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Re: Search Engines
From Jim Perry at Palmares of Elite Women Cycle Racers on 17 March '01
replying to Search Engines posted by Bill Nelson

Bill, it is a bit difficult to respond with specifics to your questions and concerns without being able to check out your web site. There might be some reason(s) why you are having problems, but folks would need to check the site, see what your keywords are, etc.

Note that there is a difference between <EM>search engines</EM> and <EM>directories</EM>. A <EM>search engine</EM> is a software program which searches a database and returns listings in accordance with some algorithm which evaluates the matches for "relevancy". Often, the database for such programs is constructed automatically by spiders or robots.

A <EM>directory</EM> is generally a human construced listing such as you see in the hierarchical structure of Yahoo!

There is a very good on-line search engine tutorial at There may be other good ones as well.

Whenever someone says (complains) "I'm not listed in the first 2 or 3 pages", I wonder what they mean. Where you get listed on a search engine return depends on what keywords you use to try to accesss the site. It is really a mutual guessing game involving the site creator and his/her target audience.

The site creator tries to figure out what words or phrases will be used by his/her target audience to try to find information and then tries to match those search terms by constructing the site so as to be "caught" by those same searches.

The "Palmares" web site gets very good returns when someone types in the name of a top female cycle racer into the search box. We are almost always listed not just on the first page, but in the top 2 or 3 listings. But if you were looking for the type of information on that site and tried to find it by searching in some other way, it would likely be a different story.

So the question is: how would someone in your target audience try to find information such as you have to offer and have you constructed your site with enough appropriate <EM>hooks</EM> to let these fishers of information catch you?

Jim Perry

>OK. So I know nothing about getting in the search engines.
>I add my URL to all of them. Never see it listed.
>I have done altavista,,, nbci, lycos, hotbot etc
>This is crazy. Do they ever list anyone? Or do they have enough already? I don't have $200 for looksmart and get stuck on page 6 or higher.
>What is the average number of pages someone will look at when they do a search? Anyone know? I look at two or three pages. I told the people at looksmart that I would pay if I was listed in the first three pages. Someone named Karen wrote back that they don't guarantee where it will be listed. I guess they only guarantee to take your money.
>If the internet is for information why do I have to pay someone just to get listed? Do they have insiders helping them? Am I the only one who is disgusted?

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