Site Submissions and Web Traffic Tips

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How long should I allow for a search engine to index my site?

Plan ahead for your submissions.

Search engines can take up to a month to index a site. Therefore, if you have, for example, a new retail site that you want live and highly-ranked by the holiday season, you should have it fine-tuned and ready for submission several months in advance to allow for a few submission cycles. If your site does not appear after about a month, re-submit. If you continue to not achieve the search engine rankings you want, revisit your keyword strategy and usage and re-submit.

What is the difference between a directory and a search engine?

Understand the difference between directories and engines.

While people might think that using Yahoo! or Google to search the web is just a matter of preference, the two are wholly different creatures: Yahoo! (and others like it) are directories, while Google (and its contemporaries) are search engines. Directories, like Yahoo!, LookSmart and OpenDirectory Project, are edited by humans, while search engines, such as Google and AltaVista, employ automated “spiders” to “crawl” the web and identify keyword matches. Directories and search engines both measure link popularity in determining rankings, and each directory and engine has its own algorithm for ranking sites. There is some evidence that getting your site listed first on reputable, human-based directories will increase your quality links and give you stronger overall search rankings. Just keep the innate differences between directories and search engines in the back of your mind when you are crafting your Internet marketing strategy and deciding what web metrics you will be tracking, and how.

How do I maintain my search engine optimization?

Iteratively tune your keywords and submit them to search engines.

On some search engines, you can submit a URL as often as once a day. As you continue to fine-tune which are your most valuable keywords, you can update your title, meta, and meta description tags and also your top- and bottom-of-the-page content to include those keywords. Understand that your prospective customers will use different search words and that those search words will evolve over time, so it is insufficient to simply do a single set of keyword analysis and tag- and content-development. Keep up to date with keyword evolution through the use of web tracking tools.

How often should I submit my web site to search engines for indexing?

Submit your URL regularly and judiciously.

Once you have developed your content and coded your title, meta, and meta description tags, submit your pages to search engines. Pace your submissions – more than five pages per day per site will exceed most engines' maximum, and limit submissions to only a few times each week. Note that search engines regularly discard submissions without processing them. As you re-submit pages, you increase the probability that your submissions will be processed. Also, some search engines give preference to newer submissions, so you should update your site regularly. Use these regular updates to leverage the information gathered through your web site analysis, improving content, keywords and design to keep the site as fresh and relevant to your customers' needs as possible.

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