Search Engine Promotion - your options explainedBy: Carl Hruza
Most people have limited knowledge when it comes to search engine ranking and the various types of services on offer. We all know that having top 10 positions on some of the leading engines can bring all the traffic we can handle, and then some. But how do we get those top 10 listings and what should we expect to pay to get them?
A simple way to approach this is to look at your competition. Do a quick search on one of the leading engines like What U Seek, Google or AltaVista, using a search phrase that people might use when looking for your products or services, and see what comes back.
As a basic 'rule of thumb' guide -
Between 100 and 5000 puts you in a 'low competition' category.
Between 5001 and 25000 puts you in a 'medium competition' category.
Between 25001 and 250,000 puts you in a 'high competition' category.
Over 250,000 puts you in a 'Extremely high competition' category.
Here are some examples we found on AltaVista:-
"detroit real estate" - 2.7MBased on the above, determine the competitiveness of your category, then start to research the level of service necessary for your site.
Before we give you the options, remember that at some point, you or somebody you pay will have to submit your site to all the leading engines and directories. Most Ranking services will include submissions, but at the lower end of the pay scale they will almost certainly use 'automated submission software'.
We recommend that you avoid any automated submission services, submitting sites manually is far more effective in our experience (though obviously more time consuming). There are a plethora of so called 'submission' services around the Internet, be very careful with these services and understand fully what you are paying for. Many of them use 'hype' such as - "we submit your site to 2500 leading search engines" etc. This is often misleading. Most actually 'attempt' to submit your web address to around 100 search engines, the rest are FFA boards and free classified boards. We say 'attempt' as in many cases the more important search engines are programmed to detect submissions from automated submission software and will filter the submission straight into the dumper. Another very important issue to consider with submission services is 'Directories'. Automated submission services have no way of submitting your site to the most important sites of all - search 'Directories'. Directories require a manual submission process where you locate the most appropriate category for your listing then enter your web address, email, business address, phone number etc. This can only be done manually. These directories are extremely important. Yahoo!, for example, searches its directory listings before turning to the 'Google search engine' for more results. The 'Open Directory' makes its results available to search engines like AOL Search, AltaVista, HotBot, Google, Lycos, Netscape Search etc. Making an accurate submission to the right category at Open Directory is critical. Understand the difference between automated and manual submission and try to seek out a service that offers manual submissions.
Once you have determined the level of competition for top positions in your business category, use the following as a basic guide:
© Copyright 2000, Carl Hruza
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