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Get Listed On Search Engines By Going Through The Back Door

By: Kevin Nunley

Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and promotion packages. See his 10,000 free marketing ideas at Reach Kevin at or 801-328-9006.

Search engines can be an incredible form of FREE advertising. Get your site listed high on a major search engine and your hits can zoom to 2,000 visitors a day. Sales will soar overnight!

Unfortunately you, me, and many others have had a hard time getting that elusive search engine listing. You may have tweaked your site for what search engine spiders are looking for, then carefully registered your site with dozens of engines, then waited weeks while nothing happened.

Let me give you some surprising reasons why your listing isn't getting seen. I'll also let you in on some insider ways to easily get in the back door of key search engines.

**Uh Oh! We lost your listing.**

Last fall Alta Vista, which had just bumped past Yahoo in popularity, suddenly dumped millions of listings from their database. Reports say they accidentally reformatted a few key hard drives. OOPS!

If your hits started drooping, the Alta Vista problem could be the explanation.

Meanwhile, several major search engines where taking your URL submission and would promise to index your site. We now know they were unceremoniously dumping those submissions in the trash.

If you went back and tried to find your listing and it wasn't there, you probably were not listed.

And Yahoo is another story. While they attract a full 55% of search engine users, their directory is notoriously hard to get listed on.

**Check your listing.**

Take a moment to see if you are currently listed in major search engines. Expert Jerry West says there are really only three that you need to be concerned with.

"Type your web address into Yahoo, Alta Vista, and Excite. Those three account for 88% of all search engine traffic. If your site comes up, you're listed," West says.

I checked to see if my was listed. Because I registered with all of them last month, I figured I would pass with flying colors. Wrong. Alta Vista had us listed fine, Excite didn't have us listed but offered me wallpaper with my domain printed on it, and Yahoo came up with a site I discontinued two years ago.

**In through the back door**

You can EASILY get listed on several major search engines by going through the back door. Yahoo uses the Google database. Get listed on Yahoo by first getting listed on

Several other search engines, included, get their listings from the Inktomi database. Get listed on that database by submitting your site to They will have you up in three days or less. By default, the others will have you listed, too.

Also hop over to This is the Open Directory Project begun by several key players from Netscape. It's a snap to get listed and their database is the one Lycos and Hotbot use.

By all means RE-register with Alta Vista--three or four times. Alta Vista has several databases they rotate (which explains why your site is listed high one minute and not the next). Submit your URL every week for four weeks to cover the entire system.

While you are at Alta Vista, check their short tutorial on how to write Meta Tags for your pages. Find it on the "add url" page Several engines use Meta Tags to list your site.

Take time to write an appealing description for your site to go in your Meta Tags. This is the description that appears next to your link on search engines. Even if you aren't ranked tops, a good description will draw plenty of traffic.

Make sure the words people use to search for you are listed in your page Title and again in your page's copy. If a search word appears in the title but NOT the copy, the engine will ignore it.

Keep up on the latest developments with search engines at By all means, check out Jerry West's excellent reports on search engines at

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Other Articles by Kevin Nunley

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