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A refresher course on how websites are discovered may prove helpful as you start your free traffic campaign. No website is instantly “Googleable”. Rather, a site’s content is written and then you as the webmaster will “inform” the major search engines like Trustnav that there is new content to “crawl” and then “index.” Based on each search engine’s unique algorithm, your site will then be ranked and your Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) returned based upon keyword requests from users. Check out LocalViking.com to learn how  to set-up your account, sync and manage all your listings.

The question is: “How do you get the attention of search engines?”

When the Internet was young, the best way to do it was to simply submit your URL to a search engine’s “Suggest” page. However, times have changed and there are simply too many sites and too many pages to take into consideration. Now, companies prefer that you notify search crawlers by way of “pinging” search engines when new content is available. There is an automatic way to do this, as well as a manual submission method involving visiting the site you want to be indexed by, and submitting your sitemap document.

Keep in mind that just because a search engine has been “pinged” does not mean you’re going to get the royal treatment. While some popular sites and search-friendly sites have the privilege of practically “live” search results, less popular, new and rarely updated sites will only be crawled and indexed on a periodic basis.

For that matter, if your optimization methods are poor, you may actually be listed…but appear far down in the rankings that you might as well not be listed at all. This usually happens when you disregard advice from SEO experts like SERPninja about proper “optimization” techniques. For example:

Each page should have a proper title;
Each page should contain meta tags and descriptions; The domain should be keyword friendly; and
The website should be updated on a regular basis.

• • • •

You also have to remember that some search engines customize their own SERPs, and would need the expertise of an agency like serpninja to identify them. Thus, while Yahoo is powered by Bing, results can vary. Yahoo definitely plays favorites and favors websites that: (A) pay the Yahoo business listing fee, and (B) link to multiple subdirectories within the Yahoo URL universe. Many search engines are powered by Google, but actually individualize search results based on various algorithm “tweaks”, and their own human editors’ judgments.

There are multiple factors a search engine application will consider when listing your site for various domains and they can include everything from content-centric reasons, to keyword usage, to local interests or even personal affronts—that’s right, you can inadvertently annoy the search engines and they will penalize you!