A great search engine promotion tool for all site owners.
There is a new method now available to promote your site very effectively to search engines which greatly enhances the indexability of any site as long as the
site meets the search engine guidelines.
Traditionally you would promote your index page to the search engines and if you know how the search
engines work you would have added Meta Tags to your index page.
What the hell are these Meta Tag things you might ask?
simple description is that Meta Tags are a set of scripts written into the html code and inserted into the head of your webpage to tell the search engines exactly
who, what, why, when and how you want your site listed or refreshed in their database. Sounds easy...YES, is it easy...Yes and NO.
Not only is it important to have Meta Tags on your pages but it is extremely important to have the correct Meta Tags in the correct order.
example, if we had two pages both being identical and then added the correct Meta Tags to only one of them and used the same search engines to promote
both of these pages the page with the Meta Tags will always be given both listing and positioning priority and as we are after all trying to get our pages
the best possible position in a search engine it follows that we would only use the page with the Meta Tags.
Please BEWARE, this can be a
very useful tool but it can cause some serious damage to your listability if used incorrectly as you will read a bit further on.
This new tool
uses a "siteindex" page, this can be called any name you may choose but "siteindex" is the most appropriate name as this is exactly what it is doing for your site.
The "siteindex" page is a Java script rich page which, on most browsers and servers, loads so fast that you will not even see the page being displayed
as you are automatically redirected to the normal index page for your site. Even though the "siteindex" page loads so fast it has still done it's job. The search
engine robot has spidered this page because it is the page that was entered into the search engine and in those few seconds has read the vital Java script
and Meta Tags and will now go off and digest this information to ensure your site fits the requirements for the search engine. When this is done and you
have been accepted into the search engine directory the robot will return and process the Meta Tag info. This is where all the hard work pays off!
The robot now looks at each item in the Meta Tags in turn and preforms the appropriate function specified if it has been programmed into the search
engine. Only experience will show which Meta Tags work best with most search engines. There are some components of a Meta Tag that have been
designed for a specific type of search engine and using it on the wrong type can actually stop you being listed at all so you need to exercise caution before
attempting this your self. An example of the damage that incorrect Meta Tags can cause was a site that I was asked to have a look at by their webmaster.
They had tried to implement Meta Tags after reading a bit about them and thought they had enough info to go on. Unfortunately they had used a particular
function that was designed for a specific search engine in their first attempt and this function is not supported by any standard search engine. The result...their
site was automatically added to the blacklist on a large string of search engines and no matter how much they changed their Meta Tags it made no difference.
When a site is added to a blacklist and the robot visits that site, it returns to the search engine to check the information it has gathered,
finds the site on the blacklist and just dumps the site and off to the next site it goes. The only way to be removed from the blacklist of most search engines
is to email the webmaster and ask very nicely to have it fixed. In this case they asked me to fix this and their Meta Tags. After two and a half weeks and over
eighty emails the site was finally removed from all the blacklists. All this because on one line of incorrect code. PLEASE BE CAREFUL! This not only cost them
in potential sales but it cost them a bit over five times the cost I would have charged to do the Meta Tags CORRECTLY in the first place. Needless to say they
have been a loyal customer ever since. Even though I have extensively trained their web team in the correct usage of Meta Tags I still get asked to check some of their new pages that they are not 100% sure of.
The moral of this....well actually there are two....
It Is Always Better To Be Safe Than Sorry!
and A Little Bit Of Knowledge Can Be A Dangerous Thing!
Now that you have your "siteindex" working correctly is that all that needs to be done to
keep the search engines happy?
Using a "siteindex" page without adding Meta Tags to any other pages on your site will help a bit but to gain the
best possible exposure in any search engine you need to have the correct Meta Tags on every single page on your site. This may sound like a daunting and
expensive task but it need not be. Other than the "siteindex" page which needs specific Java Scripts and Meta Tags added to it, the other pages on most sites
will only need Meta Tags and there are only three of these Meta Tags that need to be specific to most pages. So once you have your Meta Tags correct on
one page it is simply a matter of duplicating them on most of the remaining pages on your site.
The three that normally need to be specific to the page are
1 The "Keyword" Meta Tag. 2 The "Description: Meta Tag. 3 The "Robot" Meta Tag.
The first two of these are obviously the
Keywords and Description for the specific page but the third Meta Tag, "Robots" tells the search engine what to do with this specific page. This Meta Tag will
instruct the search engine to list or ignore a specific page and if you want the pages linked to it to be indexed. In my experience I would rate the "Robot" Meta Tag
to be equal in importance to the "Keyword" and "Description" Meta Tag. As an example lets say you have a jokes page on your site but you only want the
main jokes page listed in the search engine as all the instructions and contact information is only on the main jokes page. To do this you would use the "Robots"
Meta Tag to index this page and tell it not to follow the links. This way only the main jokes page will be listed ensuring that your visitors are directed to the main
page to read the instructions. This is just a simple example of the power a single Meta Tag command can have.
There are programmes available that can
automatically generate a similar type of page to a "siteindex" page but they all have one drawback that can cause your page not to be listed at all or at best
incorrectly. They don't take in to account some of the specifics of particular search engines and more importantly they totally ignore the number of times a
word appears in your description. In general if you exceed the search engines repeat level of the same word the search engine will stop indexing your site at that
point and will rely on the information already captured to create your listing totally ignoring everything, including the Meta Tags that follow. The problem here
is that the Meta Tags that tell the search engine exactly what to do with your page come after the description and would therefore be ignored. Now this may
get you a listing in the search engine but it won't have indexed the linked pages nor will the robot come back to check for updates because these and
other instructions are all after the description and it hasn't even read them.
Most professional webmasters I have dealt with that preform their own promotion
use one of these automated programmes and then manually manipulate the code to correct the errors which is very time consuming and therefore costly.
Promotional professionals however have gone one step further than this to help keep the cost to their customers down. Most of us use a tried and tested
template which is set up to cater for every possible common line of code a search engine is looking for with a code directory for the extra code needed for
some of the more unusual search engines we run in to.
A colleague who previously did all his promotion in house and I tested both of these methods
looking at the total time to code a page and the end result in the search engines. We had another colleague create the standard html page to be used so neither
of us could get a head start. The end results of this test were staggering!
Method 1 - Auto generate and manually correct, submit to search engines, check
results, modify code and repeat until correct. Method 2 - Template generate and manually code specifics, run template report, adjust code, submit to search
RESULTS: Method 1 = 6.5 hours of manual coding, 3 hours for 5 search engine submission runs. Total of 9.5 hours.
Method 2 = 3 hours to adjust code from template generation and template report, 45min for 1 search engine submission run. Total of 3.75 hours.
Now the average cost for a good coder is $100.00 per hour so Method 1 = $950.00 and Method 2 = $ 375.00 so would the extra $575.00 have been worth spending.
You decide, we both submitted to the same 20 search engines using the same professional submission generator. Remember that the main goal with search
engine submission is to get your clients site listed in the top 20 positions and we did both get the page listed within this. Great so what was the difference? The highest position my colleague achieved was #6 for one engine with the remaining 19 engines ranking from #11 to # 19. Not bad but was all his extra time and
cost worth it? Using the template method all 20 engines ranked my page in the top 10 with 7 of them in the #1 position 12 from #2 to #9 and 1 at #10.
My colleague now uses and swears by the template method, I wonder why!
I am sure that you now understand the importance of correctly implementing a "siteindex"
page and Meta Tag solution throughout your site and the obvious benefits associated with a good position on any search engine.
Thank you for taking the
time to read this and if you should require any further information or need this service for your site I can be reached from our contact page. Just click the "Contact"