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6. Submit Your Pages

If you have the Promotion Artist software, this section will be a piece of cake. It does all the hard work for you, but it leaves you in total control.

Go to: Deep | Standard


Submitting To The Deep Search Engines

In theory, all you need to do is submit the URL of your home page to each deep engine to invite the robots to visit, and the rest of your site will be crawled automatically. However, it doesn't always work this smoothly in practice. You should aim to submit the URL of every page on your site to force the robot to visit.

If you're with a large hosting service like Geocities or Tripod there's a nice trick that involves sneaking around in the middle of the night. Read all about it.

There are a few pitfalls to be avoided when you're submitting your deep engine listings...

Wait Until You're Ready

I'll say it again...

Before you submit your URL to the deep engines, make sure your <TITLE>s and META tags are all in order. Ideally, your page should be letter perfect before you even consider uploading it in the first place because once the robot has visited, that's how your page will appear in the database until it visits again, which can be a good three months later. This is your final warning.

Submission Limits

If you have a large site with more than, say, 200 pages, be aware that some deep engines only accept a limited number of submissions for any one domain.

Alta Vista will only accept ten URLs per domain, per day, and it will only accept a finite total number of pages per domain. I recently chatted with a poor lady who had bombarded Alta Vista, over a number of months, with a lot of submissions. She was distraught because she could no longer submit her pages. Alta Vista was saying "No More". Avoiding this situation is the easiest solution, of course, but if you do find yourself in this position and you want to submit more important, or more powerful pages, you should remove the listed pages from your server and resubmit the URLs of the now non-existent pages to make space for your newer pages.

Infoseek is a bit more vindictive. If you submit more than 50 pages in a 24 hour period, all the pages on your whole domain will be removed.

No CGI

Pages that are generated "on the fly" by server side programs are ignored by robots and not indexed. Most shopping cart systems fall into this category. If the URLs of your pages have question marks in them, then these pages are basically banned.

See further info.

No Frames

A couple of the deep engines are claiming that they follow links within framed sites, but there's still no evidence to support this. Even if they do, the fact remains that if your whole site is in frames then you can only get to it with one URL which means you can only have one listing on a search engine.

You could get around this by listing the URLs of your framed pages, but then you'd have to be prepared for people to arrive at your site via a full-screen page which should be framed, which kind of defeats the object of having frames in the first place.

If you really must use frames, make good use of the <NOFRAMES> tag on your index page, so you'll at least have one decent listing.

Monitor Your Own Listings

Deep search engine listings are like rivers, always on the move. Strange things happen, like listings disappearing for no apparent reason. Others submit stronger pages, and yours get pushed down the list. You need to keep a constant watch on your listings if you want them to stay at the top of the list, some people spend up to 30 hours a week watching their listings, but you'll be pleased to hear that there is an easier way.

Web Position Gold will automatically keep an eye on your listings for you and alert you when anything needs a "prod". It'll even suggest a course of action depending on the type of page and which search engine is involved.

Conclusion

  • Finish designing your site and preparing your pages for relevancy before you submit the URLs.
  • Submit no more than ten URLs per search engine, per day.
  • If you have a large site, start with your most important or most powerful pages, keyword-wise, so that when you hit your limit you'll have your best listings.
  • Don't bother submitting pages generated "on the fly".
  • Avoid frames if possible.
  • Use the Web Position Gold to monitor your listings.


Submitting To The Standard Directories

If you're planning on submitting to the Standard Directories by hand, despite my protests, then you've got a long, hard job ahead of you. Each Standard Directory has its own unique submission form which is usually very in-depth, since the staff need plenty of information from you in order to index your site (remember, no robots). You'll also need to spend countless hours surfing around each site to find the correct category to place your listing in.

Oh well, if you really are hell-bent on it I suppose I'd better give you a bit of guidance...

Basic Form-Filling

Most of the details will be straightforward, like your email address and URL. The ones to take care over are the 'Title' and 'Comments' sections. The title is the most important part because that's what will catch the user's eye. Try to include keywords if possible, but the human appeal is more important since many users will browse the categories as opposed to performing a keyword search. In the 'Comments' box, put your short description first, followed by your list of keywords if you're allowed to.

If you have pictures or photographs on your page, say so. The words 'lots of photos' will immediately give you an edge over most of the other pages on the list. The word 'FREE' always catches the eye too.

Don't Use Repetition

Don't waste words on the standard engines by repeating them more than once. It won't gain you any advantage at all.

Choosing A Category

All things being equal, categories which are a) low down the hierarchy (ie. /hotels/vicarage rather than regional/lodgings/london/hotels/vicarage) and b) low alphabetically will come up first. It's best to find a few relevant categories and then eliminate the ones on your list which have long addresses and/or have a high first letter.

I'm Not Telling You Any More

I'm bored of writing about submitting to Standard Directories by hand. You shouldn't be doing it, you should be using software.


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