When Internet users are looking for a particular product, service, subject,
or information pertaining to an area of interest to them, how do they do it?
The most common research tool used is the search engine—85 percent of
people doing research online use search engines to find what they are looking
for. Because search engines can bring significant volumes of traffic to your
site, you must understand how the major search engines work and how the
design of your site can influence the indexing of your site by the search engines.
You must also know about the elements that are included in the search
engines’ algorithms, or formulas, that are outside your Web site and what
you can do to ensure that you earn maximum points for those things you can
When people conduct Internet searches, they rarely go beyond the first
couple pages of results. If you want to be noticed, you need to appear in the
top 10 or 15 search results—ideally, you want to appear on the top half of the
front page of search results. But before you submit to the search engines, you
have to be sure your site has been designed to be search engine friendly.
To make your site search engine friendly, you have to:
• Decide which search engines are critical for your success.
• Learn as much as you can about their ranking criteria and the weighting
given to each criterion in their algorithm. It is also important to know
which databases they are using.
Then you must:
• Determine the keywords that your target market is using in the search
engines to find what you have to offer,
• Assign those keywords to specific pages throughout your site, and then
• Populate the pages with the assigned keywords in the appropriate places
given the ranking criteria for your targeted search engines.
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