June 14, 2006Volume 5 Number 22 Issue 109     
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Secrets of Winning Traffic through Search Engines

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My daughter's wedding is fast approaching and I'm besieged with honey-do assignments. So much so that I couldn't get the newsletter out until this afternoon. Two, uh no THREE more weeks and life returns to normal, I think *8>) I hope that you enjoy today's article.

Secrets of Winning Traffic through Search Engines

In this article we will discuss how search engines work and how to use them to your advantage.

It doesn't matter how great your web site, if no one sees it,you're not going to make a penny. You can spend days producing the perfect design, weeks tweaking the copy, and months writing the code and uploading the pages, but if no one knows where you are, how are they going to know they should buy from you?

When I first started selling on the Web, the first major problem I ran into was bringing customers to my door. I put banner ads on other sites, organized reciprocal links and joined Web rings. Those methods all worked to some extent, but what really did it for me, what turned my business from a small earner into a major money-grabber, was figuring out how to use search engines.

Sure, I'd submitted my sites to the major search engines as soon as I'd finished building them, but I didn't really pay them much attention. After all, I figured search engines are just for people who are looking for information; they're not really good for commercial sites.

Boy, was I wrong!

One day, I sat down and checked out which sites were popping up first in the categories that suited my businesses. I found that all the top-ranked sites were my biggest competitors. And when I say biggest, I mean these guys were in a whole other league. They had incomes that were ten or twenty times the size of mine—no wonder they had top billing at Yahoo! and Google! And then it clicked. Search engines don't list sites by size, they list them by relevance. These sites weren't listed first because they were big; they were big because they were listed first!

That was when I began to ‘optimize’ my pages and think about meta-tags and keywords. As my sites rose through the listings, my traffic went through the roof. And not just any old traffic! The people that came to my sites from search engines hadn't just clicked on a banner by accident or followed a link from curiosity, they'd actually been looking for a site like mine. My sales ratio went up like a rocket. I'd created my own big break.

In this newsletter, we are going to discuss all proven strategies of Search Engine Optimization. We would discus how to optimize your site, submit your pages and pick up the targeted traffic you need to make cash. This newsletter is probably the most important one that I have written this year. It’s crucial that you read it carefully.

Let’s start with search engines.

How Search Engines work

Internet search engines are special sites on the Web that are designed to help people find information stored on other sites. There are differences in the ways various search engines work, but they all perform three basic tasks:

  • They search the Internet -- or select pieces of the Internet -- based on important words.

  • They keep an index of the words they find, and where they find them.
  • They allow users to look for words or combinations of words found in that index.

Early search engines held an index of a few hundred thousand pages and documents, and received maybe one or two thousand inquiries each day. Today, a top search engine will index hundreds of millions of pages, and respond to tens of millions of queries per day.

Spidering

Before a search engine can tell you where a file or document is, it must be found. To find information on the hundreds of millions of Web pages that exist, a search engine employs special software robots, called spiders, to build lists of the words found on Web sites.

When a spider is building its lists, the process is called Web crawling.

In order to build and maintain a useful list of words, a search engine's spiders have to look at a lot of pages. How does any spider start its travels over the Web? The usual starting points are lists of heavily used servers and very popular pages. The spider will begin with a popular site, indexing the words on its pages and following every link found within the site. In this way, the spidering system quickly begins to travel, spreading out across the most widely used portions of the Web.

Indexing

Once the spiders have completed the task of finding information on Web pages, the search engine must store the information in a way that makes it useful. There are two key components involved in making the gathered data accessible to users:

  • The information stored with the data
  • The method by which the information is indexed

In the simplest case, a search engine could just store the word and the URL where it was found. In reality, this would make for an engine of limited use, since there would be no way of telling whether the word was used in an important or a trivial way on the page, whether the word was used once or many times or whether the page contained links to other pages containing the word. In other words, there would be no way of building the ranking list that tries to present the most useful pages at the top of the list of search results.

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To make for more useful results, most search engines store more than just the word and URL. An engine might store the number of times that the word appears on a page. The engine might assign a weight to each entry, with increasing values assigned to words as they appear near the top of the document, in sub-headings, in links, in the meta tags or in the title of the page. Each commercial search engine has a different formula for assigning weight to the words in its index. This is one of the reasons that a search for the same word on different search engines will produce different lists, with the pages presented in different orders.

An index has a single purpose: It allows information to be found as quickly as possible. There are quite a few ways for an index to be built, but one of the most effective ways is to build a hash table. In hashing, a formula is applied to attach a numerical value to each word. The formula is designed to evenly distribute the entries across a predetermined number of divisions. This numerical distribution is different from the distribution of words across the alphabet, and that is the key to a hash table's effectiveness. The search engine software or program is the final part. When a person requests a search on a keyword or phrase, the search engine software searches the index for relevant information. The software then provides a report back to the searcher with the most relevant web pages listed first.

Is Your web site search engine friendly? If you have any doubts, it may be time to take a look and make your own “big break”.

Until next time…

warmly,



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