How Do I Get My Site Listed in Search Engines?
All of our custom and template websites are optimized for search engines. This is one of our specialties. We also normally submit our new websites to Google, Yahoo and Dmoz.org as a courtesy. All major web search directories base their listings on Dmoz. Many search engines base their results on Google and Yahoo too. However, it is a myth that you MUST submit your website to a search engine, let alone regularly re-submit. Search engines will normally find your site even if you don’t submit it, as long as there is a link to it from other site already indexed by the search engine. Submitting merely alerts the search engine to the presence of your site, so that it may schedule it for scanning at a later date. It may help the search engine to find your site more quickly (usually anywhere from a few days to a few weeks), but the act of submitting/resubmitting your site alone will never increase your rank in the search engine. You should not resubmit your site to a search engine unless you have recently made significant changes to the site, which you feel may positively impact your ranking if the search engine is aware of them.
When you use a search engine to search for keywords, it is important to remember that you are not actually searching the web as it exists at that moment. Instead, you are searching a database owned by the search engine, with information that it gathered from previous scans of the internet. In other words, searches of the internet are never done in “real time.” Usually, search engines will re-scan your site every few weeks. However, if you happen to post ads from these search engines on your site (from Yahoo or Google), they have a tendency to actually re-scan your site every couple of days. Again, this re-scanning does not improve your rank in-and-of itself, but it does allow any recent changes in your site to be reflected in search results more quickly.
Title tags and Meta tags within the HTML code of your website do play a role in determining the title and site descriptions listed in search engine results, but this is not absolute. Ultimately the search engine decides this based on its own unique criteria. These are not set in stone though, and can change over time as you make changes to your site.
As a website owner, there are a few things you can do to increase your search engine results as well as the amount of traffic coming to your site. Most importantly, you should ask other websites to link to yours. This includes websites belonging to friends, colleagues, sites with related topics, and sites related to local businesses and interests in your area. Be careful about exchanging links though—you should not exchange links with disreputable website, or link farms (sites that exist solely as directories of links to other websites, in a failed effort to boost search engine results). Such links can actually hurt your ranking. Search engines like Google pay attention to both the quantity and quality of the links to your site.
Google and Yahoo also offer pay-per-click advertizing campaigns to drive traffic to your website. These may be an effective tool, but they often require a great deal of trial and error for beginners.
Your rank on any given search engine will likely change over time. This is usually gradual, but it can occur in seemingly random or sporadic jumps, depending upon changes you make to your site (as well as changes that your competitors make to their own), the age and relative popularity of your site, and changes the search engines make themselves, in how they rate websites. It’s important to remember that sudden jumps forward in rank can just as suddenly be reversed with little explanation, so it’s usually a gradual increase in rank that reflects a more stable increase in popularity of any given site.
It is often not possible for a website to reach a #1 rank on any given search engine, due to many factors outside the control of your web designer. Usually, ranking in the top 3, top 5 or even top 10 is much more realistic. Even so, a top 10 rank (usually the first page in a search) may take many months to achieve, and a top 3 could take a year or more.