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SEO Frequently Asked Questions, part 2

November 12, 2003

We have created this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section to better help our users and our clients rapidly find answers to their most-often asked questions. Additionally, it is suggested you use our main search engine located at the top of our web site, as it is designed to scan all our web site and should deliver you the information you are seeking. Please click here to read page one of our Frequently Asked Questions.

How long can it take for my website to be listed in the major search engines?

The sad truth to this question is that there are no set rules or guidelines that dictate how much time it can take. It can depend on many factors, some of which the average site owner has no control over.

Although Google sends out its "freshbot" crawler every few days to refresh some of your most important pages, it really spiders the whole web and completely updates its full index only at its monthly "dance", which is usually at the end or close to the end of the month. Certain search engines such as Fast-all-the-Web claim they crawl and add new sites every 7 to 21 days. As for AltaVista, and depending to whom you talk to, some might say it can take as much as 6 to 8 weeks or sometimes more to see your site added to its database try, although we can personally tell you that we have had many of our clients listed in AltaVista in less than three weeks, so its really hard to say.

As for Yahoo, you can only get a site added for free if you have a non-profit site. If such is the case and you choose to try and get added for free, it may take several weeks or months to get listed. It could be a lot faster for you to pay to be included in Yahoo, since your website can be added in about 10 days if you pay to be included. If you don't want to wait, you can pay to be included in many search engines. Note that the average waiting time to be included usually range from 24 hours to 7 days.

As for the major search directories such as DMOZ (the Open Directory Project), it can take several weeks and sometimes a few months to get added. What�s more, many of the listed categories have no editor managing that particular category. When that happens, your site inclusion request is transferred to the next available editor, if there is one. This can significantly increase the normal time it takes to get indexed in the ODP.

Finally, Global Business Listing ( ) will list any website in any industry and guarantees inclusion within 24 hours on a business day and within 48 hours on weekends and holidays. Global Business Listing is listed as number One in Google for many important industries such as Food growers and Luxury car dealers. It is also listed as number Four under Pharmaceutical industry manufacturers in Google. The Global Business Listing search engine represents a great substitute for companies that need high rankings, at only a fraction of the cost of a professional SEO program.

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Over 5 months ago I registered my domain name and my site has now been online for over 3 months and I just can't seem to get into Google or any other major search engine. I have tried to submit it at least 6 times to Google, being always careful as you always say not to re-submit too many times, but is it normal that I'm still not listed after more than 3 months?

No, it's not normal. First thing you need to do is to make sure that you have other sites that point to yours. It is called reciprocal link exchanging and you can read all about it by clicking here.

Number two: Have you ever visited the "Way Back Machine"? For those of you that don't know what the Way Back Machine is, its a free website that people can go and verify that there is not an "imposed penalty" on any given domain name. For example, the domain name you have bought 5 months ago, could had a permanent ban on it from any search engine. If the previous site owner abused that domain name with techniques that are forbidden (such as invisible text or similar ill-conceived ideas), it is possible that your new and shiny domain name could have had what is called in the industry as the "death penalty".

However, rest assured, all is not lost. Go to and make the test. Just follow the simple easy-to-use on-screen instructions and the way back machine will go back in time a number of years and it will tell you (and you will be able to see it on your screen) if in fact that domain name was abused in the past. If it was, all you have to do is write a friendly email to Google and the other search engines of your interest, carefully explaining them that you are the new registered owner and that you have rightfully bought this new domain name, not ever knowing there could have been any "death penalty" on it.

Google will verify that in fact you are the new and rightful owner of that domain and will usually re-instate it in their database on their next major monthly crawl, which, by the way, seem to happen more often now since the month of July 2003.

Does SEO work only with a new site? I think mine is too old to improve it.

That happens to be a question we are getting more and more. SEO works for existing and established sites, site redesigns and new sites! Relax, almost every single web site can truly be optimized for the major search engines. As we said previously, this is where the professional SEO firms have a distinct advantage over traditional web site building companies. The top professional SEO firms specialize full-time in performing optimization on existing web sites that clearly lack most of the elements of search engine optimization.

These professional SEO firms can consult with you to make the necessary changes to your web site so that it will move up in the search engine results pages (SERP's). Some firms specialize in optimizing your existing site without compromising its looks, usability, or manageability. If you are planning a complete site redesign, this is your chance to implement organic SEO. Organic Search Engine Optimization is the practice of designing web sites that are optimized for the major search engines from the ground up. Even if you have already hired a design firm for your web site redesign, it�s not too late to bring in an SEO consultant. Your SEO consultant will look at the new site design and make suggestions to optimize the site. That way, when your site is re-launched, it already will incorporate all the important elements the search engines will be looking for.

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Can I optimize my own site? Is it complicated?

To optimize your own web site and boost your site's ranking on Internet search engines, you must know exactly the right search terms to target, the correct meta tag design techniques, how to re-write your web site copy to include keywords, keep track of current search engine ranking algorithms, know exactly what format to submit your site in to every search engine or directory and what NOT to do in order to avoid ranking penalties or get into trouble with the engines on certain spam-related issue.

You also need to know whether your site is technically compatible with search engine robots (search engine friendly), what types of pages the engines will accept and which will be barriers to ranking, plus what sort of overall �relevancy score� your site will receive from each search engine you submit to.

Not only that, but once you�re ranking highly, you have to monitor your progress and adjust your meta tags every now and then to ensure your search engine placement is above your competitors on all internet search engines and directories for your target search keywords. You also have to be willing to monitor the constant changes in the search engine industry by subscribing to newsletters, visiting forums and reading articles.

These are all crucial steps to a high ranking, but VERY time consuming and probably not your core business! If you have a real passion for geeky, tech stuff, an excellent understanding of HTML, PHP, plenty of time on your hands to learn, money for promotional software and if you're in no hurry for traffic, then by all means, teach yourself search engine optimization and learn how to optimize your own site. It's a fascinating industry and there is so much SEO information on this web site to get you started on the right foot. But be warned: you will not become an SEO expert overnight. It takes a least three years of learning new information, testing what works, visiting, reading and posting in specialized SEO forums, making many mistakes (especially in your first year) and monitoring each and little modification or change to your web site before you really understand what you're doing.

You may then find that the results aren't as good as you'd hoped for. You may also make mistakes along the way that can cause your site to be penalized or even banned permanently by some search engines. Is it really worth it? Many webmasters just don't have the time or inclination to learn SEO, don't want the worry of making errors, don't have the in-house budget or human resources or the software required, or they simply need traffic, real fast. They just cannot afford to wait. In our experience, the real best answer to the above question would be, for most people, find and hire a good SEO professional firm that you are comfortable with and that you trust. They are certainly better equipped, using better tools, and, most importantly, they possess the knowledge and the experience. It takes years to become a good SEO professional.

What's the best way to start a link exchange program?

We have created a section that covers the important aspect on how to make an effective reciprocal link exchange campaign. You can read all about it by clicking here.

We already are leaders in our particular segment of the market. How can search engine optimization helps us any further?

Without exception, all search engines cannot make any distinction from one brand name to another. To them, the web is just a vast sea of millions of words on over three billions pages of raw text! That means they don't have any idea and certainly don't care how big or small your business is or if you happen to be the best in your field. The only way the major search engines will discover your web site and index your pages favorably is through proven search engine optimization efforts.

If you still have some doubts about our last statement, just check how many small businesses gain top Google rankings, while their much larger corporate competitors are probably listed somewhere on the fifth or sixth page of the SERP's. Chances are, small businesses engaged in a professional search engine optimization campaign thrive, while the big brand competitor relied strictly on their offline branding for their online results. If brand management is important for your online success, a good, well-managed SEO campaign is imperative to the ROI (Return on Investment) of your business.

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How do we know which specific search engines and/or directories to submit our Web site to, considering there are so many? Is there such a thing as an industry-specific search engine?

To our knowledge, we don't know of any industry-specific search engine per se. Rank for $ stays up to date of the ever-changing search engine industry and on a daily basis. We not only study current optimization strategies or techniques in achieving higher rankings, we also follow the many industry trends so we are in a better position to anticipate future changes. In the last two years alone, the search industry has seen some drastic changes and we expect the trend to continue well into 2004 and 2005.

How exactly do you perform SEO?

That's a loaded question to answer simply due to the highly-customized nature of the process, which is dependent upon the exact features, functionality and complexity of your web site, your online marketing goals and objectives, and literally dozens of other very determining factors. There are fundamental, standard steps that are included in every SEO strategy and to just begin to describe them is a completely new and extended topic in itself. However, we suggest that if you want to really learn the good, trusted fundamental strategies behind SEO, you have come to the right place. The Rank for Sales web site is regularly updated and always fresh with SEO industry news and SEO-related articles you can directly benefit from. The only thing you will ever find on our web site is strictly SEO-related. We are a very focused team, aiming to focus on your very focused needs. It is strongly recommended that you bookmark our site by clicking here.

The professional practice of search engine optimization is complex and needs to be extremely customized for each web site. To successfully implement a strategic SEO project, you need full-time SEO webmasters, programmers, marketing experts and finally you need to have access to very detailed research analysis.

How do pay-for-placement programs differ from SEO?

With SEO, you're paying to substantially increase your access to a world of targeted visitors across dozens, hundreds or even thousands of possible keywords and keyphrases. You don't pay for each individual click-through, and you certainly don't need to pay for every individual targeted keyword. In general, pay-for-placement programs provide short-term benefits because as soon as your budget expires, so does your visibility. When you stop paying, your listing disappears, its as simple as that. Sure, your Web site is guaranteed top placement on the keywords and keyphrases that you purchased, but only as long as you're paying the bills.

Furthermore, and this is mostly important for the searchers, wich, ideally will be your next new customers, pay-for-placement programs remove the search engine's ranking algorithm from the criteria used to place high in the rankings. This creates a much less valid listing because the relevancy of the listing is determined by a biased process and not an objective algorithm looking at the page on its own merit and its content. Because the algorithm is not involved in determining the relevance of the page for the user's query, the user is frequently disappointed when they find the site does not contain the content they sought. Additionally, there's no keyword research or science done to determine the optimum keywords to purchase, but there is in SEO. Consequently, you could be paying for the entirely wrong audience or the wrong keywords or worse, both at the same time.

Please click here to read page three of our Frequently Asked Questions.

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Get your business or company listed in the Global Business Listing directory and increase your business. It takes less then 24 hours to get a premium listing in the most powerful business search engine there is. Click here to find out all about it.

Rank for $ales strongly recommends the use of WordTracker to effectively identify all your right industry keywords. Accurate identification of the right keywords and key phrases used in your industry is the first basic step in any serious search engine optimization program. The keywords you think are the best may be totally different than the ones recommended by WordTracker. Click here to start your keyword and key phrase research.

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