RealTime IT News

Search Engine Success Requires Persistence, Insiders Say

Webmasters attending the Search Engine Strategies seminar in San Francisco heard a consistent theme throughout the day on Thursday. Persistence will pay off.

None of the panelists claimed to have a single solution that could be used to increase traffic to a site. But individual sessions revealed ideas that covered a wide range.

The opening session was on doorway pages containing content targeted to gain the attention of a single search engine. Webmasters can craft such pages in the hope of increasing their ranking at one engine and fill the pages with links to other pages inside their own site.

One way to use doorway pages revealed at the session is to sniff out the IP addresses of incoming browsers according to which search engine directed them, and then direct the visitor to a customized page.

The net effect is to show the search engine spiders one page and show a visitor a different page.

Throughout the day, panelists from the major search engines and directories, including Snap, Alta Vista, Google, Infoseek/Go, and Excite@Home, delivered a consistent message.

If you are badly ranked, it is not their fault. As a group, they tried to deliver the message that certain kinds of pages guarantee low search engine rankings. Among the "must-avoids" for search engine success: Flash. According to Chris Tolles of DMOZ, "Eat your spinach and don't use Flash."

On the "must do" list, consensus emerged on several points:

  • Do submit to less popular keyword sections of the sites.
  • Do submit to regional and smaller directories.
  • Do be clear in a submission and always follow the guidelines listed at submission pages.

While the search engine site managers emphasized the point that they can not directory control rankings, they stressed that the more links into a site that exist on the Internet, the more likely a site will be ranked higher.

The day was moderated by Danny Sullivan, editor of internet.com's Search Engine Watch.