely be sold to spammers. You should always use a real e-mail address but it doesn't have to be the one that you use for personal or business correspondence. Sign up with (or other free e-mail services), get your "junk mail account" and give that one when submitting your site to the search engines. I suggested hotmail by name because they have a good junk mail filter that automatically tosses bulk e-mail which is 99.99% spam.

    I have recently used a professional Macintosh product that I can recommend to you should you get serious and want to take your talents on the road. VSE Be Found is a be all do all web site registration program that will take you from fine tuning your web pages for more visible for search engines through submitting them to hundreds of Internet search engines around the world with lots of nice goodies inbetween.

  • Other tips

    Every individual page in your website can have Meta tags. Make sure you don't abuse this though. Try to save registering for only the pages that offer something unique from the other material on your site.

    Have your fiends link to your site. Have their friends link to your site. Have your friends friends dogs link to your site that way when they have puppys maybe somebody will finally visit your damn site.

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