I want my website (link in my sig) to be findable (if that’s the word) on some search engines (google and yahoo mainly.) What do I have to do to accomplish this? I’ve heard I have to register with them. How do I do this? Does it cost money?
Yahoo costs money if it’s a business website. In any case, for Yahoo:
You can also register with a bunch of engines at once at www.register-it.com.
It may take a couple of months before your get your site viewable. Don’t expect to submit today and search tomorrow.
Google also use www.dmoz.org which can take many months to get indexed into Google.
Within Google, it will also depend on how many hits you get as to where you are returned in the Googled list. eg. (very, very simple). If you get 1 hit a day, you are very unlikey to turn up at the top of the Googled list.
Here’s a tip for scoring high on Google—it puts a very high priority on what’s in your <Title> tag. So, if you want people to be able to find your page by searching for “Pu-Tang Clan”, then I suggest making that the title of your page, rather than “The Whitest Rap on Earth”. On the other hand, “Pu-Tang Clan” is obscure enough, I imagine, to get noticed no matter where it is in your document.
Search engines like Google do not ramble round looking for sites just like yours. They work automatically, following search patterns. One pattern gives a lot of priority to sites to which other sites link. They assume that you must be important if lots of people link to you.
So, you need to create links to your site.
Believe me - this works. I have pushed a Dublin club site to the top of search lists for its category, without spending a cent. It cost me time on link-hunting, but now our club gains many applications from the net, and membership is booming.
You can pay for links if you have money to burn. There are many sites which will boost you in exchange for chunks of money. If you do not want to pay, you have to work.
First, Google for search engines and web directories. Check them all out to find ones which will add your link to their lists free of charge. There are many of them, far more than you would expect. Watch for “add URL” or “add your site”, and push that button. If they ask for money, just leave.
Caught@workis right about Dmoz.org. It is important, as it is used by many searchers, even foreign language ones. It will give you a large number of extra links through them.
However, do not be fixated on big searchers and directories. Look for web directories in your locality, who will often list a link your site very happily, so long as you are not obscene or terminally stupid. Some may require your site to be interesting or to share their interests. For example, if you live in San Jose, Google for “San Jose sites” and go through them.
There are some international directories who will list anyone who asks - particularly when the directories are new and they need the links. Hunt abroad. Google for search engines and directories. Don’t be scared of foreign ones.
These directory links will create a few hits from the people who use them, but that is not the point. Each link will boost your hits from the search engines.
Get your friends to link to you, and set up cross-links with any similar site that you know of.
One final warning - it is very important that your home page contains keywords that attract people to your page. Ask yourself - if someone was looking for a site like yours, what words would they use in their search? Are those words on your site? If they are not, then a search engine will ignore your site as irrelevant to the search - no matter how many links you create.
A great way to get at least found on Yahoo! etc (if not actually listed in their directory) is to get registered with http://www.dmoz.org - the Open Directory project. Apparently many other search sites leech off Dmoz for their own listings. It worked for me, and later on I eventually managed to get a proper directory listing at Yahoo!