SEO

Start making sales by driving traffic to your web site

Regardless of what other advertising vehicle you choose to use, your best bet is to get registered with the major search engines as soon as possible. Although it takes time to start seeing search engine-generated traffic, you’ll never see it if you don’t take the time to get your site included. There are several search engines that are worth getting registered with, but we’ll focus on Google and DMOZ for now. Once you are successfully registered with these two, the other search engines will begin to pick up your site automatically. Let’s start with Google.

Google is the 800 pound gorilla of search engines. Once you reach a top 10 rating there, traffic will flow to your site automatically. Google no longer recommends that you submit your site to them. Instead, they ask that you let their spiders find your site through their normal crawling process. You can find detailed information on how this process works by visiting Google’s webmaster page.

If you decide that you still want to submit your site, follow these steps.

  1. Go to the Google site submission page at: www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl
  2. Enter your full URL including the http:// portion.
  3. Enter any optional comments about your site. It’s not clear who, if anyone, will read these comments. You can leave this field blank.
  4. Type in the “verification” word that will appear below the comments box.
  5. Click the “Add URL” button.

Then sit and wait for Google to visit your site. It’s worth noting that Google has the following message at the top of the submission page:

“We add and update new sites to our index each time we crawl the web, and we invite you to submit your URL here. We do not add all submitted URLs to our index, and we cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when or if they will appear.”

Next let’s take a look at DMOZ.

DMOZ, or the Open Directory Project (ODP) may be the Internet’s largest Web directory. Although not technically a search engine, the ODP site provides a query tool that works just like a search engine’s does. The mission of the ODP is to list and categorize web sites. They do not rank sites nor do they provide any pay-per-click or other advertising vehicles.

The directory is divided into categories and sub categories. Each category and sub category is assigned a human editor who is responsible for approving or disapproving all web sites that are submitted for review. The ODP does not use spiders and each site is submitted for review by the site’s owner or webmaster.

Although the ODP does not get anywhere near the traffic that the major search engines do, many of the top search engines like AOL Search, Google, Netscape Search, Yahoo Search, and hundreds of other sites pull listings from the ODP to include in their own search engine results page. Also, parts of Google’s ranking algorithm considers the quality of links to your site from other sites that it considers to be “valuable”. The ODP is one of the sites that Google favors.

Submitting your site to the ODP is a four-step process. You can read the complete details by visiting http://dmoz.org/add.html. Here is the process in summary:

  1. Determine if your site meets the ODP guidelines.
  2. Check to make sure that your site isn’t already listed.
  3. Choose the main category for your web site.
  4. Go to that category on the ODP site and click the “Suggest URL” button. Be sure to follow the instructions on the submission form exactly or your site will be automatically rejected.

Once your site is submitted it will be reviewed by a human editor. There is no way to predict how long that review process will take. It depends upon how busy the editor for that category is. There is no guarantee that your site will be listed. Usually you will receive an email from the editor explaining why you were rejected. There is a process for resubmitting your site after you have made any corrections and changes. Again, there is no guarantee that you will be listed after resubmitting.

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