Getting Your Website seen by Search Engines
by Paul Friend, Friendly Consultancy of Derby
When people search for you on Google, does your website show up on page 1 — or on page 20 — of googles results? Since 84% of internet traffic goes through search engines, being ranked highly by search engines could send you a huge number of prospective customers.
Would search engines sending you enough traffic, build your business?
What if you could do the same for the keywords you want to target?
Optimizing your site to get it ranked highly on the search engines can be a complicated subject, and potentially expensive both in terms of financial and time costs. To simplify things, it’s helpful to first understand how search engines add sites to their database.
The Major Search Engines
Let’s start off with the major search engines, the ones that most people use. Google is the most widely used search engine, getting between 55-65% of all searches. Yahoo Search and Microsoft Bing lag far behind with a total of 15-20% each.While there are thousands of search engines, it’s always a good idea to start with submitting your website to the three largest. Why? Because 95% of all searches go through either Google, Yahoo or Bing.
How Search Engines Read Your Site
Search engines send out crawlers to index your site’s contents. Crawlers follow the links found on your site and enter your site into their search database based on text they find on your pages. This text is either found on your public pages, or the text keywords found in behind-the-scenes tags.
The correct and relevant amount of your keywords found on your page, the more weight it has with the search engines and the higher your ranking. But in case you think you can load your page with keywords in order to fool the search engine, think again. Search engines are smart and you can be penalized for keyword stuffing on your website.
How Search Engines Index and Rank Your Site
Search engines use several techniques to determine which category your site belongs in and which keywords people will use to find your site when using the search engine. Google says they use over 200 parameters to categorize and rank a website.
When submitting your site to search engines, they will ask you for your URL (website address). Then they will crawl your site, checking to see which keywords and ideas are most important from your site. And remember, you will be penalized for spamming your keywords and rank LOWER because of it. Also it’s important to note that search engines cannot read the text in graphics, so if you are using a graphic-based navigation or have your keywords on a graphic next to your logo, the search engine will not notice it unless you use ALT tags.
Some search engines will rank your site based on your title, description and keywords that are supplied behind-the-scenes. Again, there are rules for your title tag, your description tag. Google says that they don’t read Keyword meta tags at all. Google’s Matt Cutts says that Google definitely reads your Description tag as well. Matt Cutts also says that Google does NOT use the keyword meta tag to help determine rank.
Submitting Your Site to Search Engines
Once your site is primed and ready for the search engines, then you have to submit it to them. Use Google’s Webmaster Tools and Bing’s Webmaster Tools to see the status of your submission, any errors the search engines found when crawling your site, and some great statistics about the speed of your site. Preparing your site for submission to search engines can be a daunting task, through management of your submission you will rank higher in search results.