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Those Search Engine Blues

By Bill Daugherty
Posted Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A Webmaster's life isn't easy. Everyday seems to bring a new challenge, a new problem to solve or some struggle that makes you want to pull your hair out. But, nothing can be as frustrating as trying to get a decent ranking on one of the major search engines. Those search engine blues can be hard to shake.

You submit your site, then wait weeks for the search engine "gods" to render their decision. More likely than not, their decision is to either not list your site at all or to give it a ranking so low that a surfer needs deep diving equipment to find you. It's enough to sent you running for a giant size bottle of Prozac.

Your first reaction will probably be to throw your hands up and say the heck with those search engines, who needs them?

Don't make this mistake. We all need our sites listed on search engines. More visitors can be gained through search engines than all other marketing venues put together. Nobody can ignore this vast source of potential customers.

So what can a poor beleaguered Webmaster do?

Most of us turn to the search engine gurus at this point. We follow their advice on how to make our web sites search engine ready. We insert META tags into our site code. We struggle to add just the right description and keywords so the major engines will find us worthy of a high listing. When all the i's have been dotted and all the t's crossed, we submit again and wait.

Five or six weeks later we discover that once again, the "big boys" have found our site lacking in some way or another. It's back to the drawing board. We read somewhere - to get approved for a decent listing we need to build some "gateway pages." This only takes a few days to a few weeks to figure out and accomplish, but then, at last it's done and we submit once again.

And once again, five or six weeks later, we find that we still can't be found on any of the major engines we have submitted and resubmitted to and we feel totally defeated. Now what?

You have three options at that point.

Number one - You can keep on trying. Who knows, maybe eventually you will get it right. Stranger things have been known to happen.

Number two - You can hire a search engine specialist. They do exist and I have heard that some of them are very, very good. These high priest of the search engine world can get you a nice high ranking and keep you there. I have also heard that their fees are very, very high. Of course, it may be worth the money.

Number three - You can turn to the pay-per-click type of search engine.

The frustration of trying to get a decent ranking on the traditional engines has given rise to a new breed called the pay-per-click. It only takes a few minutes to get listed on these guys. You open an account, make a deposit of from $10 to $25.00 ($50.00 is now the required amount on GoTo.com) and then you list your keywords.

Your ranking under each keyword is determined by how much you are willing to bid on each listing (bids can be as low as 1 cent on most of these sites, 5 cents on GoTo.com).

The great part is you only pay for results. Plus, all of the pay-per-clicks I have seen, have a members area where you can log in and check on the amount of traffic each keyword is delivering to your site. If any of your keywords are not producing, just change it to what you think will be a better choice.

As you can see the pay-per-clicks do cost a little money, but it is money spent on results, not on speculation. Here are the URLs of a few you should check out if you are thinking about exploring this avenue.

(http://www.GoTo.com)
(http://PowerSearchExpress.com) (http://www.SearchFeed.com) (http://SearchHound.com)

Regardless of what you decide to do about your quest for a high listing on search engines and to rid your life of those search engine blues, don't ignore them. They are too important to keep out of your marketing mix. If your decision is to keep on banging your head against the "big boys," God love you, I admire tenacity. I just don't have the time for it. But, let me know how you do.

About the Author
Bill Daugherty is the editor of the Web marketing ezine, "E-Power Marketing." You can subscribe at: (http://www.freeadsgalore.com) Visit Bill's latest project at: (http://www.instantez.com) Contact Bill at: mailto:epower@www.com