The Search Light Newsletter
The Search Light Newsletter
  Guiding your site to the top of the search engines | 14 Feb 2005 - Vol 5 Issue #1  

In this issue...

How to Submit Your Site to Search Engines

FAQ1: Dreamweaver

FAQ2: META Keywords Tag Dead?

Exclusive Discount Offer for SEC

FAQ3: Stolen META Tags

How to Submit Your Site to Search Engines
By Kalena Jordan

Before You Begin
Before you can start to submit your site to search engines, you need to make sure it is ready for indexing. Use the following checklist to be absolutely sure your site is submission-ready:

~ Are all pages complete? (No "under construction" pages)
~ Are all links valid? (No broken or dead links)
~ Are all pages optimized?
~ Are all pages search engine compatible?
~ Have you used Robots.txt or Robots META Tag to prevent pages you want hidden (e.g. shopping cart) from being indexed?
~ If your site is an e-commerce site, is your ordering process or shopping cart functional and tested for bugs?
~ Are you prepared to handle a sudden influx of traffic and/or sales?
~ Have you tested your site for usability?
Submission Data
To make your job of submitting easier, you also need to prepare a text file or spreadsheet listing the following:
1. Your site's main URL
2. The URLs for other pages on your site that you will be submitting
3. Your site's Title (the name of your site you want listed in engines. This is usually your company name e.g. Atlanta City Tours or Acme Widgets)
4. A short description of your page/site content (10-20 words)
5. A long description of your page/site content (30-50 words)
6. A list of target keywords for your page/site
7. Name of submitter
8. Email address of submitter (we suggest using a real account you check regularly, but one where you have strict controls over incoming spam email - you will receive some spam as a result of your submissions!)
9. Address and contact details of your company (some directories ask for this)
It is particularly important to keep track of the email address you use when submitting your site, because some directories, like Yahoo for example, require you to cite this address if you want to make changes to your listing later on.
I like to use a text file created in Notepad for the above, but some people prefer to use a Word doc or a spreadsheet. It's up to you. Remember to utilize your target search keywords as much as possible when creating your site descriptions. Or you can use parts of your optimized Title and META tags, as long as you don't go overboard stuffing keywords and making your site description spam-like.
The site submission information I might prepare for a fictional Miami florist would look something like this:
1. (fictional URL for demonstration purposes only)
2., etc
3. Funky Florists of Miami
4. Florists in Miami, Florida creating wedding bouquets, floral arrangements, tributes and displays for gifts and special occasions. Online ordering available.
5. Funky Florists Miami create beautiful wedding bouquets, floral arrangements, tributes and displays for all occasions, including weddings, Valentines Day, parties and corporate events. We arrange florist deliveries throughout Miami and right across Florida. We are one of very few florists in Florida to offer a personal floral service, delivered anywhere, anytime.
6. Florists Miami, florists Florida, wedding bouquets, wedding flowers, wedding roses, Valentine's Day roses, sympathy gifts, Mother's Day gifts, funeral wreaths, flower deliveries, floral arrangements, birthday gifts, wedding decorations.
7. Kalena Jordan
9. 12 Fictional Street Fictional Town, Miami FL USA Phone: (00) 555 55555
You should also create a spreadsheet or Word doc listing all the search engines you plan to submit your site to, their URLs, a comments field (for chosen categories etc) and a date column. Then as you submit to each site, you can check it off on your list, writing down the date submitted.
You could even create another date column for when your site appears in the search engine so you can gauge how long the submission took to become active. It's important that you keep track of this information so that you don't accidentally resubmit to a search engine or directory that you've already covered. If you are submitting to a search engine using a paid submission option, always make note of your receipt number in case you need to follow up.

Next month we take a look at how to submit to directories, including Yahoo! and the Open Directory.
The above article may be re-published as long as the content remains unchanged and the following paragraph is included at the end of the article, including the URL link:
As well as running her own SEO business, Kalena Jordan manages and tutors at Search Engine College, an online training institution offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable self-study courses in Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing subjects.

   Greetings Readers!

Hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year! We've had an unusually busy year so far and it feels like this is the first week I've had time to stop and draw breath. Every time I scheduled a free day to publish this newsletter, something cropped up that demanded my attention. Don't ya hate that?
The search industry has kicked off a busy year too, it seems. What do you think of the brand spanking new MSN search? I must admit I'm pretty impressed so far. I'm also enjoying playing with Google Local Search. As each new feature rolls out and the industry comes of age, it seems I'm still excited by search, even after nearly 9 years in the business. And it seems that the media is pretty excited these days too, judging by the number of interviews I've done this year for articles and cover stories on the search industry. Maybe this is the year I'll be so famous that Google will make an enormous offer to buy my company *sigh*. A girl can dream can't she?
Speaking of famous, I've been star spotting in Bellingen this week - Russell, Nicole and Geoffrey (yes of course I mean Crowe, Kidman and Rush!) were all here in town with a huge entourage of important looking people carrying clipboards and glued to cell phones, ready to start shooting their new movie "Eucalyptus". Until Russ pulled the plug that is. It seems the script isn't ready. Or Russ didn't like the way he was handed his coffee. Or something. No matter, the hype was fun while it lasted and I'll be glad not to hear Russ' helicopter taking off and landing every 5 minutes.
That's it from me for another month. Got a burning question about search engine marketing or site promotion in general? I want to hear from you. Email me via the link at the bottom of this newsletter and I'll try to post your question and my answer in our next issue.

Enjoy this issue and remember to visit Search Engine College to check out our fun online courses in various search engine marketing subjects. Our first tutor-led courses for the year will be commencing soon so don't forget to register early and secure your place!
Till next time - wishing you high rankings...

  • FAQ1: Dreamweaver
  •   Dear Kalena
    My focus is on SEO and SEM but I want to be able to create professional and search engine friendly sites. One of the expenses I'm considering is a site creation tool like Dreamweaver. I wanted to get your opinion or recommendation if it's not too much trouble.
    thanks Aaron

    Hi Aaron
    Regarding Dreamweaver - I have not used it but I have many colleagues that do. From what I understand, it is the best choice if you are going to build graphical web sites or sites using Flash. For the record, these type of sites are generally not search engine friendly, because search engines require text-based information and can't read Flash or graphics. But if you made sure the site included plenty of body text, you should be on the right track.
    I can also highly recommend Microsoft FrontPage. I've been using it successfully for 7 years and it is very simple for beginners to use, particularly if you buy a companion instruction manual such as "FrontPage for Dummies". Hope this helps!

  • FAQ2: META Keywords Tag Dead?
  •   Hello Kalena
    A colleague of mine insists we don't need to use a META Keywords tag in our site code anymore because all search engines ignore it. I had thought it was still important to include. Who is right?

    Hi "Confused"
    Technically, you're both incorrect. While not utilized by search engines to the extent it used to be, the META Keywords Tag is still indexed by a couple of search engines and so is worth including within a site's HTML code if only to provide those search engines with as much information as possible about site content so they can index it correctly. But it is certainly not an important tag and you can safely exclude it from your code without concern.
    You'll find which engines still support the META Keywords Tag here.

  • Exclusive Discount Offer for SEC
  •   As a valued subscriber of The Search Light, we are pleased to provide you with an exclusive discount coupon for redemption towards the course/s of your choice at Search Engine College.
    The coupon will give you a 15% discount on your next purchase at Search Engine College and is valid until 31st March 2005.
    CLICK HERE to receive your coupon!

  • FAQ3: Stolen META Tags
  •   Dear Kalena
    My company is in competition with a larger firm and that firm recently copied our entire META tags, including our brand name, and put it in their site code. Is this illegal? What can we do to stop them?

    Hi Chantelle
    What you've described falls under a relatively new area of the law. What your competitor is doing may or may not be deemed "illegal", depending, amongst other things, on whether the content of your META Tags contains registered trademarks.
    Even if it does and you decide to sue for copyright or trademark infringement, your competitor may still win the case, depending on whether they can prove they have a right to use those terms or that they weren't being used in a deliberately deceptive manner.
    More information on U.S. based META Tag lawsuits and their outcomes can be found here.
    I would urge you to seek legal advice on this issue and in the meantime, perhaps have your lawyer send your competitor a "cease and desist" letter explaining your objection to their use of your copied code and brand name. Best of luck!

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