Search Engine Optimization
Make sure search engines can find your website!
There are around 10 search engines that matter. Their names are household names like Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc. You want to get listed with them, because they take 98.5% of the web searches.
Why is linking important? Most search engines today work as “spiders”, crawling links on the internet. In other words, they read web pages, looking for links to other web pages. The more links they find to a web page the more important that page must be. There is often no need to submit your site to them if other people link to your site, because the spiders will follow them to you. If you don’t have other folks linking to your site, then submitting to the major search engines is still a good way to get the spiders started. There are two types of links. Inbound and outbound. Inbound links are from another site to you, and act like ‘votes’ for your site. Outbound links are from you to someone else, and act like votes for someone else – you don’t feel any benefit from it. If you have too many outbound links it might even negatively affect your ranking. So what you really want is for hundreds of people to voluntarily link to you. Depending on who you are and what your site contains, that probably won’t happen, so you’re going to have to arrange to make it happen!
Many people will be prepared to exchange links – they link to you in exchange for a link back. This is a good way to get your sites name out there, but ultimately you want one way links to you.
Is content really that important? The spider then reads the page, looking for keywords. You’ve probably heard a lot about putting keywords into your meta tags to get search engines to list you. You don’t need meta-tags to get listed with the main search engines. You need content on your page. If you do use meta-tags then you need to make sure they really match your content – otherwise search engines might get the idea that you’re trying to cheat.
The best way to get people to link to your site is to provide useful content. Articles for instance, like the one you’re reading now! Chances are you got to this site either through one of the 209,000 links to HTML Goodies (at the time of writing), or through a search engine which followed those links.