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Search Engines 101
2002 Alice Seba

  This article is just a brief introduction to Search Engines. It is a topic that nobody can begin to cover in a few hundred words. Here is just a bit of information for you to absorb and consider. Then come back later for more. Or sign up for our newsletter and get the information right in your inbox.

Search engines are an excellent way to get interested people to your web site; after all, they were searching for a site just like yours. In addition, search engines provide you with hits over a long period of time. Still, even if you are listed in the search engines, that doesn't guarantee anyone will find you. You need to have a good ranking because if you're not in the top 20 for your keywords, you may as well not be there. You get a good ranking based on your meta tags, site content (use your keywords in your text) and the hits your site gets from other links.

We use the catch-all phrase of Search Engine, but really there are two types:

1. A true Search Engine or Web Crawler finds your page based on meta tags, site content (use your keywords in your site text) and ranking (Google)

2. A Directory is a "search engine" that you have to submit your site to in order to be included (Looksmart)

Many search engines are a combination of the two (Yahoo! & AltaVista).

You can submit your site for free to the following search engines and directories:

Google http:/www./ (you should submit your site with a description, but Google is a web crawler, not a directory - it will eventually find your site)

Open Directory Project


Alcanseek (Alaska & Canadian sites only)

All the Web

AltaVista (Alta Vista is a web crawler but also contains a web directory you should submit your site to)

Biz Web (directory of business web sites - not a search engine)

Yahoo! It's very difficult to get into their directory even if you pay, but they do have a free submission option. However, the free submission option is not available if you want to list in the Business to Business or Shopping & Services.

You can pay to submit your site to the following:

Word of caution: Before you decide to pay to submit your site to any search engine, ensure that your meta tags are in excellent order and your keywords are included in the body of your text! Otherwise, you are throwing away your money.

Looksmart - You can submit your site to Looksmart for $49 to start and then $0.15 per click after that. Looksmart, along with it's partners claims to reach 77% of Internet users. It's partners include Alta Vista, MSN, iWon, CNN and more. Check them out at

Yahoo! - You can submit your site for free (as long as you don't fall under the Business to Business or Shopping & Services category). Otherwise, you have to pay $299 per year to have your site considered for inclusion. This $299 guarantees they will review your site within 7 days. You may not be included in their directory. Your site has to be in tip top shape. Be sure to read the FAQ on submitting your site before you even try. . In fact, make sure to read the instructions for any search engine you are submitting to, even if it is free.

Inktomi - Finally, someone who doesn't charge so much! Inktomi's partners include HotBot, AOL,iWon, MSN and more. Your first site submission is $39 per year and $25 for every site after that. This search engine crawls your pages every 48 hours, while other crawlers may only come once per month. Check out Inktomi at . They will direct you to one of their sales sites that can list your site for you.


Alice Seba is creator of Internet Based Moms, an online resource center for work at home moms.

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