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Seo India >> SEO Articles >> Seo india: May 2008

Search Engine Optimization

Submitting Your Web Site

The best strategy is to ignore search engine submission completely. Search Engines have what are called spiders, that will crawl the web, following links. The best option is to submit your site to as many free directories as you can. This will ensure that your site eventually gets crawled in a timely fashion.

Be wary of sites that claim to submit your site to "300+ search engines and directories" for free, or $99.99. Whatever the case, these sites are usually automated submission scripts which boast high rankings and gold at the end of the rainbow. I assure you, they do not deliver, and you're out the money. The problem is that it's an automated process (non-organic). The fact is that these directories and search engines change their submission procedures quite regularly, and in reality, it's impossible to keep an automated submission script up to date with thousands of sites. Plus, as we described above, submitting to search engines is a waste of time, since they will eventually crawl your site if you have good inbound links.

Webmasters and search engines

By 1997 search engines recognized that some webmasters were making efforts to rank well in their search engines, and even manipulating the page rankings in search results. Early search engines, such as Infoseek, adjusted their algorithms to prevent webmasters from manipulating rankings by stuffing pages with excessive or irrelevant keywords.

Due to the high marketing value of targeted search results, there is potential for an adversarial relationship between search engines and SEOs. In 2005, an annual conference, AIRWeb, Adversarial Information Retrieval on the Web, was created to discuss and minimize the damaging effects of aggressive web content providers.

SEO companies that employ overly aggressive techniques can get their client websites banned from the search results. In 2005, the Wall Street Journal profiled a company, Traffic Power, which allegedly used high-risk techniques and failed to disclose those risks to its clients. Wired magazine reported that the same company sued blogger Aaron Wall for writing about the ban. Google's Matt Cutts later confirmed that Google did in fact ban Traffic Power and some of its clients.

Some search engines have also reached out to the SEO industry, and are frequent sponsors and guests at SEO conferences, chats, and seminars. In fact, with the advent of paid inclusion, some search engines now have a vested interest in the health of the optimization community. Major search engines provide information and guidelines to help with site optimization. Google has a Sitemaps program to help webmasters learn if Google is having any problems indexing their website and also provides data on Google traffic to the website. Yahoo! Site Explorer provides a way for webmasters to submit URLs, determine how many pages are in the Yahoo! index and view link information.

Content Reviews

Do you regularly review your web content to make sure its correct and up to date? The public trusts U.S. Government websites to provide current and accurate information. Are you doing all you can to ensure that trust is well deserved?

One way to build trust with your visitors is to implement a website wide content review process. Yes, it takes time, but it is critical to your credibility. Visitors expect and deserve accurate information on your website, and regular reviews will help keep your content ship-shape!

Lay the groundwork for success
  • Ask each manager to designate a web coordinator for their office the person who will manage the content review for their office, and work with you to update content.
  • Assign an owner to every page on your site. The owner is usually the office that created the page, and they must be responsible for maintaining their content. Don't post it and forget it!
Conduct regular reviews
  • Develop a regular review schedule. so content reviews become a standard business practice at your agency.
  • Send your web coordinators a list of pages (URLs) before each review cycle, so they know exactly which pages they are responsible for reviewing.

Why Is Website Evaluation Important?

A website costs money. In most cases, government websites are paid for with tax dollars. The public trusts us to make sure their tax dollars are well spent. It's your job, as a government web manager, to make sure your website is written and designed well, that visitors can use it easily, that it's accurate, and that it's contributing to the achievement of your agency's mission. You need to evaluate and test your website routinely to make it more efficient, appropriate, and useful to your visitors.

The best way to improve the effectiveness of a Web site is to have data that indicates how it's performing. Many measures can be used to improve your website. Web managers no longer need to rely on conjecture, opinions, hunches, personal preferences, or other subjective information. Decisions can be based on data and research.