Best practices in search engine optimisation

An important part of ensuring your visibility on the web is your ranking in the search engines of which the three most important are Google, Yahoo and Bing (the Microsoft search engine). Yahoo is actually powered by Bing so if you are registered with the latter, you will also be registered with the former.
In our course presentations we have discussed how you can make your webpage or blog ‘search engine friendly’ but we have not discussed how you submit your pages to the search engines. We address that issue here.
Remember when you are searching for your webpages people may search on your business name, your website URL or keywords. You need to monitor where you are with all of these.

Which search engines are important to me?

A good place to start is with StatCounter Global Statistics. Go to the URL http://gs.statcounter.com and explore the options. Figures 1 & 2 (opposite) shows the top five search engines worldwide and in Australia. You will see how far ahead Google is compared to the others. This is one reason that having a Google account and being visible on Google is so important.

How and what to submit to the search engines

There are two ways to submit your site to the search engines: you can do it manually or use one or other of the applications that register you with all the major search engines. Of course, you can always pay someone else to do it but it really is not that difficult.
Most experts recommend you submit your site manually to each search engine as, increasingly, the search engines treat automatic registrations as spam and ignore them.
And remember, while Google is far ahead of all others when it comes to search tools, other sites such as Yahoo and Bing are still widely used. And remember, you submit a URL or domain name to the search engines, the heading, text and keywords you add are looked at by the search engine ‘spiders’ that index your site. It can take anywhere from two to four weeks to get indexed. Sometimes your page will not get indexed after you submit it, if that occurs, wait four weeks and then resubmit the page again.
If you are unhappy with your web page’s ranking results, take a look at what your competition is doing. Make sure you are following the basic rules of search engine optimization. Make changes to the page and resubmit it to the search engines. You can submit your pages a maximum of two times per month until you are listed in the major search engines’ results.

Submitting your site to Google

Submitting your site to Google is easy. After you have logged into your Google account simply go the Webmaster Tools page at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url?continue=/addurl to add your URL. Your screen should appear similar to that shown in Figure 3.
Once you have submitted your URL you will need to fill in a line of text from the Captcha program to prove you are not a robot and Google will do the rest.

Submitting your site to Bing

Bing allows you to submit your URL, just like Google and Yahoo! Go to Bing’s site submission page (http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url) shown in Figure 4, type in the URL of your homepage (this is different than Google and Yahoo!). MSNBot will follow the links from your homepage to all of the pages on your site. Bing also requires you to identify yourself as a person, not an automated program, by typing the characters that you see in the picture.
Submitting your site to Yahoo
Once you have submitted your site to Bing, you will also show up in the Yahoo search results. If you are a commercial site, however, you may want to pay for listing in the Yahoo Directory (Figure 5). The cost is $US299 for each directory listing that you submit. Yahoo! guarantees that your submission will be reviewed within seven business days. If your listing is accepted, the annual fee will reoccur in subsequent years.
Whether or not you are active in submitting your site to the search engines, they will find you eventually and provided you continue to have new content, you should remain high in their search results – or rather, if you fail to add new content, you may find yourself dropping in the ranking. This is where blogs can be especially helpful to you.

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One Response to “Best practices in search engine optimisation”

  • Joy R says:

    Great article. People often underestimate Bing, but as an SEO, I’ve seen some pretty good gains come from spending some time focused on Bing related search results…especially when it comes to local SEO for small businesses. 3-5 hits every week can add up over time, especially when it’s qualified traffic.

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