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A Few Good Search Engine Tricks

A Few Good Search Engine Tricks

Teacher: Mike Banks Valentine

Gaining top search positions for your chosen search words and phrases has become more and more competitive, as search engine optimization firms use new, more effective techniques to place their large clients.

Small businesses need every possible advantage to gain visibility on search engines.

This is becoming more costly as new paid-inclusion programs are launched by each of the major search engines.

To rank well on any search engine, it's critical to use the basic techniques of appropriate content and page architecture to provide search spiders with indexing and ranking scorecards.

We all know by now that meta tags are important.

Most of us know that using keywords liberally in body text and creating descriptive hypertext links within body copy is helpful.

Most of us know that using keywords in text-based page navigation links increases ranking and improves your score at major search engines.

For a concise overview of this information for new webmasters, visit WebSite101.

But suppose you are doing all of the important items and still need that extra edge required to gain visibility in the engines. Here are a few techniques to help tip the scales in your favor.

Gain link listings from large, targeted high-traffic sites that are complementary to your business. Sometimes a listing in this type of directory is well worth the cost of entry.

One such directory is the small-business section of Business.com. A fee of $199 (U.S.) will gain your company dramatic link relevancy increases in Google and its search partners.

Specialists should consider sites appropriate to their professional categories. For example, try getting a free link in your subject category at About.com.

Consider programs such as the new PartnerSite program at Fast. It offers a site search function that allows your site visitors to search only your Web site, and its spider crawls your Web site twice a month to index new information and ensure fresh listings.

This two-in-one program costs $149 a year. Fast also partners with the Lycos network and provides search results for several international engines as well.

Subscribe to the well-known and extremely useful Submit Director service. It provides instant ranking algorithms so you can see your Web site precisely the way the search engines do.

This valuable tool provides multiple charts, graphs and page analyses to allow you to craft and tweak to your heart's content. A one-year subscription gives you an edge few small-business webmasters are even aware of. Professional search engine optimizers heavily use this program. It costs $149 for fewer than 50 pages and $189 for up to 100 pages.

Try software. FirstPlace Software has introduced Web Position Gold, the latest version of its submission and reporting tool.

This excellent software is timesaving and instructive. Consider purchasing or upgrading now to gain an edge on the late adopters. The software costs $149.

Keep your eyes peeled for new search developments, such as the WiseNut.com search engine. WiseNut has leaped out of the starting gate with the bold claim that it outperforms and indexes more of the Web than current leader Google. We'll see how that claim holds up as the competition.

Searching for the best option within your limited Web promotion budget will certainly lead to some of these choices over others. But with everyone beginning to charge for submission, listing and ranking, you had better make some choices and get moving if you want to be visible to the search engines.

And it's imperative if you find your site ranked below No. 30 at any of the major search engines.

About the teacher:
Mr. Valentine is the founder of WebSite101, an educational resource for small businesses creating initial Web presences.

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