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Q. What is the most effective way to get my site listed in Google?

A. Submitting your site to Google’s “Add URL” page can take 8-10 weeks to get your site listed. However, if Google does find your link on its own (i.e. through a link on another site) it will index your site much faster. We have been able to get our customers listed in Google in as little as five days. Another option would be to do a Yahoo! submit. Since Yahoo! and Google have a close relationship, Google automatically spiders sites accepted into Yahoo!. However, there is a drawback as the Yahoo! directory results are not pulled if you do a search in Yahoo!. Instead, Google produces the search results. If you can afford the $299.00 annual submission fee, your site will get instantly spidered and you will receive a boost in Google’s PageRank system.

Q. How often does Google update its index?

A. Google updates their index hourly, which is why you are able to search on breaking news stories. However, only sites which Google deems as “most important” are included in these hourly updates. The rest of the sites are updated every few days or weeks. Google does one major update to their index per month and it occurs at the end of each month. This month it is scheduled for November 26th, just before Thanksgiving. During this time, many pages are purged from the index, approximately 6%. This is also commonly referred to as “The Google Dance”. It should be noted that last month’s update was scheduled for Oct. 25th, but actually did not occur until Oct. 31st. The scheduled updated are approximate.

Q. How often can I submit my site to the search engines? Weekly, daily, hourly? Are the consequences if you submit too often? Does how often you submit have any influence on how high you rank in the search engine results list?

A. Direct submission to the crawler-based search engines is not overly effective. Instead, search engines constantly crawl the Internet and follow links to understand which pages are most essential for them to include. There are no longer any particular submission “limits” to be concerned with. In fact, Google has stated you can submit 5,000 pages per day and you would not send up any red flags in their system. Just submitting your pages or the same page each week, day or hour is going to do little to ensure that the pages get included or that it will rank well.

Q. What search engine is most important?

A. Google. They are the Goliath of search engines right now. Not only do they have a 38% of the market themselves, but they supply the search results for Yahoo!, AOL, Netscape, Earthlink, AT&T and dozens of others. All told, Google has a market reach of 78%.

Q. What is the best way to format my Keyword Meta Tag? With commas or without?

A. Ah, the Keyword Meta Tag. Webmasters still hold onto this tag as if it were gold, when it is nothing but sand. The search engines/directories with the most market share are: Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Overture, LookSmart and AltaVista. Guess how many of these search engines/directories reads the Keyword Meta Tag? None. Zip. Nada. We first reported of the demise of the Keyword Meta Tag back in June 2000. You can use it without penalty, but if it is not beneficial, why use it? Build pages with quality content instead, each page focusing on a targeted keyword.

Q. Do search engines care if more content is on the homepage versus the rest of the site? For instance, in Google, would a site with 10-pages of text on the homepage (3,000 words) rank higher than a site with 300 words on the homepage and 9 pages with 300 words each?

A. According to Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch, crawler-based search engines rank pages on a page-by-page basis, not on a “site” basis. In other words, they don’t try to figure out how many pages of content you have on different topics, then perhaps reward a site with lots of content on a particular topic or “theme.” Instead, each of your pages will standalone on the page’s particular merits. Having said this, if your site had 10 pages that were content rich versus 1 content rich home page and 9 “text-light” pages, I’d expect you to do better with the ten content rich page. That’s not because they’d work together as a team but rather because individually, the content rich pages each have a better chance of doing well than “text-light” ones.

Q. I contacted a search engine company and they said that you were wrong! Yahoo! would NEVER drop their directory listings from the search results.

A. We will refrain from answering this and just have you look for yourself. Perform any search in Yahoo! and do the same search in Google. The search results are identical. We rest our case. This change occurred on October 9, 2002. Maybe that search engine company would be wise to read the latest headlines, or maybe they are too busy reconfiguring meta tags <sic>.

For the keyword: christmas shopping
Yahoo ResultsGoogle Results

Q. Our competitors have submitted our site to an Internet porn ring in an attempt to get us thrown out of the search engines. Is there anything we can do?

A. In general, you won’t get penalized for people linking to you. That’s outside your control. As long as you aren’t linking back into the porn network, that ought to be enough to isolate you from any damage. If penalties are actually given for links from “link farms”, porn rings and Spam generators, then all the anti-Microsoft folks would be setting up these types of sites to hurt Microsoft’s business. Microsoft’s business hasn’t been hurt by these types of people, and neither will yours. Just don’t link back, that is why “link farms” are frowned upon because your site links BACK to them.

© 2002,

This Web Marketing article was written by Jerry West on 3/21/2005

Jerry West is the Director of Marketing for WebMarketingNow. Visit Web Marketing Now for the latest in marketing tips that are tested and proven.