Friday, September 28, 2007

How to Avoid Trouble


            While planning your website promotion strategy, it is wise to remember that the search engines are very capable of sniffing out when someone is trying to trick or deceive them.  A certain road to disaster is to consciously try to fool search engines into giving you a better listing. While this may work for a short period of time, invariably the scheme is found out and the offending site is severely penalized or even banned altogether.  Most of us are not, however, intentionally engaged in trying to scam search engines.  Even so, there are mistakes that an honest user can make which are nonetheless interpreted as intentional and malicious behavior.  Here are some of the things you can do to ensure that you will never be penalized or banned by the search engines.

            First and most important, don't over-submit your site.  The search engines each have their own procedures and lead times for adding new sites to their indices.  Some may immediately add you while others may take months to list your site, so be patient.  They are happy to accept your submission because it adds to the resources they can offer to their users.  But submitting your site to them repeatedly in an attempt to get their attention will only get you penalized or banned.  Generally, a submission once a month to each of the search engines and directories on your list is sufficient.  Some link pages may allow you to submit more frequently.  Using AddWeb 4 to automate your submissions is an excellent way to make sure that you never over-submit.  AddWeb 4's AISubmit automatically checks how frequently you can submit and will not let you over-submit your site.  Another way that well-intentioned users get into trouble is by submitting too many pages at once.

            In most cases, it is only necessary to submit the URL of your home page.  Search engine spiders are then sent to crawl through the site to examine the links and other content of the site.  While there are certain search engines that will allow you to submit as many pages of your site as you like, the majority do not.  Any pages submitted beyond the home page or doorway will be interpreted as submission "Spam," and will promptly get you penalized or banned.  Submit only your homepage or doorway page.  However, as a side note, never submit a doorway page to Yahoo!™.  Each site submitted to Yahoo!™ is reviewed by a breathing human being.  This is yet another reason not to try to deceive the search engines.

            Some ways of trying to deceive engines have become commonplace.  One such tactic is to endlessly repeat keywords over and over again on the home page text, then trying to hide it by making it the same color as the page background.  There was a time when this was a commonly used tactic, and it may have worked for a while.  However, the search engines caught on and they now know how to detect obvious deception such as this.  Don't try this because it will get you penalized or banned.  The same will be true for any new tactics that surface and try to subvert search engine analysis methods.  Some unethical webmasters have resorted to using meta-keywords in their sites that have no relevance whatsoever to their actual content.  This is highly misguided and has potentially drastic consequences for the engines that are trying to return relevant results on a query.  Guerilla tactics like this might work for a short time but the search engines will catch on and you will be penalized or worse.  Remember that many search engines share common indices of listings.  If you get your site banned on one of these engines, chances are that you will be banned on several engines at once.

            Other elements of your website can cause you trouble if you're not careful.  Some web sites still use a "Frames" format.  Frames may look nice, and they can help novices to organize their sites, but they are devastating to your site's ability to get a good position in a search engine index.  Most search engine spiders simply cannot make sense of frames-based pages and therefore make a well-intentioned but frequently useless attempt at trying to determine what the website is about.  The consequence is that the site usually is not indexed at all or it is indexed at such a poor position that no one will ever see it.  If you must use a frames-based website, be sure to build a doorway page that has no frames in it.  You can use AddWeb 4's Page Builder Plus to do this for you.

By building your page with a little forethought, you can avoid any pitfalls and should be safe from any conflicts with the search engines.  Make sure that after using Page Builder Plus, you let Page Advisor analyze your page to detect if there is anything that could cause trouble with a search engine.  If you follow these simple steps, not only will you avoid being banned by search engines, but you should also start to see your position rising to the top!

 This article has been adapted from  AddWeb Article- Copyright (c) 2000  Cyberspace Headquarters, LLC.

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