Q. What is the most effective way to get my site listed in Google?
A. Use Google's Webmaster Central to post an XML feed so Google can quickly and efficiently index your website. If you don't want to go through that route, another option is to gain links with sites that are already indexed by Google. The theory is, while Googlebot is crawling the web, by following the link to your site, it will start to index your site. Another option would be to do a Yahoo! submit. Since Yahoo! and Google have a close relationship, Google automatically spiders sites accepted into Yahoo!. However, there is a drawback as the Yahoo! directory results are not pulled if you do a search in Yahoo!. Instead, Google produces the search results. If you can afford the $299.00 annual submission fee, your site will get instantly spidered and you will receive a boost in Google's PageRank system.
Q. How often does Google update its index?
A. Google updates their index hourly, which is why you are able to search on breaking news stories. However, only sites which Google deems as "most important" are included in these hourly updates. The rest of the sites are updated every few days or weeks.
Q. How often can I submit my site to the search engines? Weekly, daily, hourly? Are the consequences if you submit too often? Does how often you submit have any influence on how high you rank in the search engine results list?
A. Direct submission to the crawler-based search engines is not overly effective. Instead, search engines constantly crawl the Internet and follow links to understand which pages are most essential for them to include. There are no longer any particular submission "limits" to be concerned with. In fact, Google has stated you can submit 5,000 pages per day and you would not send up any red flags in their system. Just submitting your pages or the same page each week, day or hour is going to do little to ensure that the pages get included or that it will rank well.
Q. What search engine is most important?
A. Google. They are the Goliath of search engines right now. Some estimates place Google's market reach at 78%.
Q. What is the best way to format my Keyword Meta Tag? With commas or without?
A. Ah, the Keyword Meta Tag. Webmasters still hold onto this tag as if it were gold, when it is nothing but sand. While Yahoo! and MSN still read the Keyword Meta Tag, it has greatly decreased in significance. What about Meta Tags for Google? There are not specific Meta Tags for Google as you might have heard, but there are some that you will want to review. I first reported of the demise of the Keyword Meta Tag back in June 2000. You can use it without penalty, but if it is not beneficial, why use it? Build pages with quality content instead, each page focusing on a targeted keyword.
Q. Do search engines care if more content is on the homepage versus the rest of the site? For instance, in Google, would a site with 10-pages of text on the homepage (3,000 words) rank higher than a site with 300 words on the homepage and 9 pages with 300 words each?
A. According to Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch, crawler-based search engines rank pages on a page-by-page basis, not on a "site" basis. In other words, they don't try to figure out how many pages of content you have on different topics, then perhaps reward a site with lots of content on a particular topic or "theme." Instead, each of your pages will standalone on the page's particular merits. Having said this, if your site had 10 pages that were content rich versus 1 content rich home page and 9 "text-light" pages, I'd expect you to do better with the ten content rich page. That's not because they'd work together as a team but rather because individually, the content rich pages each have a better chance of doing well than "text-light" ones.
Q. Our competitors have submitted our site to an Internet porn ring in an attempt to get us thrown out of the search engines. Is there anything we can do?
A. In general, you won't get penalized for people linking to you. That's outside your control. As long as you aren't linking back into the porn network, that ought to be enough to isolate you from any damage. If penalties are actually given for links from "link farms", porn rings and Spam generators, then all the anti-Microsoft folks would be setting up these types of sites to hurt Microsoft's business. Microsoft's business hasn't been hurt by these types of people, and neither will yours. Just don't link back, that is why "link farms" are frowned upon because your site links BACK to them.
Q: Is the Meta Abstract tag worthwhile to use and what exactly does it do?
A: Basically it is a shorter version of the Meta Description and it is mostly used with academnic papers. Personally, I have never seen this tag benefit a site in the search engines.
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