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Search Engine 2000 Checklist

By James T Kendall
Posted Thursday, July 1, 2004

Check your web site for search engine readiness with this quick overview
about what to do and what not to do for effective listing in the search
engines. This list in and off itself is not the true path to millions of
hits, but it can help you towards the goal of appropriate, effective search
engine listings.

- Keyword Phrases

Identify your most important keyword phrases and design your site around
them. In our experience keyword phrases are much more attainable than
individual keywords for a high search listing. In addition keyword phrases
are more descriptive than single keywords so they produce more targeted
traffic. For example "Handmade Furniture" is not only more descriptive than
"furniture" but is also easier to get the top spot in search results.

- Title Tags

The title tag should be the first thing after the head statement and should
say what you do, not who you are. In most search engines the title of your
document carries a lot of weight, in many they are the most important part
of your document. Think of it this way - how many times do you think
"Tamara's Terrific Teas" is searched for? A lot less than "organic tea", so
which should be in your title tag.

- Where to Be Listed

We believe that the most important place to be listed is in Yahoo! Pay very
close attention to the instructions and write a description with zero hype
if you are lucky, you might get listed. Next we suggest getting all your
pages listed in the Inktomi database that handles the spill over search
results for Yahoo! and also powers HotBot, Direct Hit, Canada, Anzwers, and
others. Finally we suggest getting all pages listed in The Open Directory
Project, AltaVista, Infoseek, Lycos, Excite, Northern Light in that order.

- Getting into Inktomi

We've noticed that it's easier to get listed in Inktomi if you submit your
pages to Canada or Anzwers then if you try to add them to HotBot itself.
If you get them into the Inktomi database they'll show up in HotBot searches
in around 7 days.

- Keep Good Records

Where is your site listed/not listed? When is the last time you submitted
to Yahoo? Where is the majority of your search engine traffic coming from?
These are questions you really should know the answer to. Refer logs help
here, if you don't have access to them get your hosting provider to set them
up for you. If they won't - change providers, they're that important.
- Check Out the Competition

Now, I'm not abdicating stealing another site's title, tags, etc. but you do
need to check out the sites at the top of the search engines for your chosen
keyword phrases. This can show you not only what they are doing right, but
can also give you insight into how the search engine works. Make sure you
check out the top 2 or 3, as examining only the first result can sometimes
be misleading.

- Make a "SiteMap" Page

One very simple idea is to include a page on your web site that has links to
every page on your site. This way you can submit this page to search
engines with good spiders to get all of your pages listed without having to
submit them all individually. As an added benefit some search engines like
Excite seem to favor lists of html links with descriptive titles.

- Use those Alt Tags

At least half of the large search engines index Alt tags, if you are not
effectively using them you're loosing ground to the competition. This does
not mean keyword stuffing though - give it a little thought and come up with
alt tags that are descriptive as well as effective. One new thing we've
been fooling around with is alt tags not only for pictures but also for

- Make use of Heading Tags

A few of the large search engines rank words inside of
highly. Our recommendation is to put your keyword phrase inside of a
heading tag near the top of your page. With a little work you can usually
work it out so that it is aesthetically pleasing and if not there is always
About the Author
James T Kendall gets TurboPromo's clients sites listed well in the search
engines - ( and develops sites for


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