Getting Listed

To get your web pages listed in the search engines requires that you perform a number of tasks. These tasks are mostly associated with what you need to do when actually creating a web page in the first place and so do not really mean any additional work than that which you would need to perform in creating the pages in the first place. It just means thinking about what you put in the pages in a slightly different way than you might otherwise have done.

Search engines list the pages in search results based on the relevance that the search engine believes that the page has to whatever the term(s) are that the person using the search engine is searching on. This means that your web pages will havve a better chance of appearing in the results for a given search if each of your pages is about a single topic and does not contain a mix of information about two or more different topics. Where a page contains information on multiple topics it isn't going to get a good listing for any of them.

Search engines iidentify what topic a given page is about based on the content that they find in that page. One of the things that the search engines are working on improving is the recognition of sysonyms in web pages. At the moment they are less than perfect at recognising when different wordings are used in the web page that mean the same thing. This means that using synonyms rather than the same wording each time that you want to reference what your page is about may lessen the chance that the search engines will correctly identify the relevance of your page to that topic. Where there are several synonyms for what you are writing about you may want to write several versions of your page using a different syynonym in each - which will work best if you can find something slightly different to say in each so that the multiple pages complement one another.

The ease with which the search engines can understand your page will affect its placement. Search engines are the ultimate disabled users and so making your page as accessible as possible will not only help out your disabled visitors but will also help out the search engines that visit as well.

Separating out as much as possible from your page that isn't content into separate files may not make much difference to the search engines (ulness your pages are so big that the content extends beyond the amount that the search engines bother to read) but it will make maintaining the page much easier and therefore more lilkely that you will maintain it - and well maintained pages may do better in the search results. Even if it doesn't affect the search engines directly it will make your pages faster loading and more useful to your visitors which will have an indirect effect of the search engines.

One of the biggest factors that the search engines take into account in how they order the pages in the results is how authoratative the pages are considered to be. The main measure they use for determining this are the links to the page from other related pages. Providing accurate, easy to use information on your web page increases the likelyhood that those who find the information useful who have their own web site will add a link from their site to your page. The more sites that link to you the more likely that people (and search engines) will find your site and visit.

The links to your site are such an important part of where your page will be listed when it is on a popular topic that there is just about no point in submitting web pages on popular topics to the search engines. If your page is going to appear high enough on the list for people to see it it will have a significant number of links to the page from other sites and the search engines will follow those links and find your page themselves without your needing to tell them directly. It is only where your page is on a relatively unique topic that is not well covered on the web that you are likely to get a top listing for the topic without having many incoming links and so only there will submitting to the search engines have any effect. Of course if there are no other pages on the topic then the chances are that next to no one is searching for that topic in the first place and so getting listed will still not be of any great use unless you can also figure out a way to raise awareness of the topic.

Probably the best way of wriiting your pages so as to get them listed in the search engines with the best possible placement is to wriite your web pages targetting them at the real visitors that you hope will read the page. After all the whole point in getting a listing in the search engine is so that those real visitors will visit your page. If you set out to target the search engines and ignore real people then you might get a nuumber one liisting in the search results but everyone will be leaving your page really quickly so that it doesn't achieve anything. If you think of search engines asvisitors of less than average intelligence and adjust the wording of your page accordingly then you should do well both with the search engines and the real visitors that you get to the page. The actions of those real visitors will then help you to push the page higher in the search results by helping you to promote your page.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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