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High Rankings' Advisor: Submitting to Search Engines - Issue No. 006

April 10, 2002
________________________________________________________

~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~

*Introductory Comments:
---->   What more could you ask for?

*Search Engine Marketing:
---->   Submitting to Search Engines

*This Week's Sponsor:
---->   AltaVista's Web Marketing Services

*Other SEO News:
---->   LookSmart Looks Dumb Again
---->   Google AdWords Select Ebook
---->   Sixth FASTest Growing Company in Europe

*Advisor Wrap-Up:
---->   Jim and Dan go to Harrisburg
________________________________________________________

~~~Introductory Comments~~~

Lots of great info today!  I've answered a question about submitting
to the spidering search engines, ranted about LookSmart's new Small
Business Listings program, discussed a cool ebook about Google AdWords
Select and given FAST a little free publicity!  What more could you
ask for?

Enjoy! - Jill


~~~Search Engine Marketing Issues~~~

++Submitting to Search Engines++

From: Steve Geszler [steve@kidzworld.com]

Dear Jill

Love your writings by the way, especially the humor you add to it,
keep it up!  :o)

I always read that the days of submitting individual web pages to
search engines are gone, because most of the major sites like Google
will automatically find all the pages in one's site unless the
particular search engine has a pay-for-inclusion option, like Inktomi.
But what if I have a website where we constantly have new content
coming up on brand new web pages that are totally static HTML?  Do I
have to wait for Google to find them in a month or two, or will they
get indexed faster if I hand-submit them?  I should mention that these
pages can be accessed from the main index page but are usually in the
form of www.blahblah.com/page/page.htm.

Also, is it even worth submitting pages to AltaVista through Basic
Submit?  Are there ANY sites worth submitting new pages to on a
regular basis these days, that are not via a pay-per-inclusion model?

Warmest regards,

Steve Geszler
Marketing Strategist
Kidzworld Media, Inc.
http://www.kidzworld.com


~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hey Steve,

Glad you enjoy my writing.  I think when you have fun writing, it
shows through to the reader.  I guess that's also where the humor
comes from!

So let's talk about submitting to the search engines...

You said:
>>...major sites like Google will automatically find all the pages in
one's site unless the particular Search Engine has a pay-for-inclusion
option like Inktomi.<<

Yes, the major search engines will find your site and many of your
pages without your having to submit to them.  Even Inktomi, which has
a paid-inclusion program, will often find and add your pages for free.
They have a tendency not to crawl too deep, however.  If you don't pay
to get listed in Inktomi, you may not get your most important pages in
their database.  On the other hand, you still may.  The Rank Write
site <www.rankwrite.com> has over 200 pages listed in Inktomi, yet we
never paid them anything.  It's great that they list so many of the
Rank Write pages because they are filled with great content.  But if I
wanted to be sure that specific pages got and stayed listed, I'd
probably want to pay for it.  It's kinda like an insurance policy
these days.

As for the question of whether you should hand-submit to Google (and
others) when you have new content pages - I would submit them, but
with the understanding that it probably won't actually speed things
up.  It'll make you feel better though!  Most likely you're still
going to have to wait until the next major update before your new
pages are added, regardless of what you do.  If they're deep pages, it
could take even longer.  To ensure that the search engine spiders will
easily find your new pages, make sure they are accessible from your
main page, if at all possible.  If you can't do that, then be sure at
least to have an up-to-date site map page that is linked from your
main page.  Yeah, the spiders will eventually find your new stuff, but
it doesn't hurt to help them out a bit.

As for AltaVista's Basic Submit (or any other free add-url program),
since it's not a huge effort to paste your URL into their form and
press submit, then yeah, it's worth it.  Just don't hold your breath
waiting to be indexed.  With the spidering search engines that charge
a fee (as with many other things in life), it's a time vs. money
thing.  If you're not in any hurry and are on a small budget (and if
you have a lot of patience), then you can wait it out until your pages
eventually show up.  If you're chomping at the bit to get your pages
listed and have a little bit of cash to spare, then you might want to
bite the bullet and pay for inclusion.  The reduction in stress alone
is probably worth the fee!

If you have pages that have been in the engines and doing fine for
years, don't do anything.  The pay-for-inclusion programs work best
for brand new pages, or pages that you recently optimized.  Another
reason why you may want to pay is if you're the "tweaking" type, or if
you're just learning about search engine optimization.  In the "old
days," we had to wait for months to see if we were on the right track.
Now the constant respidering offered through the paid-inclusion
programs gives you the opportunity to learn in a timely manner what
works and what doesn't work.  That's a pretty useful benefit!

_________________________________________

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_________________________________________

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_________________________________________


~~~Other SEO News~~~

++LookSmart Looks Dumb Again++

Just when we thought Yahoo! would take the trophy as dumbest directory
(for their decision to unilaterally change the email preferences of
all of their members in order to spam them), good 'ole LookSmart comes
from behind and wins it by a nose!

Last week I mentioned LookSmart's news of "upgrading" everyone's paid
LookSmart listing to their wacky new "Small Business Listing"
pay-per-click program.  Well, some of the details have been released,
and I'm sorry to say, it doesn't look good.  For sites that obtain 100
clicks per month or less from LookSmart and its partners, first-year
costs be a minimum of $229.00 according to my calculations.
Subsequent years would cost a minimum of $180.00 (assuming they don't
change the rules again, which is a HUGE assumption).  These numbers
come from the $49.00 setup fee for new URLs, plus the minimum
$15.00/month clickthrough charge per URL.  Clicks are 15 cents apiece,
thus the 100-clicks-per-month number.

At first glance, those numbers appear to be actually less than the
$299.00 we were previously paying; however, the old price was a
one-time fee.  Plus, if you anticipate more than 100 clicks per month,
you could end up paying a whole lot more.

You're also only allowed one URL per domain under the Small Business
Listing plan, and subdomains are considered part of the same domain,
according to their FAQ.  You'll be even happier to know that there are
many more ways for Look$mart to take your money.  For instance, you
can pay them extra to have keywords associated with your listing.
(Yes, this is something they used do for your listing for "free"
before.)  It's difficult to say whether your site will rank highly
enough to get any clicks if you don't associate keywords with it.  You
can pay for additional categories, description changes and all sorts
of other fun things if you're interested.  (All the gory details can
be found here: <http://listings.looksmart.com/>.)

As of this writing, there is no news on what happens to those of us
who just forked over $299 for our listing.

Right now, it's hard to recommend this program to you or my clients.
In fact, because they're nickel and diming everyone (along with
changing the rules in the middle of the game), I'd personally love to
see everyone tell LookSmart to go jump in a lake!  But business is
business, and that may be easier said than done.  For now, I'm taking
a wait-and-see attitude.  I want to see what they do with my recent
$299, and I want to see how many clicks the sites I already have
listed with them will get.  I will NOT authorize them to make any
charges to my credit card until I see how this plays out.  I can
easily live without my sites being listed with LookSmart if that's
what it comes down to.

I understand that LookSmart has to make money just like the rest of
us; however, as a businessperson myself, I have learned that people
don't like being charged separately for all sorts of different things.
It makes you look like you're only after their money, no matter what
kind of spin you put on it.  Offering one fee for a whole package of
stuff sounds and feels much better psychologically to the customer.
It seems to me that LookSmart would have been much smarter to simply
do what Yahoo! did, i.e., make the current $299.00 charge as an annual
fee for all new listings.  Yeah, they would have taken some crap for
it at the beginning, but I have a feeling what they're gonna get now
will be far worse.

I gotta say that I will take great delight if/when this turns out to
be the death of LookSmart.  Their true, sleazy nature is showing
through loud and clear with this move.  Honest, ethical businesses do
NOT change the rules in the middle of the game.  They just don't.
First, we learned of their association with scumware, Ezula
<http://scumware.com/hall1.html>, and now this.  Yes, LookSmart, we do
see your true colors, and they're not pretty.


++Google AdWords Select Ebook++

Long-time readers may remember that I tested Google's AdWords Select
pay-per-click program when it first came out.  At the time, I figured,
if nothing else, it would be kinda cool for branding purposes since
I'd only be paying for clicks, not impressions.  Of course, you've got
to maintain a .5% clickthrough rate (CTR) in order to keep your
listings, so branding can only go so far without getting any clicks!
Purchasing phrases such as "search engine optimization" can really add
up, due to a minimum clickthrough bid price of $1.07.  Fortunately,
just as I was thinking about shutting down my campaign, I read Andrew
Goodman's special report, "21 Techniques to Maximize your Profits on
Google AdWords Select."

Many of you may be familiar with Andrew's insightful and witty search
engine articles over at his Traffick.com Web site
<http://www.traffick.com>.  Well, his special report is also a good
read!  After a marathon session of reading his report while eating
half a box of Peanut Butter Ritz Bitz, I decided to test out the tips
he offered, before throwing in the AdWords towel.  I've been testing
and refining for nearly a month now, and I can honestly tell you that
Andrew knows his stuff!  I've only done half of what he suggests, yet
I've gotten my clickthrough percentages way up, and my price-per-click
way down.  Granted, I'm a very low-volume advertiser paying only a few
bucks a day.  But I could see how a high-volume advertiser could put
Andrew's techniques to good use and have them really pay off.  For the
past week I have gotten a 1.1% overall clickthrough rate (which ain't
too shabby), and on some keyword phrases, I even have a CTR of over
50%!

As with many great things, the report does have a price so I can't
give you all the secrets to success like I usually do!  However, at
$49.00 it's a pretty good deal if you're ready to get down and dirty
with the AdWords Select program and want to lessen your learning
curve.  You can learn more and order it at
<http://hop.clickbank.net/?thewebwhiz/pagezero> if you're interested.
Yes, that URL is an affiliate link; however, I truly believe you'll
get your money's worth from this ebook, which is the only reason I'm
mentioning it.  Like I said, I've spent weeks testing out many of the
tips and techniques, and I'd be telling you about it whether or not
Andrew had an affiliate program in place.  Happy AdWording!


++Sixth FASTest Growing Company in Europe++

News Flash from Peter Gorman at FAST:

Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) announced today that it has been ranked
as the sixth fastest growing European company by Deloitte & Touche
Tohmatsu in the 2001 Deloitte Technology Fast 500.  Rankings are based
on three-year percentage revenue growth from 1998-2000.  During this
period FAST had a 5700% growth rate and continues to grow at a rapid
pace.

I'm sure my buddy, Martin, will be happy to hear that!


~~~Advisor Wrap-Up~~~

Last week I was speaking at the SPIN conference in Harrisburg, PA, and
met a couple of subscribers (waves to Jim and Dan) who drove all the
way from New Jersey just to hear me speak!  I gotta say I was a bit
surprised, but highly honored.  Somehow they heard about my affinity
for drinking at conferences (oh yeah...I told them), so they plied me
with a couple of glasses of wine and got me to spill all my SEO
secrets.  Since I've been telling all my secrets for two years in my
newsletters, I'm sure no harm was done!

Well, guys, that does it from here.  Have a good one, and I'll talk to
you next week!

Jill
 
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