Search engines overview
It's getting more and more difficult to keep up with how search engines work and interact, we've outlined below the information in a brief guide to what we believe to be correct as of 2013 and will be updating the details as and when we find things have changed. For up to the minute information, please look at specialist sites like Webmaster World.
Google is undoubtedly the top dog of search engines and a decent listing here is without doubt, at the time of writing, one of the keys to the success of a site. Listings in Google are free, although you can pay for AdWords to get immediate traffic. Google will usually may take some timeto get your site listed, and it appears the best way to do so is through the Google bot (spider) picking up on your link from another site, spidering (indexing) your site content and adding it to their database. You can add your URL here to Google but as it's important to get links in it's advisable to add your site to dmoz and even our own store listing. We recommend avoiding link farms and be wary of companies guaranteeing instant search engine success.
Google appears to rate sites on a number of aspects, one of the important ones being the "quality" of in-bound links eg. a link from Microsoft.com being far more interesting than one from your neighbor (unless you live next to Bill Gates). Your importance in Google is measured in part by "page rank" - to find out an estimation of the page rank of a site you'll need to download Google's tool bar. Here is a very general and unordered list of what Google is believed to look for on your page:
- Quality incoming links (preferably using your keywords in the text)
- Keywords in the title
- Keywords in the meta description
- Keywords in the main body of text
- Keywords in the ALT information
- Keywords in the URL
- Descriptive text links within the site
- Internal Link Structure
- Text in <H1> tags
- Social media links and shares
It's important not to overdo things, avoid trying to trick Google, study high ranking competitor sites without ripping them off, add lots of unique content and above all have patience.
You can get into Google immediately through their adword program, rather than trying to explain it here, you're best getting the information from the horse's mouth. The great thing about adwords is that they will get your site advertised on Google immediately, you can also pay for keywords that your site is not showing up on, but keep a close eye on what they are costing you.
At the time of writing the cost of inclusion is $299 - this should get you into the yahoo directory, and in turn a link for Google to pick up on - all in all, possibly worth it for an ecommerce site but not as important as it was in the past.
To add your site to Yahoo, find the category that best suits your needs and click on the "Suggest a Site" link at the bottom of the page - make sure you read Yahoo's guidelines before submitting.
Other search engines and directories
Here's a list of other places to submit your site, some are free and some are paid inclusions - it's also worth doing a search to find directories of sites that are industry related or regional, but again avoid using free for all link farms - you are likely to get more spam than trade, and may even be penalised by the major players.
Please let us know if you find any broken links or price changes. We try to keep our information updated regularly and of course appreciate any feedback.