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Numerous Questions

Questions regarding Optimization

     
2:40 am on Mar 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I would greatly appreciate any answes on the following questions. I have a lot of questions so please be patient with me.
1) Which search engines favor pages that have been listed on the world wide web for a longer time?
2) I know that meta keywords are not important, but can someone point me in the direction of a chart that tells what the meta keyword limit is?
3) I have read that submitting without using the www in front of your domain is better than submitting with the www e.g. [widgets.com...] or [widgets.com?...] Why is this?
4) Where can I find a stemming tool?
5) What is the difference between submitting to NBCI for free and the paid $199 submission?
6) How many variations of the same website can you have in Yahoo? This is assuming that your website has a good deal of content that will not fit in one category. I know that About.com has over 300. Also, is it tougher to get a second or third submission in Yahoo?
7) How many submissions can you have in LookSmart?
9) Has anyone used the Inktomi paid submission and did you find it worthwhile?
10) When you are following the meta title and meta description limitations, does it seem to make a difference in search engine rankings if these are shorter and to the point.
11) Do all search engines follow hyperlinked images, and if they do not, which search engines do and which ones do not?

Sorry for all of the questions and if anyone can help, it would be appreciated.

3:17 am on Mar 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Well, I can answer *one* of them...

>>5) What is the difference between submitting to NBCI for free and the paid $199 submission?

The submission to their "Livedirectory" section is free... from there, you can either hope the site 'graduates' to the main directory (which I beleive is based on click popularity), or you can pay $99 to have it 'promoted'. (Good back door for discount submissions, if you're willing to wait about a month after your Livedirectory submission).

The paid submission puts you straight into their main directory, if your site is approved.

In search results, the main directory results are listed first, with the Livedirectory ("Member-Submitted Sites") listed second, and the Inktomi results listed last.

3:27 am on Mar 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Hi Aaron - that's a lot of questions, let's jump in with just a couple, not necessarily in order!

11) Do all search engines follow hyperlinked images, and if they do not, which search engines do and which ones do not?

I don't know. But assuming you're not doing separate sets of pages for each, the safest route is to provide dual navigation - graphical plus text (with keywords). What hyperlinked images cannot provide, in any case, is keywords in the linking text. Both is safest.

3) I have read that submitting without using the www in front of your domain is better than submitting with the www e.g. [widgets.com...] or [widgets.com?...] Why is this?

I have read that it's better to use the www, but probably the most important thing is to be consistent with it - both for submission and linking purposes. A side factor is that not all servers are configured to support the domain name without the www - to my thinking, with is safer and more universal. I've had a site show up on MSN with 2 entries, with and without the www - one was removed, the one with stayed.

9) Has anyone used the Inktomi paid submission and did you find it worthwhile?

This has already been covered in depth in our Inktomi forum - dig in there and you'll get loads of great input.

Aaron, for a couple of the questions, you might want to post directly to the Yahoo forum and the forum that covers the other directories, including Looksmart.

6:46 pm on Mar 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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1) Which search engines favor pages that have been listed on the world wide web for a longer time?

They all do to some degree. In the past, AltaVista definitely used the date of inclusion as a factor in ranking.(Although they always denied it) However, I think the majority of any time benefits tends to come more from the link popularity factor. Links to a site are built over time, and it takes awhile for search engines to find and index new links.

Here is some information from AltaVista's help section that explains how they recalcultate popularity factors on a regular basis.

[doc.altavista.com ]

This system tends to produce results that feature older sites at the top.

2) I know that meta keywords are not important, but can someone point me in the direction of a chart that tells what the meta keyword limit is?

I don't think you will ever find two charts that agree. As you mentioned, many engines completely ignore them (Google, Excite, Lycos). I think the best approach is to simply use the keyword tag to reinforce the important words that appear in your title and text towards the top of the page. Don't use your keyword tag to write a wish list of all the phrases you would like to be found for. It won't help, and it might even cause your page to be penalized.

3) I have read that submitting without using the www in front of your domain is better than submitting with the www e.g. [widgets.com...] or [widgets.com?...] Why is this?

I'm not sure where you read that, but I don't believe it is true. However, you should pick one and make all your submissions the same way.

4) Where can I find a stemming tool?

I'm not quite sure what you are looking for. If you would like a tool that will help you identify possible stemmed variations of your keywords, your best bet would probably be conducting some searches at any Inktomi powered engine. If you click on the advanced search link, you can enable stemming and get results that include all possible variations.

5) What is the difference between submitting to NBCI for free and the paid $199 submission?

Time. A free submission ends up in the Live Directory database. Once it's there, click popularity is tracked. Over time, popular Live Directory sites will be reviewed by the NBCi editors for possible inclusion in the main database.

Paying the fee enables you to bypass the Live Directory process and go straight to the editors.

6) How many variations of the same website can you have in Yahoo?

Very few. You can request that your site be included in a couple additional categories when you submit, but don't hold your breath. They also do not care for subdomains, (and the About.com arguement doesn't get you very far. :))Your best chance is to break your site up into several individual sites with unique domain names, and then hope that you don't get the same editor.

7) How many submissions can you have in LookSmart?

Up to 5 individual listings at $199.00 per listing. Anything above 5 and you probably have to enroll in their pay-per-click program.

9) Has anyone used the Inktomi paid submission and did you find it worthwhile?

(What happened to 8?) The Ink plan is worthwhile from the standpoint that they reindex your pages every 24 hours. It can help you improve your ranking much quicker. However, it's not so effective if you are submitting pages that focus on very broad and competitive terms. MSN, Ink's biggest partner, return's LookSmart data first. This will cause your Ink pages to be burried very deep. If you focus on more obscure terms that produce very few LS matches, you will do much better.

10) When you are following the meta title and meta description limitations, does it seem to make a difference in search engine rankings if these are shorter and to the point.

It varys from engine to engine. If you are looking for a middle ground for all engines, I would say keep your titles between 4-7 words and try and place your specific phrases towards the front. If you stick to 25 words or less for your descriptions, you will find that most engines that use the description tag will display all of it.

11) Do all search engines follow hyperlinked images, and if they do not, which search engines do and which ones do not?

It depends. A straight image link (one image linking to one URL) isn't a problem, but not all engines will follow links in an image map. (multiple hyperlinks in one image).

8:46 pm on Mar 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I appreceiate all the responses. I'm not sure what happened to number eight. The reason I asked about the meta keywords was to decide if I should place misspellings in the keywords or not. By the way, will GOOGLE use the alt text as the description?
8:51 pm on Mar 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I think Google uses whatever it darn well pleases as a description... safest to always keep alt text in regular sentence form, so it makes sense to any humans that might see it... whether in a Google description or otherwise.
12:18 am on Mar 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>will GOOGLE use the alt text as the description?

No. Google grabs the section of your page that contains the keyword match and displays it. The same page coming up for three different searches will have three different (and completely uncomprehensible) descriptions.

Edited by: WebGuerrilla

3:38 am on Mar 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

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So . . . . with a search the first time the keyword phrase is used in your content will be your description?

I.E. "blue suede shoes"
. . . blue suede shoes, YES!! we have Blue Suede Shoes!! and EVERYTHING RELATED TO THEM blah blah blah blah

My head hurts with the thought of it.
Is it really so?

8:10 am on Mar 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

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minnapple, not really formulated from the first occurrence, but the first will usually be included among the bits and pieces. Occurrences of the keywords are chosen from various and sundry places within the content, and are "patched" together to form what is being referred to as the ransom note description.

For this reason it's wise to be very careful what words are placed in close proximity to keywords, as I found out when a phrase I did not want included showed up in the Google description. I removed the phrase from that spot and made sure it did not appear near any of the main keywords for the page - so now it only shows up in a search including that particular phrase.

Different searches using different phrases, with different keyword combinations, further complicate it. After spending time rooting around in the Google cache, I suspect that part of their randomization of what to include in the description they use is a bit of a relevancy check, looking for placement locations on the pages - just a suspicion, but it wouldn't surprise me at all. It doesn't even look to me like density is all that important an issue if the other ducks line up right.