In the 'Search Engines' info leaflet you recommend using www.addme.com.
I am a little anxious about this, as the company claims the right to 'change the terms and conditions of service at any time' and that it would be 'my responsibility to inform myself of any changes'. This sounds as if they can use my details for any purpose whatsoever. Is this the case? Surely one can't change an agreement without notifying the other party? Am I bound in any way not to submit sham personal data?

Comments

Re: Search Engines

We only really reccommend it as an easy way to get submitted to lots of search engines at once - as with any 'free' service there are usually catches, so you are probably right about data possibly be used for marketing purposes etc - but if you display those details on the web site anyway you are already likely to get spammed...

But it would be safer to take the long route and register yourself with each engine (a lot are now like google so don't require registration) and a good resource for finding out about each of the major search engines and their criteria etc is:

[url]http://searchenginewatch.com[/url]

Re: Search Engines

In addition to all the above, here’s a little essay about getting more and better hits for non-commercial websites.

In order to get visitors to a site, you can advertise the URL (address) on leaflets, books, stickers, and other publicity, but you probably also want people who are looking for the information you are offering to be able to find your site using search engines such as Google, Altavista and Lycos.

In the past, there were £500 courses giving ‘tricks’ to get a better search engine listing, but most of these do not affect Google, now the most important engine owing partly to use by both Yahoo and the BBC. Instead, it helps to consider exactly what words best describe the unique features of your organisation, campaign or movement, which may be the subject area, geographical area, or some service (in the final case, it’s worth considering that most people searching in vague terms do so on plural nouns, ‘low-impact housing designs’, rather than on ‘design’). This means that of the visitors you get, you can be sure that most are genuinely interested – it’s the quality of hits that matters as well as the quantity.

When you’ve got a few different phrasings, make sure they are prominent so that both visitors and search engines can confirm they have the right page. It’s worth making sure the words occur in the <title> tag of a page; the filename, directory or domain name; anchors or bookmarks (internal links on a page, if any), and subheadings where appropriate.

If there are synonyms or related topics that don’t appear in the body text, you can use META tags, which go in the HEAD of a page and look something like:

<meta name="keywords"
content="architecture, energy efficiency, energy loss, smart housing">
<meta name="description" content="Group promoting environmentally friendly social housing on brownfield sites…..">

The description will affect how most search engines describe the page. Don’t overuse keywords though, as this ‘trick’ is frowned on and often not very effective. A few others such as and may help slightly. ‘Revisit-after’ can be set according to how often the site is updated.

Once you’ve got a good, fixed URL or domain name, you need to ask people to link to your site. There are probably area-specific directories or other organisations you can ask to link to you, sometimes in exchange for a mutual link. The more links you can get to a page, the better its Google ‘page rank’. The text of the link (the underlined bit) is important too – putting the tags around ‘click here’ in internal links or those from the outside doesn’t achieve half as much as a page title or organisation name.

Then there are the general-purpose directories, dmoz.org (the open directory project), zeal.com, and yahoo.co.uk (which charges for many types of listing). Each of these involve finding an appropriate category or two, and filling in an online form describing the site. These are usually reviewed by volunteers, and this, together with the delay in engines ‘spidering’ unpaid sites usually means a site doesn’t reach its full popularity in searches for about 3 or 4 weeks.

There are those who will claim that the that hits to a new site are somehow impeded by the existence of older pages on a different domain. This is untrue, and if the old pages can be linked to the new site (auto-redirect using refresh tags is easy but clickable links help too), the reverse is the case: more links from different sites should improve reputation with search engines, which do not care if all of an organisation’s pages are on one server. If you simply delete the old pages, the new site may appear to be ranked slightly higher, but in absolute terms the number of hits will decrease, and the web is then littered with broken links and annoyed web-surfers. I can only guess this urban myth comes from consultants who are touting for more business.

Re: Search Engines

The aforementioned [url]http://searchenginewatch.com/[/url] points out that the META keyword tag is in fact even less useful now, in fact it is largely ignored. So it's much better to include synonyms etc. somewhere in the pages, which are hopefully numerous, content-full and thoroughly interlinked.

An alternative to addme.com, for people needing to promote a site without spending money, is to submit a URL or two to each of the following:

[url]http://www.google.com/addurl.html[/url]
[url]http://www.alltheweb.com/add_url.php[/url]
[url]http://addurl.altavista.com/addurl/new[/url]

Regards

Cedric

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