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Search Engine Basics

By JC Anderl
Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Search engines and directories are one of the best ways to round up some targeted traffic to your website. Here are the basics of search engines and directories.

Search Engine Vs. Directories

The main difference between engines and directories is the way they index sites. Although search engines vary in the way they index, they all basically use a "spider" to crawl from link to link and index the meta-tags, keywords, and page words to get their relevancy when a user searches their index.

Directories, on the other hand, have actual people look at a site and decide if they will add it to their directory, and where they will add it.

Directory Submission

Submitting to directories involves a different process because it more closely involves people. Although definitely not the only ones, two very important directories are Yahoo! and Open Directory.

If your site is commercial in nature, Yahoo! charges $299 for a review that doesn't even guarantee that you will get listed. It is the single most important engine or directory, so if you have the money, it is definitely a great idea to submit.

To submit to Yahoo! go to ( Just fill out the form and they editors will take care of the rest.

The Open Directory is based on a large group of volunteer editors. It is free to submit your site. To submit, go to (, the web address for Open Directory, and find the category that your site would fit in. Take some time and look around, you want to be sure that the category that you pick is definitely the best one for your site. Once you have found the right category, click on the add URL link in the top right corner.

Search Engine Submission

Crawler based search engines compile their listings by automatically searching the web with spider programs. Google is the top search engine on the web. Submission is free at (

Google and other search engines are now paying special attention to link popularity. An effective linking strategy will help your ranking on Google. Another engine that has been around for a while is Altavista. To submit go to (


Despite a trend towards paid listings and reviews, search engines and directories are still one of the best sources for targeted traffic, and lots of it. Read up on the specifics of each of the important engines and directories and try your best to get listed in as many of them as you can.

Best of luck to you,

JC Anderl

Visit my site or email me if you have any questions about marketing or website promotion.

JC's website,, specializes in advice about Internet marketing and web site promotion. Free access to articles and ebooks, learn how to market your product or service online at

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