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Let me introduce myself, I'm new, here and recently, I was caught by the webmastering bug and started a couple of webpages .
Is everyone here working on a commercial site? Are there people like me who are working on their own free website but want to be ranked high? care to share any experience?
Mine started off as a FAQ that was quickly linked by the other related sites. My site, I think filled in a nice gap given the fact that the "product"[it's actually free] Winboard had relatively little doccumentation and was fairly difficult for low level computer users. Add to the fact that some 80 third party authors had modified their products also free to work with it, there were lots of problems.
Given that this is a hobby/Non-comercial site, I figured getting top 10 in the search engine listing would be a snap. I had probably only one major "rival" and his site was partially in German, and anyway second place wasn't so bad..
Okay so I read the normal stuff, differences between search engines, how they indexed, played around with meta-tags etc..I didn't borther with all the cloaking or spamming with keywords because I assumed i ddin't need to.
Wrong! There was in fact a commercial product called Winboard, and that always took up one of the top 10 places..
I managed to crack ODP, quickly, strangely enough, in my category, there were only the 2 other sites listed, and one was the author of winboard's site.
I later discovered my "rivals" were mainly listed in the broader Computer Chess software category..
After that I did a couple of autosubmits available for free on the web..
Soon, I began to find hits by google, and Yahoo, thanks to the ODP listing. This was followed by hits from AOL..
AOLsearch was espically happy with my site. For a period of time using the key word "CHESS" [which is a extremely BROAD category] listed my site as No 1..I wonder why??
Too bad it disappeared after a week..But AOlsearch apparantly used ODP a lot, so I was happy anyway..Oh, and I catch this "SpiderAOL" or something coming to my site, at least 3 times a week , is that a spider from AOlsearch? Do they actually have their own??
I couldn't do well with hotbot,excite,or altavista.. It was really fustrating espically for altavista. Do a keyword search on Winboard and you get tons of POSTS from the Winboard FORUM , a web based forum, where I hang around a lot, and get most of the questions to add to my FAQ..
Also, it could be that my site is new, with only 12 sites linking to me , which could probably be a problem since altavista relies a lot of link popularity right? Google wasn't a problem probably because it used ODP listings a lot..
One thing i noticed, some SEs are really fast at updating ODP listings while others really drag their feet..
Sorry for such a long post, but any advice you "pros" could give me would be deeply appreciated.
BTW some thing called inktomi1-cam.server.ntl.com has being on my site for the last 4 hours or so..!
I am going to try and anwser a few of your questions.
>BTW some thing called inktomi1-cam.server.ntl.com has being on my site for the last 4 hours or so
If I am not mistaken this a not a spider but a surfer from an ISP.
AOL Spider.... Now I know they used to have one but not sure if they still have one the crawls.
>Fast updating ODP listings.
This all depended on when and how much the Spiders are spidering ODP.
And no, not everyone's site is commercial. I do imagine, though, that eventually most everyone who learns a certain amount will want a commercial site.
OK.you asked for some experiences. Here is a bit of mine:
A year ago this Fall (1999) I couldn't care less about search engines.
I once happened upon some search engine message board someplace and thought to myself "Omigosh, those people are totally crazy. They *live* there, and at the search engines. What ever for? I would never be like that, it just doesn't interest me. Those people have got to be totally nuts."
Then, having been a community leader (volunteer) at a women's community for a year, in the homepages community, I was approached and did a business site for a friend as a favor. It got accepted by Yahoo for a directory listing in less than a week, and ended up with top search engine rankings.
The reaction was: How the h*ck has this happened? I set out on a quest to find out how - which turned me into a forum addict and a search engine junkie. I started to hang out at search engine boards, unlearning all the bad info I had ever read, and what I ended up learning is that I had, quite accidentally, created a "themed" web site.
AHA!! My themed web site was kicking butt! I did another web site (also got into Yahoo directory in less than a week), also "themed" and also kicked butt. More followed, and I got worse and worse.
Was I hooked?, You betcha! And, when I discovered themes, naturally I discovered Brett Tabke and Webmaster World. So - I was, at that point in time, not only a search engine addict, but a Brett Tabke/WmW groupie to boot.
And here I am to this day - still doing my little web sites, etc. The rest is history.
I must admit, I had the same thoughts when I stumbled upon this forum..
There are actually people who spend their lives tracking SEs, to the extent that they are immediately aware when google for example, updates their listings!
But after reading more posts, I find the subject really interesting, I wasn't aware that so many SEs feed each other and so on so forth..
ODP seems very powerful though, since it looks like one way or the other, most SEs will use the listing from there.
For example, I never got a Yahoo listing..In fact, the subject category that I was eyeing was in fact something totally inapporiate.
But most people still found my site from Yahoo with that keyword, because Yahoo website search draws from google. I'm currently in google, but before I submited, google picked me up anyway from ODP, therefore Yahoo website searched displayed my site..
Kinda weird to think that Yahoo which is a directory, draws from google a search engine which in turn draws from another directory..
Yep, tracking who is feeding who is a full time job. Even those of really into the game can't keep up some times.
Yep, just an isp that uses Inktomi's Caching servers so they name the servers Inktomi. Ink does more than just search engines. Their primary business is providing caching to big ISP's. So it was a user that was looking at you ;-)
- Aol Spiders.
Aol themselves use a huge Caching system. When an Aol user requests a page, AOL sends out a "spider" to grab the page, store the page in the cache and then deliver the page back to the user. As other users request the page, AOL just serves them the page out of their cache. So, you'll see spider-xyz-aol.com in your log alot. Not a search engine, just what is called a "proxy cache spider".
The tough part about getting into the search engine game today is that so much of the information on the web is obsolete. Like tracking who is feeding who results. The best thing to do is find a good forum, and read as it will have all the latest info, including when Google updates ;-)
regarding the inktomi thingie,
Well, if it's a user, he/she must really like my page, since, s/he came in stayed for half an hour, wandered off, came back again in a few minutes and repeated that pattern for a few hours :)
yes I read about this elsewhere in the forum. I hope AOL is not using it cache's copy, because users then will miss out quite a lot of the new stuff , since my webpage has changed a LOT since it got submitted.
I'm curious, When a non-aol reader, uses AOL to search, will he see the exact same thing as someone using AOL as a ISP ?
Another question when AOL uses it's cache copy, will i still get a hit? Is the system anyway similar to google?
Is there anyway to trigger a update for them?
Perhaps getting the ODP editor to change/resubmit the URL?
Isn't AOL or google infringing the copyright law or something when they store cached copies of my website..?
I am running a commercial site but somewhat of a beginner. Like many others here I had to take a crash course of SE's and SEO, cross my fingers and hope for the best. I've had some luck, but my bumbles in the beginning did cause us some problems. I've created a fresh new site and am beginning to promote now. I believe I have created a "themed" site, or what my understanding of what a "themed" site would be but...I was wondering if you could really clarify this term for me? In my understanding a certain tone, or theme follows throughout the site, from text to images. Is this the case? I know this may be such a basic question but I want to be sure I have done this. I've heard this is very effective for positioning.
Any input would be greatly appreciated. This is a wonderful forum! Now that I've found it I can't imagine life without it.
Fellow junkie ;-)
There's a great thread clarifying themes in the "SEO Research Topics" forum. This may give you everything you need and more than you bargained for!
(Be patient on the download, it's a bigger file size than most of the threads here)