Getting Listed and Staying Listed

In today’s search engine environment, one must perform periodic daily, weekly and monthly maintenance to stay listed in the engines. This can become rather time consuming. But it can be made systematic with a little planning and some check lists.

First, for the uninitiated: You don’t want to submit a domain name more often than the various engines allow in their submission guidelines. If you do, this is considered spamming. There are penalties for spamming an engine, and many engines have now limited their “add a site” feature to accept only one domain name per day. If they suspect you are spamming them, the engines have been known to remove your domain name entirely from their database or simply ignore you.

Another no-no is to blindly resubmit your web site and/or URLs without first checking to see if you’re already in the database. It is very important to “search for your site,” to confirm it is NOT in the engine database before resubmitting. Submitting over an existing URL can be the kiss of death. You can lose favorable positions if you’re not careful.

Getting in the Right Category

“Category Selection” is an important part of getting listed in directories. Yahoo, the most important directory, currently offers more than 100,000 different categories, which gives us another reason to avoid automated or software submission services because category selection often takes human decision making. At Open Directory Project, you can go to the bottom of the category page and write to the editor of that category. This can be helpful in making sure you’ve selected the right category. Remember:

  • Random category selection is unacceptable.

  • You MUST verify you are in the proper category.

Getting the Right Description

Let’s take a look at another important criterion, your “Description.” Remember, all the engines and directories are different, one size does NOT fit all.

A 25-word description is a good place to start, but what if the engine or directory accepts only 15 words? When the registration process is done manually by a human being, the description can be adjusted to the best 5 to 15 words, and the technician can do what’s necessary to fit the search engine criteria. Take the time to write several size descriptions and include your best keywords in each description.

Procedures and Documentation for Submitting Manually

  • Create a text template in Word, Notepad, or WordPad with all your submission information.

  • Create a template for reporting and documentation.
  • Create a set of bookmarks in your browser that will take you to the specific “search page” of the top search engines and directories.
  • Create a set of bookmarks in your browser that will take you to the specific “add URL page” of the top search engines and directories.
  • Preschedule designated time intervals to verify and resubmit your web page(s). Stay on schedule and don’t skip or forget a prescheduled event.
  • Read each engine’s criteria and rules for adding URLs.
  • Create a separate “Submit Form” for each individual web page (URL) that you plan to verify.
  • Monitor, resubmit, and update.

Below is a handy checklist for performing the monitoring and resubmitting tasks. It breaks down each task, making it easy for you to perform this vital process each day, week, or month.

  1. Search for your web site in the database.

    • Search by “title” or “name” and/or “URL.”
  2. Verify whether your web site is in the database or if it’s not found.
    • Document your findings.
  3. If it’s NOT found, resubmit your web site.
    • Document your resubmission.

    • Document each engine response.

Weekly or Monthly Reporting

Perform weekly or monthly position reports on all your pages. This is best accomplished by using software designed to search multiple engines. Search for a match of your keyword and domain name, then create an HTML report listing the result positions on each engine.

There are two software manufacturers I’m comfortable recommending. TopDog is my favorite because it doesn’t require huge resources from my hard drive.

WebPosition is another great option. In my opinion, for reporting position, this is one of the best pieces of software on the market. Just be prepared to spend a significant amount of time with it. And do not use the submission feature – it will probably get you in trouble.

I use both pieces of software for reporting only. They are both excellent.

Summing Up

  • Get your primary domain name listed, and stay listed by performing periodic verifications.

  • Monitor, resubmit (if necessary), and update.
  • Resubmit only when your web site is NOT found in the engine database.
  • Find a good search engine traffic agency, or do it yourself.
  • Get position analyzer software, or hire a firm to provide you with periodic reports.

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